Supported initiatives under the “Action” fund

Thematic area “EU rights”

Inc. №: EUV/47

Organization: National Network of Health Mediators
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.zdravenmediator.net

Name of the initiative: Our Common Values! Increasing the ability for understanding the core EU values among Roma communities

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 55 174.55 (EUR)

Resume:
The main goal of the activities planned under the initiative is to counter disinformation among the Roma communities in Bulgaria by raising their awareness about the functioning of the EU and boosting their capacity to understand the EU shared goals and values. The initiative will be implemented in two stages. During the first stage 3 training sessions for mediators will be held for 60 participants in total. The agenda will include discussions about the current political situation in Bulgaria, confidence in democracy and the EU as well as main issues affected by disinformation that the participants face on a daily basis in the neighbourhoods they live and work in. The second stage of the initiative will build on the campaigns already implemented by the organization to raise awareness in the Roma communities. The mediators trained during the first stage will hold and carry out discussions and campaigns to reach more than 700 inhabitants in 7 municipalities. The initiative will contribute in the long run to developing critical thinking about key issues facing the Bulgarian society and politics and will raise awareness of the civil society, the work of NGOs as well as will boost motivation for active citizen participation.
Quite a large number of the inhabitants of the Roma neighbourhoods earn their living in the EU Member States. They learn from first-hand experience or from the experience of their relatives and transfer to Bulgaria a lot of practices established abroad, which they appreciate positively. Lower education, insufficient historical and political knowledge and the rampant dissemination of populist rhetoric make the Roma a target of disinformation campaigns. Information campaigns and facilitated discussions in the Roma communities are particularly important to encourage and support the Roma in engaging more actively in the social life in order to improve the well-being of all citizens in Bulgaria.


Inc. №: EUV/60

Organization: Gutenberg 3.0 foundation
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.knigovishte.bg, www.vijte.bg

Name of the initiative: EU rights in in the language of the kids: Involving the youngest pupils in understanding the fundamental values and rights of EU citizens

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 49 213.58 (EUR)

Resume:
The initiative aims at investing in knowledge of the democratic values underlying the EU and the rights of the EU citizens. The initiative is targeted at children at the age when children’s value system and attitude to the world is shaped (aged 7-14). The implementing organization offers an innovative tool to involve children from this difficult to reach age group in these topics; at the same time the initiative plans to train teachers to apply the civil education methodology through partnership with a good-quality children’s media. Articles for children will be created devoted to topics connected with the EU values and rights; the articles will be published at www.vijte.bg, then re-published in Dnevnik newspaper, broadcast on the Bulgarian National Radio and published as podcasts. The teachers that take part in the initiative will acquire knowledge and skills to teach civil competences and knowledge of the EU tailored to the specific age group that teachers will be able to further use in their job. With the help of Vijte children’s media and the Bulgarian National Radio, the content created under the initiative will be publicly accessible to all children across the country. The short-term goal of the initiative is to introduce more children to the EU values and help them accept them gradually as their own values. The initiative will also support teachers to work in a contemporary, innovative and attractive manner on civil education topics with students from an early school age. In the long run the initiative aims at helping the next generation be actively engaged in the society, be aware of, share and uphold democratic principles and the EU values.


Inc. №: EUV/112

Organization: Teach For Bulgaria Foundation
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://zaednovchas.bg/

Name of the initiative: How we teach values

Duration in months: 16

Contract Sum: 40 115.00 (EUR)

