“The interaction with the community – a factor for a better future and successful integration” – Social inclusion of Roma and other vulnerable groups in Shumen Municipality

Projekt abgeschlossen

“The interaction with the community – a factor for a better future and successful integration”-project of the municipality of Shumen will support the Bulgarian Government to implement the National Strategy for the Integration of Roma in Bulgaria (2012-2020). The project aims at improving the living conditions through better access to services and rights for the Roma community and at empowering Roma and facilitating better acceptance towards Roma community through strengthened cultural integration and identity.

Land/Region Thema Periode Budget
Soziale Sicherheit erhöhen
01.09.2016 - 30.04.2019
CHF  313’931

Note: the texts under all the headings, with the exception of 'Results achieved', describe the situation before the start of the project.


The Roma and Turk population in Shumen and Ivanski is 13’006 out of a total population of 76 463. Many Roma prefer to identify themselves as Turks or Bulgarian in order to avoid stigma and discrimination.

The main problems are: i) low attendance of Roma in the kindergartens, ii) low attendance of Roma in the pre-schools groups iii) low academic achievements of students from 1 to 4 grades, excessive drop-outs, and inability to continue their education after the 8th grade, iv) pregnant women do not attend the prenatal consultations regularly, v) part of the Roma population is not insured or have cancelled their health insurance for lack of funds, vi) those who are covered by the health insurance (children 0-18 and pensioners) are not registered with a general practitioner and vii) most of the diseases are the result of bad hygienic conditions and poverty.


The goal is improving living conditions of marginalized and socially excluded Roma people and other vulnerable groups in the city of Shumen and in the village of Ivanski, as well as strengthening a sustainable social and cultural integration of these groups of population. Main outcomes are:

  • Roma children have an enhanced access to sustainable and improved education services corresponding to their needs.
  • Roma parents better understand and are actively engaged in the education process of their children.

  • Children, young mothers/families and pregnant women from marginalized groups have equal access to and use of primary healthcare, and in particular obstetrical and pediatric medical services.

  • Roma people have improved their knowledge of their rights to healthcare and have adopted healthier behavioral patterns

  • Roma community is empowered and the municipal authorities and citizens demonstrate improved acceptance towards Roma community

Roma and other vulnerable groups 


Education: measures for reducing dropping out of school with prevention program for Roma children; opening of a new pre-school group in Shumen and construction of an educational center in primary school in Ivanski village; work with Roma parents to enhance their motivation for education cursus of their children through trained education mediators; improving the qualification of teachers for work in multicultural environment.

Healthcare: 1 new health mediator recruited, trained and employed in Ivanski village; health awareness campaign conducted and health education material distributed by the Family Consultation Centre (FCC); renovated health center in Ivanski.

Empowerment and cultural identity: Events organized in public places on a regular basis: sports events and celebrations of Roma holidays; dissemination of a positive image of Roma and project results through measures for publicity and information


Erreichte Resultate:  

  • The kindergarten and its branch have been renovated as planned (a new group of 18 children aged 5-6 are now attending the kindergarten)
  • Over 200 children are attending catch up and Bulgarian language classes
  • 97 primary school kids in the village of Ivanski attend a renovated Educational Center for afterschool catch up and Bulgarian language classes
  •  134 parents attended motivational meetings in Ivanski. 
  • 867 medical examinations took place, nearly 2000 people reached by health prevention campaigns
  • Campaigns have covered 690 parents
  • A positive change in public attitudes and community attitudes has been achieved through positive media performance

Verantwortliche Direktion/Bundesamt DEZA
Kreditbereich Schweizer Beitrag an die erweiterte EU
Projektpartner Vertragspartner
Ausländische staatliche Institution

Budget Laufende Phase Schweizer Beitrag CHF    313’931 Bereits ausgegebenes Schweizer Budget CHF    59’581

Phase 9 01.09.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed)

Phase 8 01.09.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 7 01.04.2016 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 6 01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 5 01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019   (Completed) Phase 4 01.07.2015 - 30.04.2019   (Completed)