In search for solutions to address gaps in the reception and integration system for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria, the Center for the Study of Democracy developed a training module to aid the work of trainers in providing cultural and civic orientation to refugees in the country. The publication provides information on key topics relating to the cultural and civic orientation as well as a package of training methods and techniques for group wirk. In addition, it provides a comprehensive training program offering a systematic training approach and an interactive learning process to acquaint refugees with the host society’s living, civic, social and cultural milieu.
On April 23, 2019 the Center for the Study of Democracy organised a seminar to present the finalized training module to state institutions and civic organisations designing policy and providing services to refugees and migrants. Keynote speakers during the event were Ms. Yanita Manolova, Director of the Social Activity and Adaptation Directorate at the State Agency for Refugees and Ms. Emiliya Bratanova, Integration Expert at UNHCR Bulgaria. Dr. Mila Mancheva, Director of the Sociological Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy, presented the main aims and components of the published training module. Ms. Katerina Stoyanova, Director of CVS – Bulgaria, provided a review of the main observations and recommendations stemming from an eight-month testing of the module through a total of 50 training sessions for asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection.
Seminar participants took part in a discussion about the modalities of ownership transfer of the module and its use in the framework of existing programs for refugee support as well as in the context of future measures and programs for adaptation and integration of persons from this target group. Representatives of the State Agency for Refugees, Employment Agency, National Agency for Professional Education, Sofia Municipality, Districts of “Vitosha” and “Krasno Selo”, UNHCR, Bulgarian Red Cross, and Sofia University took active part in the discussion. The event served to outline some first steps in the inclusion of the training module in the work of some of the organisations providing support to asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection in the country.