Resume:
The latest Eurobarometer studies show that Bulgarians are skeptical about the future of the EU and that the attitude toward the EU support for the war in Ukraine remains polarized. At the same time the findings of the 2018 PISA study placed Bulgarian students among the least tolerant ones towards differences and foreign cultures. These trends manifest the need to draw attention in the education system to the discussion about values as a guiding light for the decisions and lines of action of our public. Given the information-dense school curricula, it is important to make this topic an integral part of the learning process and the different subjects learnt. At the moment the topic is addressed indirectly in some of the compulsory subjects and directly in civil education classes. However, the latter subject has to address a lot of topics and the teachers of civil education share their need for more up-to-date and interesting materials. There is no clear and accurate information about how teachers perceive the place of this topic in the education process, as no such studies have been carried out. Thus, the decisions made about the learning aids often do not include the views and needs of the people that have to teach using them. Civic culture and European orientation can be sustainably built in the attitudes and beliefs of school students only when they actively recognize them in various school subjects and thematic fields. To achieve the latter in the most efficient way, the initiative will study the needs of 200 high school teachers to find out what will make them feel more confident to draw attention to the topic of values in the education process. The findings of the study aim to trigger a debate with all the stakeholders so that the topic of the value orientation of the society will be included in the agenda. Based on the findings, materials will be prepared, providing clear guidelines about the integration of European values in the mandatory subjects of the curriculum. In order to ensure greater awareness and reach a maximum number of teachers, face-to-face training sessions will be held and an online course will be organized for a total of 280 teachers. The initiative will change the students’ attitudes and awareness of the topic in the long run.


Inc. №: EUV/78

Organization: Forty-two Foundation
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://42training.org/

Partner: Darik Foundation

Name of the initiative: What does the EU really mean for you

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 54 006.11 (EUR)

Resume:
The initiative aims to offer the public an alternative way of providing information about the European Union and the importance of EU membership for each of us. The initiative comes in response to the widespread anti-European disinformation over the last few years. Unfortunately, the fight against this phenomenon mainly relies on the use of very well-reasoned language, which in most cases sounds like scientific jargon and is incomprehensible for the majority of the people (as well as off-putting and repulsive for the young people). Fact-checking and creating articles addressing the topic is important. However, there are very few examples among the available information channels (media materials/vlogs/podcasts/blogs) that explain in an accessible way the advantages of the EU membership without doing it seemingly in response to the already popular fake claims, which triggers resistance in some of the hardliners. The initiative plans to carry out a study looking for the EU-related topics that provoke the greatest public hesitancy, identifying messages and approaches that provide trustworthy information and creating more than 120 information and audio and video materials leading to a pro-European emotional response in people to these topics. Foundation 42 will invest the accumulated expertise and the developed capacity of the youth team of podcast reporters/anchors in the creation of audio and video materials (48 in total) devoted to the identified topics and targeted at people aged 20-35. With the help of the partners from Darik Foundation, the team’s capacity will be further developed, drawing on the experience of leading journalists and Darik Radio will broadcast on air 26 programmes targeted at the audience aged 35+ on the same topics. In this way the initiative will reach in the short term more than 250 000 users of online content and the audience of the national Darik Radio of more than a million listeners. The following numbers will increase in the long run due to the fact that the created audio and video content will be available for future use on all platforms for sharing (YouTube, Spotify, Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, etc.). The materials will be published and disseminated among more than 5000 other NGOs as well that could borrow ideas and motivation for their own activity.


Inc. №: EUV/102

Organization: Human and Social Studies Foundation – Sofia
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://hssfoundation.org/

Partner: Association of European Journalists – Bulgaria (AEJ – Bulgaria)

Name of the initiative: Europe Against Antidemocratic Propaganda

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 43 324.64 (EUR)

Resume:
Anti-democratic propaganda and disinformation, the Russian propaganda most of all, but also the Chinese propaganda as well as some nationalist and populist and conspiratorial narratives, aim mainly to undermine confidence in the European and national democratic institutions by using different means to subvert the image of united Europe and the EU. The European Democracy Action Plan emphasizes the need to develop mechanisms and political measures to counter disinformation in the EU Member States. Disinformation is spread in a much more powerful way in some countries, as they are susceptible to the Russian propaganda online. Data from the reports of the Human and Social Studies Foundation (HSSF) (2022; 2023), as well as from other NGOs, shows that propaganda increased after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and peaked after the war in Ukraine broke out (the Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), 2022; Factcheck, 2023). The initiative plans to analyze propaganda in Bulgaria aiming at destabilizing the image of the European Union and the EU institutions in the Bulgarian media online through the SENSIKA system, on the one hand, as well as set up a local and international network of NGOs in Bulgaria (Association of European Journalists-Bulgaria, CSD, Data for Good, Factcheck, Sofia Security Forum, etc.) and in Eastern Europe (Globul Focus, Romania; Association of Independent Press of Moldova, Informational Forces of Ukraine (IFU) with the help of NATO StratCom Centre in Riga and the EU East StratCom Task Force), on the other hand. The initiative is mainly aimed at strengthening the NGO capacity to counter disinformation and providing a connection to the institutions, possibly setting up StratCom Centre in the Balkans. The expected results are as follows: 1. countering disinformation in practice through the publication on the HSSF website of reports about the subversion of the image of Europe and the EU; 2. monthly publication of an article in the mass media with examples of the subversion of the image of Europe and the EU – AEJ (Factcheck); 3. setting up a network of NGOs in Bulgaria and in Eastern Europe to fight disinformation; 4. awareness of the main approaches used by the anti-EU propaganda.


