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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CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES AUGUST 2023 IN THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS

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During the month of July more than 110 people from different countries such as Ukraine, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, and Albania have found help and support at the Bureau for Information and Services for Foreign Nationals, taking advantage of the services provided there. The most requested service for the month was assistance with protection procedures, followed by humanitarian, legal, and financial assistance.

The official website of the bureau offers a monthly program that describes the different activities by day and time. The content of this program is in several languages: Bulgarian, English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, and Persian.

You can find the program for August in Bulgarian HERE

You can find the program for August in Ukrainian HERE

You can find the program for August in English HERE

You can find the program for August in French HERE

You can find the program for August in Russian HERE

You can find the program for August in Arabic HERE

You can find the program for August in Farsi HERE

 

The project Support for the Development of Integration Policy Framework and Service Provision for Refugees in Sofia is supported by UNHCR – Bulgaria.

 UNHCR visibility vertical Blue CMYK v2015  

CALENDAR OF ACTIVITIES JULY 2023 IN THE BUREAU FOR INFORMATION AND SERVICES FOR THIRD COUNTRY NATIONALS

On 20 June, we celebrated World Refugee Day in an expression of empathy and solidarity with the plight of millions of people forced to flee their homelands due to conflict and persecution. The day was celebrated with various events in Sofia, with the National Palace of Culture lit up in blue to honour the strength and courage of people seeking peace and a normal life. Sofia Development Association, for its part, organized the Hackathon "Beyond Borders: breaking stereotypes, building bridges", funded by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency under the project "Support for the development of integration policies and services for refugees in Sofia" in which 4 teams participated and presented their projects to a jury. Their challenge was to create an online campaign that opposes the use of discriminatory language and hostile attitudes towards refugees and migrants.

In parallel with the celebration of Refugee Day, the Bureau of Information and Services for Foreign Nationals continued to provide assistance to those in need through a number of positive events. During the month of June, over 120 people benefited from the services provided at the Bureau. „Legal advice“ remained one of the top services requested, along with „accompaniment to various institutions“ and applications for „financial assistance“. A large number of visitors also benefited from humanitarian assistance.

The official website of the bureau offers a monthly programme which describes the different activities by day and time. The content of this programme is in several languages: Bulgarian, English, French, Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic and Persian.

You can find the program for June in Bulgarian HERE.

You can find the program for June in Ukrainian HERE.

 You can find the program for June in English HERE.

 You can find the program for June in French HERE.

You can find the program for June in Russian HERE.

You can find the program for June in Arabic HERE.

You can find the program for June in Farsi HERE.

 

The project Support for the Development of Integration Policy Framework and Service Provision for Refugees in Sofia is supported by UNHCR – Bulgaria.

 UNHCR visibility vertical Blue CMYK v2015  

RESPONSIBLE TERRITORIAL POLICYMAKING IN THE FOCUS OF THE RRI-LEADERS THIRD POLICY LEARNING WORKSHOP


The 3rd policy learning workshop of the RRI-LEADERS project took place on 29-30 June 2023 in Sofia, gathering over 30 stakeholders from the four partner countries, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain, and Switzerland. Gencho Kerezov, deputy mayor and head of InnovativeSofia, welcomed the participants and spoke eloquently about the implementation of the city’s digital transformation strategy and the ways in which digital technologies are changing the policymaking process. At the heart of the workshop discussions were questions related to responsible territorial policymaking. Urban development policies in the past several years have focused on new urban transitions towards sustainability in areas like digital transformation, entrepreneurship, new skills, green innovation. They all require translation of research and innovation into policy priorities, as well as developing workable principles for cooperation and support from key local stakeholders. To implement societal transition pathways with positive impact on citizens makes co-creation approaches inevitable, as a way to meet the enhanced need for consensus building in the context of such transitions. In this context, the project RRI-LEADERS was a welcome opportunity for city officials from the partner countries to gain access to new tools for policy experimentation, rethinking and reconfiguration of the policymaking process.

RRI Leaders is funded by Horizon2020.

 

      

      

      

           

 

INNOAIR at Webit 2023

The achievements of the INNOAIR project were a key topic at the international event Webit 2023 - AI: A FUTURE TO SHARE. Innovative and green urban transport on demand was the topic of the panel “Digital Sofia 2023 - Smart City: Responsible and sustainable solutions for smart growth”.

