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5 september, 2022

Regional meetings in Bulgaria with the participation of the chair of NGO Organization Drom

In April, June, July, and August this year, Ms. Donka Panayotova, chair of NGO Organization Drom, travelled to several regions in Bulgaria (cities of Bansko, Plovdiv, Pomorie, Sofia, Razlog, Varna and Veliko Tarnovo) to meet with local authorities and key stakeholders to discuss the state of affairs of the access to housing project in Vidin, funded by Foundation Open Society Institute. Ms. Panayotova showcased the good practice NGO Organisation Drom has established with the Vidin Municipality and the Municipal Council, which take the key decisions related to urban regulation of the housing conditions in Vidin. In fact, she brought into the perspective also the work with local key stakeholders (e.g. Media, Social service authorities, Bulgaria Red Cross), as well as the close collaboration with the Roma Community in Vidin, which helped move forward the objectives and key initiatives under the “Access to housing for Roma in Vidin” project. Ms. Panayotova emphasized also on the mid-term strategy NGO Organisation Drom has undertaken back in 2016, when the project started. The results reveal that more than 50 % of the houses are now legalized in the Roma neighborhood “Nov Pat” in Vidin, which is due to the consistent approach the NGO has undertaken in meeting the objectives of the project. The biggest challenge for the project in the last year was the payment of municipal fees of those Roma households, who received a green light from the Municipality to legalise their housing after a formal procedure. Local authorities and organisations Ms. Panayotova met in the locations in Bulgaria expressed their interest to implement similar initiatives and were very much interested also in the desegregation project, run by NGO Organisation Drom between 2000-2015 in Vidin. Ms. Panayotova discussed also the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on the Roma Community and the opportunities under the new national strategy for Roma in Bulgaria. Many potential partnerships with local organisations were identified and this would help build new projects for Organisation Drom in the near future.





photo: wikipedia