Region Montana

The project “Roma inclusion in Montana Municipality – a comprehensive approach” complies with the Action Plan of Montana Municipality for support of the integration ploicies 2015 - 2020. The ZOV team works mainly in the two Roma neighbourhoods in Montana: “Kosharnik” and “Ogosta.” The team works also in Gabrovnitsa village and undertakes certain action in the villages Virove and Bezdenitsa.

The Roma community has 2916 members in Kosharnik, of whom nearly 1000 are below 18 years old. According to experts’ assessment, there are 550 households in the neighbourhood, of whom nearly 150 inhabit unregulated homes.

Ogosta is the other Roma neighbourhood in Montana. According to current data provided by Montana local government, it is inhabited by 1337 Roma of whom 350 are below 18 years old. Ogosta has no educational or health centre.

Gabrovnitsa is the largest village in Montana Municipality. It has 1196 residents (according to data from the end of September 2016), of whom 335 are children. This village, like its neighbouring villages Virove and Bezdenitsa, hosts the largest cluster of Roma population in the rural territory of the Municipality. Village Gabrovnitsa emerges as a natural centre in the region where services related to children and parents can be best organized, also owing to the fact that it has a primary school and kindergarten. 188 children, of whom only three are Bulgarian, study in Primary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” situated in the village.

The lack of health and educational centres in the three places makes difficult the access to education, to health prevention and healthcare for the Roma residents. This deficiency of facilities obstructs their integration. That is why the team’s efforts under the project are directed to the resolving of this issue.

For the next three years, the project schedules the construction of a new building for full-day kindergarten No. 8 “Prolet” in Kosharnik neighbourhood, which is inhabited by compact Roma population. A Healthcare and Consulting Centre will be built in the immediate proximity of the kindergarten. This facility, like the refurbished Health Centre in Ogosta, will host medical consulting rooms, as well as offices for the health mediators. Rooms for meetings with parents and children will be organized in the municipal administration building in village Gabrovnitsa. The refurbished building will also host the health prevention services and medical care offices for the two neighbouring villages Virove and Bezdenitsa.

The project has assumed the integrated approach: the infrastructural improvements for healthcare and educational institutions will be supported by activities aimed to improve the quality of elementary education, to contribute for the inclusion of Roma children in the kindergarten, to provide trainings for teachers, access to primary medical services for Roma, preventive healthcare, mediator work in the areas of healthcare and education. We work to compensate the gaps in the education of Roma children; we try to increase the number of children attending the kindergarten and to create conditions for the integration of Roma children after the 4th school grade in the desegregated schools, and to resolve the most significant issues concerning maternal and child health.

We have focused our efforts on the most vulnerable members of the vulnerable group: the children aged between three and ten/eleven years, living in the two Montana neighbourhoods and the three villages, their parents and families, the young people and Roma without health insurances.

The total value of the ZOV project in Montana amounts at 2, 226, 260 BGN. For the implementation of the project, the local government of Montana partners with the First Primary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” in Montana, Kindergarten No. 8 “Prolet” in Kosharnik, the National Health Mediators’ Network, Municipal Medical Centre of Montana, Kindergarten No. 5 “Daga” and the People’s Community Centre “Zvezda 2007” in Montana.


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In 2016, the local government of Montana started the construction of a kindergarten in the Roma neighbourhood Kosharnik. For the last 40 years, this will be the first kindergarten newly built in the municipal territory.

A focus of the activities under the Education component is the improvement of the motivation for learning, the regularity of attendance and educational achievements of the children from full-day kindergarten No. 5 “Daga,” full-day kindergarten No. 8 “Prolet,” Primary School “Georgi Benkovski” in Kosharnik neighbourhood, First Primary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” and the Sixth Primary School “Lyuben Karavelov” in Montana, Primary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” in Gabrovnitsa. This will be the task of the newly appointed educational mediators – representatives from the Roma community, and of the consultant on integration activities who will work with the children and their parents.

In order to improve their capacity and work more efficiently for the educational integration, the project teams under the Education component will pass the respective training.

Other scheduled activities:

- Additional work with children who do not cover the requirements of the state educational standards. These activities will encompass: all Roma children aged between three and four years who attend kindergartens. Additional lessons will be held with the preschool children (5 – 6 years old) who are about to start their mandatory school education, and additional work will be conducted for the improvement of knowledge for pupils who have difficulties with the learning process, from the first to fourth school grades;

- Extracurricular activities for the pupils (1st – 4th school grades);

- Summer school for the pupils after the 4th school grade in Kosharnik neighbourhood. The objective of this action is to prepare the children for their studies at higher levels in Montana schools;

- Working with the parents to improve their parenting capacity and to motivate them to assure their children’s attendance in school;

- Appointment of educational mediators.



The local government will refurbish certain buildings to make them operable as Health Consultancy Centres in Ogosta neighbourhood (in Montana) and in village Gabrovnitsa. These Centres will be situated in the Roma neighbourhoods or in their close proximity because it has been established that Roma are more motivated to see the doctor and show interest in preventive examinations if the facilities are within reach. The health education and prevention, and the medical examinations will be targeted mainly at children, youths, young mothers and families. The Centres will be equipped according to the contemporary medical standards.

The health prevention and immunization activities will rely on the health mediators and the medical professionals from the Municipal Medical Centre. The mapping will be completed by professional sociologists with the help of the mediators.