The two applications BUSSINN and SOFIACOIN found even more partners and users. They were presentet as the new services introduced by the Sofia Municipality with the financial support of the Inoair project, financed by the UIA program of the European Commission. "The co-creation and design process of the new service was at the center of the achieved success. This new service and the process of its implementation is already attracting interest from both our neighboring countries and the geographically distant city Semarang, Indonesia," said Svetlana Lomeva, director of the Sofia Development Association. Dimitar Dilchev, director of the Center for Urban Mobility, also a partner of the INOAIR project, took part at the "Digital Sofia" panel. The discussion was moderated by the Deputy Mayor for "Digitalization, Innovations and Economic Development". Gencho Kerezov, who shared "The digital revolution in urban transport has been successfully completed - millions of citizens and guests travel annually with electronic tickets purchased through an application, directly with a bank card or online. Flexible technology was applied to meet the innovative pricing policy adopted by the Sofia Municipal Council. It generates a huge amount of data that serves to optimize transport lines. Project INNOAIR contributed significantly to the already prepared ecosystem of innovative urban transport and gave us the opportunity to test solutions that do not yet exist in other European countries." The topic of digital services of the Sofia Municipality was continued by arch. Zdravko Zdravkov, Chief Architect of Sofia, Maria Hristova, director of the Sofia Agency for Privatization and Investments, as well as Georgi Todorov in connection with the introduced throughout Sofia platform for electronic change of address registration.

INNOAIR project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. This is the first Bulgarian project selected for funding by UIA.

 

SOFIA IS HOSTING THE THIRD POLICY LEARNING WORKSHOP OF THE RRI-LEADERS PROJECT

From June 28-30, 2023, SDA and Sofia Municipality are hosting the 3rd policy learning workshop of the RRI-LEADERS project. We are excited to have experts from the partner countries – Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, and Switzerland, discuss critical questions for the integration of responsible research and innovation in policymaking. The workshop will take a hands-on-perspective to various aspects of territorial governance and leadership practices that aim to aid urban planners and policymakers in designing forward-looking policies fit for the twin digital and green transitions. See the event program HERE.

 RRI Leaders is funded by Horizon2020.

                           

 

THE AUDIENCE CHOSE ITS WINNER IN THE HACKATHON "BEYOND BORDERS: BREAKING STEREOTYPES, BUILDING BRIDGES"

VKBOON hackaton 1

On June 23 we saw the results of the teams' work from the hackathon "Beyond Borders: Breaking Stereotypes, Building Bridges", funded by UNHCR Bulgaria and organized by the Sofia Development Association.

The teams that won the first four places in the competition presented the progress of their projects. A few weeks ago, they shared their ideas with the jury, which evaluated their projects and awarded each team a place in the competition and a cash prize to carry out their project.

Today "Wizards for a Better World", "Pupe6", "Fight Club EG" and "Citizens for a United World" gathered again at SofiaLab and shared with the jury and the other participants their progress in implementing their projects.

Today's event started with a public discussion with Bistra Ivanova from Multi Kulti Collective on topics related to hate speech and public attitudes towards refugees and migrants. She told the attendees about the activities of the organization, various statistics related to refugees and migrants in Bulgaria and Europe, the integration of third-country nationals as a national competence, etc.

First to present the progress of their project was the team "Citizens for a United World", who in the last few weeks have managed to establish partnerships with numerous organizations and companies, including Arms Wide Open, whose office the team visited to meet with refugee children.

The team said that they have also prepared an exhibition showing the lives of those people we define as refugees and migrants.

Second were team Pupe6 with their Connectify app project, who showed the progress of the website they are creating as well as the informational materials they’ve prepared as part of the project.

Team Fight Club EG presented the Behind the Curtain project and the interviews they have carried out with refugees and migrants that are translated into several different languages. They also talked about the celebration of World Refugee Day and their progress in developing a website and social network profiles of the initiative.

Last to present their project were the Wizards for a Better World team from 37. Raina Knyaginya Secondary School, who talked about the school drawing competition titled "One Story - Many Paths", as well as the short film they made together with students, teachers and refugee children.

Voting followed, where the audience had the opportunity to choose their favourite team to win a special prize. Out of 266 people who voted, 53% supported the Citizens of One World team, who won the People's Choice Award of £1000.

All the teams are continuing their work on their campaigns.

The hackathon "Beyond Borders: Breaking Stereotypes, Building Bridges" was funded by UNHCR Bulgaria and organized by Sofia Development Association under the "Support for Integration of Refugees in Sofiaproject.

VKBOON hackaton 2 VKBOON hackaton 3 VKBOON hackaton 4

VKBOON hackaton 5 VKBOON hackaton 6 VKBOON hackaton 7

 

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