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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SDA exchanged experience on the issue "How to communicate the topic of migration?" with representatives of local authorities from the Mediterranean

The way we communicate the topic of migration is crucial for the formation of public opinion. The media, social networks and other sources of information outline the attitudes and behavior of the local population towards migrants. When the reader is unfamiliar with impartial and proven facts, manipulation through such channels is easy. In this regard, the MC2CM project organized a 4-day online conference "Communication on Migration: Balancing the Story to Strengthen Local Governance", which took place between 15 and 18 June 2020 and involved over 40 pre-selected participants.

The Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM) brings together experts and cities to contribute to improved migration governance at city level, including migrants' access to basic services and human rights.

SDA has many years of experience in EU-funded projects in the fields of integration, countering hate speech, media and information literacy and inclusive education. The successful work of SDA on the INTEGRA and CONNECTION projects (funded by the EU’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund), as well as the current media literacy campaign within IN-EDU project (funded by the EU’s programme Erasmus +) were the reasons why the organization was chosen to participate in the peer-learning webinar.

Among the speakers were experts in the field of media, communication, migration and integration, representatives of various international organizations and institutions, as well as representatives of local authorities from Seville (Spain), Oujda and Tangier (Morocco), Ajloun (Jordan), Sousse (Tunisia) and others.

During the event, several cities presented statistics on the attitudes of the local population towards migrants and the extent to which it has been formed by certain information channels. Various tactics to counter misinformation, disinformation and propaganda were discussed. The speakers gave examples of successful and unsuccessful campaigns and events, as well as advice on how to choose the right approach for your local community. In addition to exchanging practice, the webinar provided an opportunity to identify future partners. All participants left the online event with new knowledge and inspiration to put it into practice.

      

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: https://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?artid=52506

 

 

 

 

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.

 

      

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