Projects and Programs

1. Roma Legal Defense and advocacy program – The Program is supported by the Governance and Human Rights Program of the Open Society Institute in Budapest. Initial support has been provided for 2006 – 2007, and in the following years it has been continued and gained co-support from the Roma Initiatives Program of the Open Society Institute in Budapest in a form of institutional grant. The program secures legal defense and support for the Roma community in Bulgaria in cases of alleged discrimination on ethnic base and/or violations of the human rights. The support is provided in a form of consultations, initiation of court cases, legal representation before the court authorities and the Commission for Protection against Discrimination; and advocacy initiatives before local and national administration, which aim at improvement of the legal framework and popularization of the legal rights and obligations. The program also includes performance of monitoring and preparation and distribution of thematic reports regarding the situation of the Roma community in Bulgaria in the four priority spheres of the international initiative “Decade of Roma Inclusion”: education, employment, health care and housing. The program also includes organization and implementation of trainings on antidiscrimination for different target groups.

2. “Equal Access to Kindergartens for Roma Children in Sofia”
The program includes monitoring of the representation and participation of the Romani children, age 5 and 6 in the kindergartens in Sofia, implementation of research for determination of the number of Romani children age 3 to 6 in the big Roma neighborhoods in Sofia, caused by the substantial deviation between the actual number and the official municipal data, support for the parents to create internet application profiles for the kindergartens, trainings for the Roma parents to work with the electronic application system, advocacy activities and coordination with the team of the Sofia municipality with the aim to improve the electronic system. The program has started with the support of the Roma Education Fund – Budapest, in 2010 – 2012 it has been implemented with the support of the America for Bulgaria Foundation, and since the beginning of 2012 – 2013 academic year it is again supported by Roma Education Fund.

3. „Housing Rights of the Roma Community in Bulgaria”
The program is supported by the Center for Housing Rights and Evictions, initially for 2006, and further continued to 2011. The program includes implementation of researches on the Roma housing situation and initiation of strategic legal cases to challenge the forced evictions and the housing conditions in the Roma neighborhoods.

4. Round Tables “Ethical Public Speaking”
The Program has been started in the framework of the initiative “2007 – Year of the Equal Opportunities” and includes publishing of Handbook on the topic. It is supported through the National Council on Cooperation on Ethnic and Demographic Issues of the Council of Ministers.

5. Advocacy campaign “Roma as consumers of electrical energy – equality and non-discrimination”.
The program envisages the initiation and implementation of round tables together with the three electricity companies, working on the territory of Bulgaria – CEZ, EVN and EON. The program is supported by the Open Society Institute – Sofia.

6. „Legalization of the ownership of the real estate in the Roma neighborhoods”
The program is jointly supported by the Open Society Institute – Sofia and Roma Initiatives Program of the Open Society Institute in Budapest. It envisages implementation of informational campaigns and securing of financial support for legalization of the real estate property in the Roma neighborhoods and issuing of notary acts.

7. Youth section: Equal Opportunities Initiative Association works with Roma young people – boys and girls – volunteers who support the implementation of the program activities and participate in international youth initiatives, supported by European Youth Program and aiming to perform civil education for young people, participation in thematic debates and promotion of youth programs.

8. Equal Opportunities Initiative Association works jointly and as a consultant for non-governmental organizations, securing legal and ethnic expertise for development of strategies and legal cases connected with equal opportunities’ protection; as well as for implementation of researches regarding the Roma minority’s situation in the “Decade of Roma Inclusion” priority areas.

9. Equal Opportunities Initiative Association facilitates diverse social and cultural programs, organized jointly with state and local institutions and local communities.