Inc. №: EUV/134

Organization: Bulgarian School of Politics “Dimitry Panitza”
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.schoolofpolitics.org

Name of the initiative: “COUNTER-PROPAGANDA CLOSE TO YOU” – IMPROVING THE CAPACITY OF LOCAL MEDIA AND LOCAL NEWS SITES TO TACKLE DISINFORMATION AND FAKE NEWS

Duration in months: 14

Contract Sum: 39 286.26 (EUR)

Resume:
The initiative aims at satisfying the need to build the capacity of the journalists from the local media and information websites to recognize and fight disinformation and fake news related to the values, goals and policies of the European Union. The planned activities develop gradually an overall training model. The initiative will start by analysing the content of local media and information websites to establish the extent to which disinformation and fake news penetrate on a local level. A Guide for Identification and Response to Disinformation and Fake News will be created and used in the training of 42 reporters to build and boost their skills to fight fake news and disinformation. The initiative also envisages to map local media by including them in an interactive map that will be available on the website of the Bulgarian School of Politics. The map will help boost the popularity of the local media as well as transparency in their work. The activity, which includes national training organized for all participants, will raise the knowledge and experience of journalists as well as enable the setting up of an informal network among them. The latter will also build trust and shape an overall value attitude to prevent and contain unchecked and speculative news, disinformation and external influence in the reporters’ work. As part of their training, the media representatives, included in the initiative, will have to publish in their media 4 standardized (prepared in advance) texts and/or advertising banners presenting the findings of the checks of fake news related to the EU values, goals and policies. Thus, in parallel with the initiative, an information campaign will be carried out that will multiply the outcomes and benefits of the initiative.


Inc. №: EUV/73

Organization: OFF MEDIA Foundation
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://offnews.bg

Name of the initiative: Information Against the Disinformation

Duration in months: 12

Contract Sum: 46 983.70 (EUR)

Resume:
Bulgaria holds last place among the EU Member States and ranks 33rd among 41 states in the Media Literacy Index 2022. The Media Literacy Index is prepared under the European Policies Initiative (EuPI) of Open Society Institute – Sofia and the index assesses the potential to withstand fake news in 41 European countries by using indicators for media freedom, education and trust in people. Bulgaria showed the worst performance on the indicators measuring the quality of education, ranking 34th among 41 countries and lagging behind countries in the region that are not even EU Member States. The initiative offers accessible analysis and examples of disinformation in the daily online information flow and provides mechanisms to recognize and counter disinformation targeted at the EU values, goals and policies. Thus, the initiative helps strengthen the capacity of Bulgarian citizens to recognize disinformation and opens a debate about how to fight the phenomenon in the long run. The initiative aims at filling in the following gaps: insufficient capacity of the Bulgarian society to identify disinformation; insufficient awareness of the way in which disinformation operates in Bulgaria and of successful practices to counter it; the specificity of the information environment in Bulgaria; the need of response in the face of disinformation in the public space related to the EU values, goals and policies and the provision of a sufficient space for debate and analysis. At least 50 materials will be published under the initiative with examples of disinformation as well as 8 audio/video recordings offering a discussion of the registered cases with an audience of at least 200 000 people of the published/broadcast content. 10 analyses of disinformation online will be prepared together with some practical rules about how to recognize and counter disinformation.


