Promotion of the access to social rights and the right to education of disadvantaged youth in Sofia, Dimitrovgrad and Bourgas through HRE – mission possible
The aim of the project is to promote access to social rights and the right to education of disadvantaged youth in Dimitrovgrad and Bourgas through human rights education
The project consists of the following activities:
1) Study and meetings with local authorities, school in Dimitrovgrad, youth centres and orphanages in Bourgas. The aim is to study the existing practices for human rights education, non-formal education and gender equality, to evaluate their effectiveness and to study the training needs of the target group of young people who will take part in the project and the workshops. Two focus groups were conducted.
2) Design and implementation of workshops on human rights education and social rights (with accent on the right to education, right to work, right to rest and leisure etc.). A Manual with this methodology was created and published. The methodology was widely disseminated.
3) Information campaign for raising awareness on the educational needs of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in terms of access to social rights and non-formal education. Information materials were published - posters for the promotion of social rights of young people, leaflets, and informational materials on the rights to education were published. The aim was to increase the knowledge of young people about their rights to education (including non-formal), right to free time and leisure and the protection from discrimination. Media were invited to the practical exercises with young people and they covered the events. Media spread the messages for the need of official school curricula for human rights education.
4) A report on the recommendations for the improvement of the existing non-formal education practices for promotion of social rights of young people was issued for the Bulgarian NGO sector, educational institutions, youth centres, local authorities etc.
Target group: young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods aged 13-25 years. They are pupils in a school in disadvantaged neighbourhood in Dimitrovgrad and young people living in orphanage institutions in the city of Bourgas.
Social rights addressed: Right to work, right to education, right to rest and leisure, right to health, housing and other social rights from the European Social Charter
Local authorities involved:
- For Dimitrovgard – Meetings with member of Municipal Councillor, who is member of the Commission of Education, support for access to schools in Dimitrovgrad. Support from the Mayor.
- For Bourgas – meeting with the member of Directorate for social assistance of Regional Direction of the Agency for Social Assistance in Bourgas. Provided support for the activities in the orphanage institutions, support for the analysis and mapping of the specificities and needs of the target groups
For Sofia – participation of representatives of Sofia municipality in the focus-groups in the project. The Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation was consulted for the adoption of “Strategy for Prevention of Social Exclusion at Sofia City, 2011 – 2015”. BGRF lobbied for the inclusion in the Strategy of social services for some groups of risk for marginalization, including young people. This cooperation and consultation was with Directorate of social issues of Sofia Municipality.
1) 150 young people from Bourgas and Dimitrovgrad were trained on social rights, and the workshops were based on the newly created methodology under the project.
2) Two focus-groups were conducted in September 2010 in Sofia and in Plovdiv. The first groups was with professionals (youth workers, teachers, school directors and pedagogues, local authorities and institutions) and the second was with young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Plovdiv. The aim study was to gather information about:
- The level of awareness of young people, especially from disadvantaged neighbourhoods, about human rights and social rights – more specifically the right to education, the right to rest and leisure
- What are the needs for education for social rights
- What are the existing practices for education and their effectiveness
- How the existing awareness of young people on social rights can be improved
The results showed that young people have general knowledge on human rights and are less informed about social rights in particular. Both young people and practitioners, who took part in the focus groups fully agree that in Bulgaria there is a need for human rights education and education for social rights.
The need for raising awareness on social rights and education is linked to the whole spectrum of Human rights – theory and practical aspects, what are the means to protect human rights – all those elements must be present for youth work on social rights.
3) Recommendations the improvement of human rights education policies for social rights for youth from disadvantaged neighbourhoods were made, discussed and disseminated among various stakeholders.
4) The project reinforced the cooperation of the BGRF with local authorities and schools on the issues of non-formal education for social rights.
5) Through the working meetings, in the methodology and the media coverage we presented and promoted the issues “social rights of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods” – a key theme for the Enter! project and Council of Europe. When the recommendation of the Council of Europe on the access to social rights of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods will be issued in 2012, the BGRF will have more power to lobby for its implementation in Bulgaria.
Sustainability and follow-up
My organisation’s team will ensure sustainability by its participation in the provision of innovative social services in Sofia, which are planned in the “Strategy for Prevention of Social Exclusion at Sofia City, 2011 – 2015”. The activities aim help for self help for young people in risk, consultations and training for their realisation at the labour market. Those activities will ensure the access of disadvantaged young people to work and to education.
- The methodology for non-formal education created under the project will be further promoted as broadly as possible among schools, youth centres and other stakeholders.
- The BGRF will continue the activities with the target groups – young people from the orphanages in Bourgas and with the schools in Dimitrovgrad.
- BGRF will continue raising awareness on the need for Human rights education in the official school curricula in Bulgaria.
- When the recommendation of the Council of Europe on the access to social rights of young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods will be issued in 2012, the BGRF will have more power to lobby for its implementation in Bulgaria.
From 2011 BGRF team will participate in the provision of innovative social services in Sofia, which are planned in the “Strategy for Prevention of Social Exclusion at Sofia City, 2011 – 2015”. The activities aim help for self help for young people in risk, consultations and training for their realisation at the labour market.
The current stage of the project: Finalised
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