SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

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First Policy Learning Workshop of the RRI Leaders Project

The first policy learning workshop of the RRI Leaders project took place online on March 1, 2022. The event was hosted by the territorial partners of Greece, the University of Western Macedonia and the Local Government Association of Western Macedonia. This is the first of four workshops that will take place till the end of the project. SDA will host the final workshop in the beginning of 2023. The purpose of the workshops is the dissemination of activities, good practices and policies that maximize the impact of RRI Leaders through transfer and exchange of knowledge. The first event brought together the whole spectrum of relevant territorial stakeholders from each partner country, i.e. academia, civil society, business, policymakers that play a key role for possible RRI-AIRR integration in future policy and development actions. The featured presentations focused on an innovation zone/innovation ecosystem in Greece; a district heating network in Thalwil (Switzerland), a women’s network and business innovation system in Sabadell (Spain). Veronica Manova, an expert at Sofia Municipal Council, presented the development of Vision for Sofia 2050; this practice was considered an excellent example of holistically integrating several keys of responsible research and innovation, most notably, public engagement and participatory process, open access, inclusiveness, forward-planning.

      

 

      

INNOAIR joins the event "Digital Transformation - Smart Cities"


The discussion on "Digital Transformation - Smart Cities" will be held on March 8, 2022 at 10:00 and INNOAIR will be a part of it. The event is organized by BNR-Radio Sofia within the project "Our Europe" and will be held in a hybrid - in Sofia Tech Park, The Venue Hall, Incubator Building and online at ZOOM.

The full program of the event can be viewed HERE.

If you want to learn more about the INNOAIR project, the transformation of Sofia into a smart city and to ask questions to experts in the field, you can get involved via the following link.

 

MARCH CALENDAR WITH ACTIVITIES IN THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS

Since the opening of the Bureau in September 2021. until February 2022 over 430 third-country nationals have benefited from the services provided for protection, health, legal aid, and specialized services. In February alone, almost 80 people received a variety of assistance, most of whom sought housing assistance. Other frequently sought services are access to the labor market, accompaniment to various institutions with translation, and humanitarian aid. A full list of services offered by the relevant organizations, days and hours of visit, opportunities to participate in useful events, and other details can be found in the Program for March.

The program and the services provided by the Bureau are in several languages.

You can find the program for February in Bulgarian HERE.
You can find the program for March in Ukrainian HERE.

You can find the program for March in English HERE.
You can find the program for March in French HERE.
You can find the program for March in Arabic HERE.
You can find the program for March in Farsi HERE.

https://infobureau.bcrm-bg.org/en

The Bureau for Information and Services for third country national is established under the #CONNECTION project and is funded by a European grant.

CONNECTION project: CONNECTING Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

IMPROVING THE ACCESS OF THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES


SDA has joined the international consortium of the project PLOUTOS, which is focused on improving the provision of financial services to third country nationals. The kick-off meeting of the 3-year project took place in a hybrid format on Feb. 3-4, hosted by the coordinator, Halmstad University (Sweden). The partner organizations will design and implement courses in financial literacy and business development, community interpreting with a focus on business language, and a pilot “practice business” program which will train selected TCNs to run their own businesses. Sоfia is one of the pilot cities, together with cities in Greece, Croatia, and Italy. With the support of language experts and financial mentors, project partners aim to improve the conditions for migrant entrepreneurship and access to financial services in their countries. PLOUTOS is a valuable opportunity for SDA to expand its portfolio in the field of integration and to solidify the results we have already achieved in our past projects on the topic.

This project is funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

 

 

        

Integration in favor of the city

The activities of the Bureau for information and services for third country nationals are of interest not only to the users of the Bureau but also to all citizens of the capital. However, one of them, namely “Awards for responsible employers of refugees and migrants” was the occasion for the visit of representatives of the organizers and the awarded in BNR radio Sofia.

The reason is the significance of the event, as it awards the employers for their contribution to the successful integration of refugees and migrants, as well as to the economic growth of Sofia.

“Our goal is to promote the good example, because the employers of migrants and refugees do not simply give a job and a salary, they lend a hand, encourage the diversity and make the integration complete,” shared Sanya Raeva from Sofia Development Association.

The listeners learned more about the process of setting up the Bureau and the wide range of services it offers in 5 languages in the field of labor market access, healthcare, legal aid, housing support, education, as well as psychological and social assistance. SDA also shared the background of the Awards initiative and the upcoming activities related to the integration of third-country nationals.

Moreover, the audience got acquainted with the experience of the company Orthotech Ltd., which has been working with boys from Afghanistan for 4 months now and it was awarded in the category “combining work and study” because it provides employees with the opportunity to combine work with Bulgarian language courses.

“There is positive attitude from both the side of the newcomers and the other colleagues. They are decent boys and everything is going very smoothly,” told Georgi Gyurov from Orthotech.

In addition to the recognition for the promotion of good practices for professional development of everyone, the five awarded companies received souvenirs made by disadvantaged women and youth at the social enterprise Caritas Sofia, as well as cards for plays at the Theatre “Vazrazhdane”.

The idea of the organizers of the Awards Sofia Development Association, Sofia Municipality, Caritas – Sofia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees is to hold the initiative annually in the future and to expand it more and more.

You may here the full conversation HERE.

The Bureau is established in the framework of #CONNECTION project. It is the result of the combined efforts, resources and expertise of Sofia Municipality, Sofia Development Association, the Bulgarian Red Cross, “Vazrazhdane” Markets, UNHCR and over 13 NGOs.

 CONNECTION project: CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action, and UMN project are co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

   

  

FEBRUARY CALENDAR WITH ACTIVITIES IN THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS

The Bureau for Information and Services for third country nationals in Sofia presents to your attention the Program with activities for the month of February. 

The bureau is the result of the combined efforts, resources and expertise of the Sofia Municipality, the Sofia Development Association, the Bulgarian Red Cross and Vazrazhdane Markets, UNHCR and over 13 NGOs. It gives foreigners and migrants access to information on specialized services, as well as guidance for providers of protection, health and legal issues.

The program and the services provided by the Bureau are in several languages.

You can find the program for February in Bulgarian HERE

You can find the program for February in English HERE.

You can find the program for February in French HERE.

You can find the program for February in Arabic HERE.

You can find the program for February in Farsi HERE.

https://infobureau.bcrm-bg.org/en

The Bureau for Information and Services for third country national is established under the #CONNECTION project and is funded by a European grant.

CONNECTION project: CONNECTING Cities Towards Integration action, is co-funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.

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