Thematic area “Democracy”

Inc. №: EUV/41

Organization: Programme and Analytical Centre for European Law
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://www.ngobg.info/bg/organizations/1320-фондация-програмен-и-аналитичен-център-за-европейско-право.html

Name of the initiative: Civic Organisations – a Democratic and European Value

Duration in months: 12

Contract Sum: 52 175.34 (EUR)

Resume:
The initiative will help overcome one of the most significant reasons for growing public mistrust of the European Union (EU), i.e. low trust in NGOs protecting fundamental European values and rights, through the maintenance and upgrade of the Information Portal of Bulgarian NGOs (ngobg.info). The portal enables the NGOs registered in it to publish their own texts, presenting their work and performance, and ensures visibility for their campaigns via partnership with the media. The Portal offers its visitors (more than 300 000 people annually) information about and related to NGOs that has been prepared by NGOs themselves, the Portal team and external sources. The highlights of the content are the values the NGOs uphold and specific public benefits from their activity. The Portal is the largest information and reference hub for NGOs and civic activities in Bulgaria with a database that includes more than 14 300 NGOs and over 2 500 publications annually. The initiative will improve the awareness of the citizens of the role NGOs play in the society and in upholding European rights and values by providing information about the EU fundamental rights and values, specific examples how they apply in practice through the work of individual NGOs and specific and verifiable information about the work of NGOs in all fields of social development. The opportunities and services offered by the Portal will continue to boost the NGO capacity for presentation in public, improve public perception of NGOs, raise public awareness about the EU values and their protection and promote the application of the values in Bulgaria. In the short term the initiative will promote the 6 titles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and the respective texts, give examples of the targeted work NGOs do to uphold and apply the specific rights and values, expand the reference section Library with appropriate materials related to the understanding of the EU rights and values and enrich the Portal with diverse texts and visions that will show to the public the real face and public contribution of NGOs and will help overcome the multiple prejudices about the NGO role, activity and aspirations. The NGO Portal is a long-term strategic initiative. The Portal will continue to attract a diverse audience with its publicly available archive of publications.


Inc. №: EUV/89

Organization: Devetaki Plateau Association
Place: Letnica
Web page: www.devetakiplateau.org

Name of the initiative: ACADEMO – Democratic Communities Academy

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 39 953.80 (EUR)

Resume:
Over the last few years, the democratic development of Bulgaria has been questioned and has lost its public support. The studies carried out as well as the outcomes of the last parliamentary elections point to increasingly low citizen participation and decline in confidence in democracy and European values. Large groups of citizens, in particular in small settlements, remain isolated from the public life and vulnerable to disinformation and propaganda. The current initiative draws on the experience and practical skills of Devetaki Plateau Association (DPA) for using democratic approaches for the economic and social development of the villages in the Devetaki Plateau. The model of a community made up of nine villages in three municipalities, united by a common goal and working together with local authorities, will be disseminated and upgraded in 11 more settlements whose representatives, NGOs and active citizen groups, show willingness to learn and apply innovative approaches to citizen participation and local development. Training sessions are planned as well as the application in practice of the acquired skills on site in 11 municipalities from different regions of the country. The goal is to raise awareness of the rights and opportunities that democracy offers to citizens, recognize citizen participation as a value and a right as well as appreciate the role of collaboration and association for the development of small settlements. The initiative also envisages a large-scale media and information campaign that also includes the activity called Active Citizens in Villages, sharing “first-hand” success stories about the mobilization of small communities and their achievements. The overall media campaign is targeted at propaganda and populism to which people living in small settlements, far from the big urban centres are particularly vulnerable. The campaign will use the various channels of DPA and its partners and the national Darik Radio will be the main media partner. In this way the messages under the initiative will go beyond the limits of the specific partners and participants and will reach like-minded, active and thinking people across the country.


