INTEGRA project was successfully completed at the end of 2019, but its great work continues to give results even today. A meeting of the lead partner of INTEGRA project - Sofia Development Association with the local authorities led in January 2020 was one of the continuations of the project for better integration of TCNs in Bulgaria. This month news about the meeting were published on the first page in the newsletter of Bulgarian Council on Refugees and Migrants (BCRM) and UNHCR Bulgaria for January-March 2020.
During the meeting certain were discussed certain actions that must be taken in order to develop a Municipal center for information and integration of third-country nationals, including refugees in Sofia Municipality. The focus of the discussion was on the vision of the center, the type of services it will provide, as well as the coordination between the different organizations. An important feature of the Center is that, in addition to third-country nationals, the center will be open to Bulgarian citizens, institutions and organizations with an interest in the topic of migration and asylum.
The discussion is also a key-element and a stepping-stone for the implementation of the future projects #CONNECTION (CONNEcting Cities Towards Integration action) and UMN (UnionMigrantNet and Cities Together for Integration) in which Sofia Development Association is a partner. Both projects are financed the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund.
You may find the newsletter in Bulgarian here: https://bcrm-bg.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/2020_Бюлетин_01-1.pdf
The lead partner of the project INTEGRA - Sofia Development Association is pleased to announce that one of the creative tools created within the project was selected for the international competition of radio production Prix Bohemia Radio. The tool is a series of podcasts Salad Bowl of Prague: Voices, which introduces the stories of foreigners who have settled down in Prague and make the city a more interesting and richer place: Juanita, a bistro owner of Indonesian origin, the former Tibetan monk Sonam, the fashion designer Mimi from Vietnam and the Balcan family trio Biljan, Zlatka and Bojan who run a famous Prague ice-cream chain. The creative tool was created by Czech project partners - Integration Center Prague.
INTEGRA representatives from Integration Center Prague were supposed to present the podcast series at the Prix Bohemia Radio festival in Olomouc at the beginning of April 2020. Unfortunately, the festival has recently been moved to October 2020 due to the current COVID-19 pandemia. Let´s hope once the festival comes, the podcast series will succeed among the finalists, reach new audiences and make the INTEGRA team proud.
You may find the Czech interviews here: https://saladbowlofprague.cz/voices
SDA wishes success to its partners in the upcoming competition!
The conference took part Dec. 3, 2019 in Brussels. It was organized by the Committee of the Regions, which recently launched the initiative Cities and Regions for Integration, together with other Commission departments. Enhancing the dialogue with local and regional authorities is a priority for the work on integration at EU level. Cities and regions are key actors in putting in place effective integration policies on the ground. However, many local authorities, especially small ones, have difficulties in accessing the resources available at EU level both in terms of knowledge and funding – a challenge recognized and tackled also by INTEGRA.
The conference gathered over 400 representatives from local and regional authorities to inform them about the support available at EU level and give them an opportunity to exchange their practices and experience.
INTEGRA partners from Sofia, Prague, Košice and Osijek took part in the conference. In recognition of the project success, Sevdalina Voynova from SDA was invited to moderate one of the conference workshops, Narratives matter. The session focused on the public perception of migrants and refugees in Europe and its relationship with facts and the reality, the role of opinion makers as well as local politicians in influencing the attitudes of citizens towards immigrants.
The conference was organized also in cooperation with other Commission departments active in the field of integration, such as the Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Education and Culture, Regional and Urban Affairs and the Joint Research Center.
Our INTEGRA 2020 migrant integration cause calendar is now available for free download in English and in Bulgarian. Let it inspire you to incorporate in your organisation’s plan some of the cause awareness days, or some of the motivational ideas. Share it with your colleagues and stakeholders to trigged action. There are so many special days to remember! There are all those times when you lose your motivation and keen interest to be a driver of change! Do not worry. Now that you start working on your New Year’s resolution, it is time to set your sight on some other important opportunities to take action. And every day in 2020 when you look at the INTEGRA migrant integration calendar, be reminded you are not alone, and we together should take responsibility for the dignity, safety and before future for all. The calendar is produced by SDA INTEGRA project team.