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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Today the final of the competitive part of the hackathon "Beyond Borders: Breaking Stereotypes, Building Bridges" was held, which is implemented under the "Support for Integration of Refugees in Sofia” project and was funded by UNHCR Bulgaria, the UN Refugee Agency, and organized by Sofia Development Association.

The 4 teams that signed up for the competition participated in the final, which took place at the SofíaLab, 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.

They were evaluated by an expert jury including Boris Cheshirkov from UNHCR Bulgaria, Denitza Lozanova from Sofia Development Association, media expert Polly Zaharieva, journalist Nadia Obretanova and Sara AlKaf, interior architect and member of the Refugee Advisory Board.

The team "Wizards for a Better World" presented their project, which includes making a video with refugee and migrant children and celebrating different dates (International Day for the Protection of Child Victims of Aggression and World Refugee Day) through a number of events and visits.

Team Pupe6, on their part, introduced the jury to their idea for the online platform Connectify, which aims to connect refugee children with organisations, volunteers and companies in Bulgaria, giving them the opportunity to develop and reconnect in a new environment.

The team, under the title "Citizens for a United World", talked about the project "A United World Beyond Borders", which includes a photo exhibition, the organisation of various events, and a social experiment related to building connections between people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality.

Team Fight Club EG shared their idea for the "Behind the Curtain" campaign.

After evaluation by the jury, the team "Citizens of One World" was chosen as the winner and they received a prize of 3 000 BGN for the implementation of their idea.

They were followed by “Fight Club EG”, “Wizards for a Better World” and “Pupe” who came second, third and fourth respectively in the competition and also received cash prizes to bring their concepts to reality.

Over the next two weeks, all teams will aim to implement their projects, with the presentation of the results, as well as the effects of the campaigns already created in the affected communities, taking place on June 23.

The Hackathon is part of the project " Support for Integration of Refugees in Sofia " and is funded by UNHCR Bulgaria, the UN Refugee Agency, and organized by Sofia Development Association.

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