Inc. №: EUV/189

Organization: Retina Bulgaria Association
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.retinabulgaria.bg

Partners: Bulgarian Huntington Association, Foundation for Local Government Reform

Name of the initiative: Action for RARE

Duration in months: 12

Contract Sum: 56 810.58 (EUR)

Resume:
The issue that the initiative aims at solving is the poor steps taken by the state to introduce the policies of the European Union in the field of healthcare and poor cooperation with civil society organizations in this field. Some of the policies our state is exceptionally lagging behind to introduce are related to people suffering from rare diseases. There are several main political initiatives and pan-European actions from the present and future agenda of the European institutions that address the needs of 30 million people in Europe with rare diseases, 450 000 of whom live in Bulgaria, and require informed and active Bulgarian participation and appointments by the state in managing and advisory bodies. The lack of such participation poses a threat to the European values of equality and solidarity adopted by Bulgaria and is a premise for turning 6% of Bulgarian citizens living with about 6 000 to 8 000 rare diseases into victims of discrimination, having their right to health protection violated. The initiative aims at achieving informed citizen participation in the democratic process of policy making and upholding. In the short term, the initiative will boost the capacity of a network of civil society organizations of people with rare diseases and will support the drafting of a manifest with political proposals; the initiative will also attract collaboration and partnerships with civil society organizations and institutions from the public and private sector to support the manifest. The proposals will be promoted through an information campaign. The initiative will contribute to engaging responsible politicians and candidates for members of the European Parliament in the integration of the proposals from the manifest in their political programmes and building collaboration for their consistent implementation in the long run. Partnership with organizations with expertise in the field of rare diseases and with a developed model of relations with the stakeholders is key for the efficient implementation of the initiative. The Bulgarian Huntington Association will contribute with its extensive experience in empowerment of people with rare diseases and the Foundation for Local Government Reform will support the initiative with its expertise in civic participation and initiatives jointly implemented with Retina Bulgaria in the field of making healthcare policies, introducing legislative amendments for people with rare diseases, in particular.


Inc. №: EUV/94

Organization: Centre for Liberal Strategies Foundation
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://cls-sofia.org/

Name of the initiative: Democracy board-game – how to engage young people politically

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 59 526.24 (EUR)

Resume:
Studies unanimously show that young people in Bulgaria are dissociated from politics: they vote rarely, have low interest and often choose more radical party alternatives. At the same time, they increasingly wish to organize their life in Bulgaria and they show growing optimism for their personal future. It is the readiness of the young to engage with democratic values and uphold the democratic practices that is key for the democratic future of the country. It can be seen from the political behaviour of the young that the school does not manage to educate them well in democratic values and promote civic culture. The media at the same time do not stand a big chance, as the media use of the young has been mainly diverted to such platforms as Instagram and Facebook, where their own circles of friends and influencers define the news flow and set it in motion in completely unexpected directions. The initiative offers a provocative approach that draws on a practice popular among young people, namely playing board games. Democracy will be tested as a play practice with the help of active young people. The goal will be to introduce democratic values, the fundamental logic of politics and the ways of practicing democracy in a board game. In particular, the board game will be based on democracy, the way it is practised in Bulgaria. Different groups of young people will be engaged in the overall process of creating the game but experts will be also actively involved to ensure the board game is accurate and complies with real democratic values and practices. The last step of the initiative will be to engage young people in playing for real the game of DEMOCRACY (the young authors of the game will decide on its title). Board gaming tournaments are planned to be held to determine a democratic champion. The board game DEMOCRACY can be also used at school as an interactive learning aid as part of the civic education curriculum.


Inc. №: EUV/99

Organization: Institute for Market Economics
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.ime.bg

Name of the initiative: Monitoring of the Free Market Competition Protection Activities of the CPC

Duration in months: 14

Contract Sum: 53 965.45 (EUR)

