A Refugee Advocacy and Inclusion Board was established

The first online meeting of the Board was held online on December 19 and was attended by representatives of the Center for Sustainable Communities Development, the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Municipality of Oborishte.

Each of the participants presented himself/herself and his/her motivation to join the Board. The upcoming trainings in January and February next year were also discussed. One of them includes a simulated environment in which the refugees will work with representatives of a specific municipality to achieve their respective goals, in order to see in practice how the system works. The formation of an organizational structure for inclusion and advocacy aims to develop and launch policies and initiatives to successfully integrate refugees into Bulgarian society.

The selection of participants lasted more than a month, and more than 25 applications were received. 14 interviews were conducted with the candidates. Rules for the conduct, procedure for the selection of members, criteria and a working group for selection were developed. At the end of the process, the group selected the following members:

1. Shakib Ahmad Haidari – Afghanistan

2. Zinaida Zapototskaya – Ukraine

3. Iryna Strutynska – Ukraine

4. Muaz Osman Rasul – Syria

5. Tamara Sergiienko – Ukraine

6. Hanna Rybikova – Ukraine

7. Natalia Kuzmenko – Ukraine

8. Sher Daud Arian – Afghanistan

9. Mohadese Mirzae – Afghanistan

10. Olena Hrytsiuk – Ukraine

11. Mohammad Nikoei – Iran

The Board’s team will include four more people who participated in a previous board with a similar activity. They are Sara Alkaf from Yemen, Hamid Khoshsiyar from Iran, Faye Eshkevary also from Iran and Sagir al-Anezi from Kuwait.

The team is expected to work together for at least one year and improve bilateral communication between responsible institutions and refugees.

The project “Partnership for Sustainable Refugee Inclusion” is implemented with financial support of 17,067 EUR provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA Financial Mechanism. The main goal of the project Partnership for Sustainable Refugee Inclusion” is to create skills in representatives of refugee communities to recognize the institutional environment and access points to the decision-making system in Bulgaria.

All responsibility for the content of the document is borne by Center for Sustainable Communities Development and under no circumstances can it be assumed that this document reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria.