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.


Positive Messengers continue to inspire: SDA train Turkish practitioners

Having worked consistently on EU projects in the area of integration, countering hate speech, media and information literacy and inclusive education – Positive Messengers, INTEGRA, IN-EDU, CONNECTION - SDA has accumulated knowledge, skills and experience that are recognized and valued by others. Hrant Dink Foundation, a leading human rights and peace building NGO in Turkey, invited SDA to hold a webinar for Turkish NGO practitioners, media representatives, social workers and activists in the realm of refugee and migrant integration and countering hate speech against this group.

On June 17, 2020 Sevdalina Voynova lead an online workshop for 20 Turkish trainees selected via applications, on trends, approaches, available resources and skills-building to recognize and counter online hate speech. The event was a great opportunity to share and transfer our knowledge but also to learn both with and from our peers across cultural contexts and national borders. The Positive Messengers project was of particular interest to participants – a proof that a creative and well implemented project can continue to bring sustainable results almost two years after its completion!


One-stop-shops for Migrant Integration

Representatives of 30 cities and the EUROCITIES network got together digitally on June 15, 2020 to share experiences and discuss one-stop-shops for migrants. Berlin, Antwerp, Barcelona and Tampere shared their approach to this service delivery model to support integration. This early involvement process is cost effective, increases public confidence and is easy for users. However, the structure and model of management, the pool of services, the actors involved differs significantly. There are various challenges that cities have to address, too, such as the meaningful involvement of migrant-lead organizations, the coordination between the city and national level, the introduction of more and more digital services, etc.

The webinar was held in the framework of CONNECTION project, funded by EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund, one of the partners of which is SDA.



Circular Economy in Focus

A new success story about the CICERONE project has been published on the EC website, and also included in the list of success stories on the EU Green Deal site. The project consortium, part of which is also SDA, has developed many tools and a stakeholder consultation platform that will help meet the targets of the EU Green Deal. Read the full article here:





Useful tips, enhancing digital and media literacy - online campaign of SDA

Today’s digital era requires certain knowledge in the field of media and digital literacy. The crisis with COVID-19 in the recent months has shown us the great importance of the ability to communicate fully online, as well as to distinguish and counteract fake news. Sofia Development Association helps to improve these competencies among students, parents and teachers by conducting an online campaign consisting of videos with different messages on the topic of media literacy.

The videos contain tips for countering misinformation and cyberbullying, as well as different ways for successful online communication. They are based on the personal experience of the speakers and challenge the general public to develop their critical thinking and apply it vigorously while surfing the Internet, to seek support in case of cyberbullying and to take different approaches in real and virtual communication, as the second one hides its risks.

The videos are available in Bulgarian here, as well as on the online pages of SDA.

The campaign is conducted in the framework of INclusion Communities through Media Inclusion and Critical Thinking EDUcation (IN-EDU) project, co-financed by the EU Erasmus + Programme.

#CONNECTION project partners - building Pathways to employment for migrants

After MigrationWork, the expert support of the CONNECTION consortium, conducted an individual meeting with each of the partners from the thematic community, working on integration of migrants in the labor market, the partners met online all together.

On 4th of June Sofia Development Association and the other partners from this community of practice (Tampere, Madrid and Antwerp) discussed their approaches for providing job opportunities to migrants and employers. They defined the challenges that the cities are facing and the improvements that could be made in the services, facilitating the process of integration. Working with employers and reducing the gap between migrants and employers needs was outlined as one of the most important issues that must be addressed. During the meeting the partners shared their needs analyses and based on them established common points and methodologies for transnational learning on and implementation of integration policies.

The multi-national project CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration actiON is was funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.



SDA Joins the Policy Lab for Circular Regions

SDA was invited to join the Policy Lab for Circular Regions, developed by Veltha (Belgium) under the SCREEN project (Synergic Circular Economy across European Regions), which aims to provide solutions to the challenges the European Regions face while implementing circular economy programs. The Policy Lab is a platform where European Regions working with Circular Economy projects will collaborate, explore possible scenarios and co-design solutions for better policies.

Beginning in June, for the next several months the Lab members will gather online to discuss questions and topics important for the regions. SDA and Sofia are already involved in several initiatives promoting circular economy, such as the CICERONE project, and we welcome this new opportunity to expand our partnership base and knowledge on the topic.

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