Resume:
Since the foundation of the European Union (EU), the competition policy contributes to safeguarding and promoting the economic prosperity of the Union. Strict law enforcement in the field of competition benefits European consumers and customers, citizens and companies, by allowing them to have choice on the market and take advantage of innovative products and services at affordable prices. The proposed initiative aspires to increase transparency and accountability in the work of the Commission on Protection of Competition (CPC). The initiative aims at contributing to greater awareness about the work of the CPC and the impact of its action or inaction on the economy in general, the economic sectors and household income. The obvious absence of a detailed and systematic attempt to trace the practice and approach to the application of the competition rules by the CPC has been an issue for years. The initiative aims to make a difference by introducing monitoring and analysis of the work of the CPC by experts with the Institute for Market Economics (IME). The transparency and accountability of the CPC will expand by providing detailed information and analysis of the CPC activity in a manner that is comprehensible to a broader circle of groups in society that are not specialists in competition law. The latter result will be achieved by monitoring the decisions and action of the CPC and by means of professional publications shedding light on the importance and role of the steps and decisions made by the CPC with regard to competition, market processes, prices and well-being. With close monitoring of the activity of the CPC and additional analyses, the initiative will raise public interest and civic participation in the process of competition protection. Policy-makers, business organizations, NGOs, journalists, local communities and citizens will be informed about the importance and impact of the work of the CPC. In the short term, the initiative will generate greater media and public interest in the work of the CPC by providing better awareness of its role, the arguments and consequences of its decisions on the economy. In the long run, the increased public pressure, supported by greater knowledge and accumulated analytical resources, will improve CPC practices related to enforcing the competition rules and preventing misuse of public funds. Increased public attention and interested groups will gradually act as a deterrent against inaction, slow or selective action in cases of great potential market impact. The initiative will contribute to better functioning of the market economy and to safeguarding the freedom of conducting a business in Bulgaria.


Inc. №: EUV/110

Organization: Info space Foundation
Place: Sofia
Web page: https://www.mediapool.bg/

Name of the initiative: Government in the Sunshine: Monitoring reforms in support of EU rights and values

Duration in months: 12

Contract Sum: 54 000.00 (EUR)

Resume:
Bulgaria faces a real threat of creeping putinisation that could divert the country from its European perspective. The phenomenon is growing against the backdrop of the unprecedented situation of war waged in the upper echelons of the state and in the underworld, which is a logical consequence of the erosion of the rule of law, as confirmed in the 2022 report of the European Commission at https://commission.europa.eu/publications/2022-rule-law-report-communication-and-country-chapters_en. However, there is a chance that the way out of the crisis will be to reshuffle the state based on European rights and values. The latter depends to a great extent on the successful implementation of extensive reforms under the Recovery and Resilience Plan that will guarantee the rule of law and the modernization of the country. It is imperative in such turbulent times that the citizens are reliably informed and do not fall an easy prey to manipulation, disinformation and conspiracy theories that the actors pursing an anti-European and pro-Putin politics rely on. The lack of real transparency and accountability of the institutions has exacerbated over the last 2 years due to the failure to have a permanent Parliament that would control efficiently the executive power, in a situation of serious geopolitical challenges at that. The initiative aims at raising the awareness of citizens and the accountability of the public administration through targeted materials shedding light on key public policies related to the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan that consists of 56 investments and 47 reforms. The main output will be in-depth factual materials and investigations. The situation will be monitored for hidden mechanisms, dependencies, delays or abuses. The initiative will place an important emphasis on fighting corruption, the reform of the judiciary and planned constitutional changes. The approach combines efficient monitoring of policies and expert evaluation of the impact of the policy implementation. The latter will ensure greater transparency of power, a comprehensible understanding of complex processes and a ground for an informed debate; it will also help recover trust and the democratic character of the institutions, which is also particularly important for the successful implementation of reforms. The initiative will also address the issue of controlled information, providing trustworthy content. The informal partner of the initiative is the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives, that will help with legal expertise in the area of judicial reforms and policies targeted at more transparent governance and thus the impact of the efforts of both organizations will multiply.


Inc. №: EUV/156

Organization: National Network for Children
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.nmd.bg

Name of the initiative: Democracy but with children’s rights!

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 52 160.53 (EUR)

Resume:
The initiative aims at promoting informed public debate and civic participation in child policies and child’s rights as part of human rights. Democratic processes have been threatened over the last years and the topic of children and parenting has been used for propaganda and disinformation in order to repeal key legislative acts about the child protection by playing on parents’ fears. The influence of the far-right, anti-European and anti-democratic circles is growing and children are used as a main communication target of propaganda. Bulgaria still has no Strategy for the Child at odds with national legislation. The child protection system, the children’s hotline 116111, NGOs and individual children’s rights activists have been subject to criticism. Child care is getting worse. This initiative will support with communication not only 130 civil society organizations and individuals from the National Network for Children (NNC) but will also set up a network of more than 40 children’s rights activists who will mobilise the informed public debate of child policies. The developed resource will be able to hold public debates and discussions on particular information occasions about children and families, with emphasis on the child’s rights, support for families and democratic values. The initiative envisages monitoring child policies through the monitoring report Mark Book – What is the average academic performance of the state with regard to child care, which will be developed with the involvement of more than 200 experts, parents and children. The Mark Book will be presented in at least 5 places in the country. The initiative envisages to draft at least 40 opinions, open letters and positions about child policies, organize an information campaign and reach more than 1 million citizens in the social media and the NNC website during the overall period of project implementation. In the long run the initiative aims to integrate the topic of children and their rights as an indelible part of democratic processes in the country and all child policies.


