Created on Thursday, 02 March 2023 10:00
The first online meeting of the thematic network on poverty and inclusion, organized by IFKA Public Benefit Non-profit Ltd as a partner of the SI Plus project, was held this week on the Zoom online platform.
The first meeting of the thematic network focused on the presentation of the main challenges of poverty and inclusion on the European level and the leading EU policy trends including social innovation to mitigate them.
The meeting began with a presentation of the European frameworks by Katalin Szatmari, expert of the European Commission’s DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. Experts of IFKA then gave a short introduction into the poverty- and inclusion-related priorities of the Human Resources Development Operational Programme Plus (HRDOP Plus). Zsófia Batta, representative of the Ministry of Interior of Hungary, presented the dedicated social innovation priority of the Hungarian ESF+ programme.
After the policy-focused parts of the programme, the emphasis was put on the practice. Participants of the meeting got an insight into member state-level good examples of social innovation initiatives targeting the mitigation of poverty and inclusion-related issues.
Speakers on the subject were Stefani Doynova from Volkshilfe Wien, Austria, Iskra Stoykova – Program Officer of the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation, Bulgaria, and Nikoletta Luptakova from TENENET NGO, Slovakia. The meeting ended with a moderated discussion about the services to be developed in the future, different cooperation opportunities and the next possible steps forward.
The project is funded by the EUROPEAN UNION, the European Social Fund and European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.
Created on Monday, 27 February 2023 16:00
On February 23, 24 and 25 the Sofia Development Association held three interactive trainings under the title „Digital Gardening – Implementing Strategies to Counter Hate Speech Online“.
The workshops were intended for teachers, trainers, civic activists, specialists in working with children and also journalists.
The participants got acquainted with the general parameters of the LEAD - Online project, within which the training were held, as well as the different definitions of hate speech and specifically that in the online space.
These were followed by exercises on recognizing hate speech in various simulated situations drawn from real-life cases, and a discussion on the different possible reactions and when they are needed.
The final panel of each of the trainings was devoted to debating different scenarios and ideas for HateOut! - an online game that is being created within the framework of LEAD - Online and aims to help reach messages about countering hate speech online among students and young people.
Since a large part of the participants were professionals who on a daily basis have direct contact with children and teenagers, they were able to contribute to the process with objective and useful feedback on what has been built so far and to give interesting and practical ideas for the necessary corrections and additions to the game.
Finalizing HateOut! and publishing it is close, so the process of promoting and reaching as many young people as possible is not far away as well.
The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme. SDA is the lead partner and coordinator of the project with Asociatia Divers, Forma.Azione, Future Needs Management Consulting LTD, Hellenic Open University, ZARA - Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus Arbeit and Udruge Centar za Mir, Nenasilje i Ljudska Prava as partners.
Created on Thursday, 23 February 2023 16:27
On February 24, we mark the first year since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. As a sign of solidarity with the Ukrainian people and all those people fleeing the military conflict that has torn apart millions of families, as well as in recognition and gratitude to Sofia citizens who have joined the process of their integration into the city, Sofia Municipal Council has decided to open the doors of the Municipal Cultural Institute “Scientific and Educational Children's Center "Muzeiko" and Sofia Zoo for all children under the age of 18 on February 25 and 26.
The two-day campaign will be held under the theme "Support a friend, start friendship". The promoters are municipal councilors from different political parties, and the organization was initiated by the chairman of the Commission for Education, Culture, Science and Cultural Diversity in the Council Mrs. Malina Edreva, Sofia Development Association and the Bureau for Information and Services for Third-Country Nationals.
Created on Wednesday, 22 February 2023 10:00
IN(Visible) City is Portuguese animation director and arts scholar Pedro Serrazina’s animation masterclass. Serrazina is coming to Sofia on the invitation of the New Bulgarian University under the Erasmus+ programme, between 8th and 11th March 2023.
The theme of his masterclass is integrating urban spaces through animation. During the class participants will focus on Sofia’s urban landscape, rather that concentrating only on different characters, as most animations do. For the purpose of the masterpclass two iconic locations in Sofia have been chosen – “Malko Tarnovo” street and Sofia’s Central Mineral Bath.
Through this we will question the spirit of the place (genius loci) that many architects discuss and we look at the city with a critical eye. The end result will consist of animated interpretations through which we will rediscover emotions and the personal view point in the urban space.
The first meeting of Pedro Serrazina with the participants will be held in the SofiaLab space on March 8, and for the next 3 days we will take place in the "Laboratory of Animation Cinema" at the Radio-Television Center of NBU.
Partners in the project are New Bulgarian University, Universidade Lusófona de Lisboa, the Sofia Development Association and the "Culture" Program of Sofia Municipality.
Created on Monday, 20 February 2023 01:32
The participants in the pilot business language course in Bulgarian for third-country nationals received their certificates this Saturday, Feb. 18, in an event hosted by SDA. The business language course is part of the financial training program for TCNs, developed under the project PLOUTOS. The language course is implemented in cooperation with the Arms Wide Open Foundation. The course participants, mainly beneficiaries of temporary protection from Ukraine, shared their views and spoke candidly about the challenges to settle in Bulgaria, to learn Bulgarian, find a job and take care of their families. Courses like this one are highly needed, as learning Bulgarian and getting to know the financial system in the country is important for the integration of refugees and migrants. The project PLOUTOS will soon launch a financial literacy course, followed by a training practice business program.
As a member of the international consortium of PLOUTOS, SDA has an opportunity to make these educational resources available to the target groups and thus to support their successful integration in the economic and social life of the city.
PLOUTOS is implemented with the support of the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
Created on Friday, 17 February 2023 12:00
Mentorship for social entrepreneurs and innovators as a service that the competence centers provide, on-site and online hybrid activities and initiatives, and networking between all stakeholders - these were just some of the main opinions of the participants in the "Design of an Institutional Model of Competence Centers in the Field of Social Innovation - Structure and Main Functions" seminar. The event was held on February 16, 2023 in Plovdiv, the organizers being the Sofia Development Association and the National Alliance for Volunteer Work - Plovdiv. The workshop is part of the activities within the "Social Innovations Plus - Competence Centers" project.
The event, that included more than 20 representatives of organizations and social enterprises from Plovdiv and the region, began with a presentation of the concept for a Competence Center in the field of social innovation. Denitza Lozanova, Program Director of Sofia Development Association, shared with the participants good practices from other countries in the European Union, the main approaches to the functions of this type of centers and what good examples of such centers there are within the European community.
Rumen Donev, State Expert at the Living Standards, Demographic Policy and Social Investments Directorate of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, told the participants about the support for social enterprises in Bulgaria on the national level.
After the first panel two group sessions, facilitated by Hermina Emiryan, were held. During the first participants had to identify the most urgent activities and priorities for these centers, as well as write out a plan for the first few years of their activity.
In the second session, several other key components of the work of the centers were also discussed - their legal model, their management structure and the pros and cons of all its forms.
During the group work, other highlights also emerged - the inclusion of local business and universities in the pr ocess, support in the search for funding for certain candidates, constant and consistent promotion of various social innovations, and others. The full results of the work process will be published on Sofia Development Association’s website very soon.
The next step in the project is to finalize a plan for the establishment of the Competence Center in Bulgaria, in order to start real work on the realization of such a space.
The project is funded by the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, the European Social Fund and European Programme for Employment and Social Innovation.