Thematic area “Diversity and equality”

Inc. №: EUV/154

Organization: Amalipe Center
Place: Veliko Tarnovo
Web page: www.amalipe.bg

Name of the initiative: Human Rights: educate, inspire, change!

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 59 968.15 (EUR)

Resume:
The Eurobarometer study showed that the Roma are the group considered to be the most discriminated (61%), followed by ethnic minorities and groups of people with a different skin colour (59%).The study of the Open Society Institute – Sofia about the social distance towards various minorities in Bulgaria showed that the Roma are the most segregated minority and the most unwilling minority to come into contact with. The period 2007-2013 showed improved attitudes towards the Roma, however, ever since 2013 the attitudes have sharply deteriorated. Schools and other education establishments are among the key centres of social and political life. School students and their parents often face challenges due to stereotypes, prejudice, hate speech and hate crimes. The issues above most often arise in the environment in which the Roma live but also happen in the classroom and at school. It is imperative for schools to become “a space of tolerance”, which guarantees that all students, parents and teachers will exercise freely their rights and will be free from hatred. It is just as important to engage the school community with tolerance campaigns and actions and overcoming of discrimination in society, in particular discrimination against the Roma and other vulnerable groups. This initiative aims at encouraging education institutions to be actively engaged in the fight against stereotypes, prejudice, hate crimes and hate speech, and encouraging active young people and the organized local communities to have the potential to be agents of a positive change, contributing to reporting and responding to all forms of hate speech and hate crimes. The initiative also aims at setting up a collaboration mechanism between the main institutions responsible for prevention and protection from discrimination (such as the Ombudsman, the anti-discrimination commissions, etc.) and organized local communities including active youth groups, parents’ committees, informal leaders, mediators, etc. The initiative also aims at achieving impact on national level among large groups in society in the districts of Plovdiv, Pazardjik, Veliko Tarnovo, Targovishte, Shumen, Vratsa and Montana. A broad range of students, teachers, parents and experts will be reached, including people from vulnerable Roma communities and underdeveloped regions, to boost their knowledge, interest in human rights and motivation to join campaigns and actions for tolerance and anti-discrimination.


Inc. №: EUV/164

Organization: LGBT Youth Organization Deystvie
Place: Sofia
Web page: www.deystvie.org

Name of the initiative: LGBTI Rights in Action

Duration in months: 18

Contract Sum: 43 336.00 (EUR)

Resume:
Bulgaria is ranked at the bottom in Europe with regard to protection of the rights of the LGBTI community. Discrimination in Bulgaria is institutionalized and the Penal Code does not recognize LGBTI hate crimes. The lack of political will to address the issue results not only in widespread homophobia and transphobia but also in politically incited hate speech, which has led to a growing number of hate crimes against the LGBTI community over the last year. The latter issue has led to the shutting off of the LGBTI community and internalized homophobia, failure to report out of fear of secondary discrimination and the respective self-isolation of dozens of LGBTI members from the social life. The initiative aims at maintaining National LGBTI Legal Action Programme and creating conditions for policy-making through analysis of the legal framework and training of university students. 300 legal consultations will be provided to the affected people. Over 5 000 people will be informed though the Rights Forum and via the information campaign of the initiative that will reach more than 20 000 people. The initiative will contribute to the overcoming of the issue by providing direct access of the LGBTI community to legal protection and by analysing the case law. Filing lawsuits leads to an official national statistical data and official recognition of the existing issue, which in turn will contribute to amendments to the legislation and to improving the life of the LGBTI people in Bulgaria.