Activities of the health mediators:

  • Appointment and training of health mediators;
  • Mapping and identification of cases needing attention from the health mediators and health specialists;
  • Trainings and consultancies with medical professionals and other stakeholders in Montana Municipality for work in the Roma community;
  • Health campaigns on health prevention intended to raise the awareness of the vulnerable groups with focus on Roma;
  • Work with adolescents from the Roma community on the issues of health prevention – healthcare education in the neighbourhoods;
  • Work with parents on the issues of health prevention with focus on women: mother and child health, providing of services for the Roma community in the neighbourhoods;


Activities of the Municipal Medical Centre:

  • Improvement of sexual and reproductive health with focus on Roma women.
    - Primary and follow-up gynaecological examinations. Supersonic examinations;
    - Taking of samples for laboratory tests – microbiology, pap smears, etc;
    - Contraception;
  • Improvement of maternal and child health through the offering of services for pregnant women without health insurances and examinations of newborn babies and young children.
  • Organizing of preventive examinations for Roma without health insurances for the purpose of diagnosing socially significant diseases:
    - Prevention of cervical cancer;
    - Breast cancer;
    - Socially significant illnesses: cardio-vascular conditions and diabetes.

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Progress with the educational activities in Montana Municipality


Within the framework of ZOV programme, ten new teachers were appointed for the holding of additional extracurricular classes in two schools and two kindergartens. The aim of this action is to make up for any omissions and gaps that the children may have in the taught school material overall and the lessons in Bulgarian language in particular.

Further, the teachers work with the children to develop their communicative and social skills.

According to the teachers, the benefits from the additional work with 97 children aged between three and six years old are already visible. The progress is also tangible in the group of 35 pupils aged between seven and ten years old, for whom additional classes in the Bulgarian language have been organized.

The summer school organized in 2016 helped to build the interest and motivation of Roma children to continue with their studies in the desegregated schools in the town. Discussions with 23 fourth-grade pupils from Primary School “Georgi Benkovski” were organized. The children paid visits to the Fifth Secondary School “Hristo Botev” and the Eighth Secondary School “Otets Paisiy” in Montana; they also visited museums in the town and the local landmarks.  

In Montana, ZOV team works hard to make Roma parents understand the benefits and advantages of the public preschool education, thus motivating them to enrol their children in the kindergartens. With the parents of elder children, the objective is to encourage the successful participation in the educational process in the primary schools.

Training was provided for 47 families on the topic “Is it hard to be a parent, is it easy to be a child? Styles of education.” Further discussions are scheduled to be held on current topics of family upbringing.

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New kindergarten in Kosharnik neighbourhood in Montana


With the construction of a new building for full-day kindergarten No. 8 “Prolet,” which started in Kosharnik at the beginning of summer 2016, ZOV Programme and Montana Municipality will significantly improve the access of children aged between three and six years old to preschool education where they will be prepared to become pupils in school.  

The new building is constructed on the site of an illegal compost land. The facility will host children who currently attend the old kindergarten, which is obsolete and does not meet the current requirements.

In the new facility, the children will not only be provided with access to education that contributes to their socialization, but the process will be conducted in a cosy and child-friendly environment. The children will be able to attend the kindergarten without the need to commute to town; this circumstance will motivate them and their parents for regular attendance of kindergarten classes. This is of critical importance for the five- and six-year olds whose participation in the preparatory groups is mandatory. The preparedness for the classes in the first school grade will facilitate these children’s easier adaptation in the mixed schools in Montana. The scheduled work with the parents in the new facility will contribute significantly for keeping the children in the kindergarten and for the continuing of their studies in the elementary school grades.  The facility will host approximately 100 children organized in three groups studying full day, as well as one group studying half day.

The new facility will have a room appointed for extracurricular and supplementary activities, for working with parents, community meetings, festive events and other initiatives.  The new kindergarten in the Roma neighbourhood Kosharnik will be finished and ready in February 2017.

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Наваксващите занимания дават резултат


С помощта на общински експерти в Монтана е разработена система, която определя необходимостта от допълнителни занимания за децата в предучилищна и училищна възраст.

От 2017 специално наети по Програма ЗОВ седем учители провеждат наваксващи занимания с общо 95 деца на задължителна предучилищна подготовка в района ни в Монтана. Внимание се обръща на знанията по български език, социалните умения, здравните навици, както и познания за природата и културата. Учителите отчитат видим напредък в знанията по български език, както и в социалните умения. 41 ученици от четири училища в Монтана имат наваксващи занимания по български език, математика, социални умения и основни познания за природа и култура. Обученията се водят от четирима специално наети учители.

Общият брой на децата от градини и училища, които са имали допълнителни занимания по български език в периода юли 2016 – юли 2017 е 187.

Извънкласните занимания също допринасят за развитието на учениците - 114 ученици от три места в Монтана имат кръжоци по фотография, изобразително изкуство, танци, актьорско майсторство и художествено слово. Децата успешно се представят в конкурси и концерти.

Петнадесет деца, завършили през лятото на 2017 четвърти клас в основното училище в монтанския квартал „Кошарник“, имаха занимания по математика, български, компютърни умения и спорт на организираното по проекта лятно училище. То им помага да придобият и нови социални умения, необходими им за прехода от квартално ромско училище към смесено училище в града.

Проектът по ЗОВ в Монтана обръща внимание и на работата с родителите: в периода юли 2016 – юни 2017 са направени срещи, в които са участвали общо  1650 родители на деца от детски градини, подготвителни групи и училища.

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Обучение в иновативни стратегии за образователното включване


През 2017 година 44 учители и двама директори от три училища в района ни в Монтана преминаха обучение по политиките за образователно включване.

Преподавателите поднесоха качествено нова информация, насочиха към полезни интернет ресурси, представиха различни подходи към учебно-възпитателния процес, демонстрираха разнообразни техники и технологии и въвлякоха групата в обучението, което го направи още по-пълноценно. Участниците са категорични, че ще приложат в практиката си част от наученото, за да повишат ефективността на своята работата в класната стая.

Обсъждани бяха иновативни стратегии за реализиране на интерактивни форми и методи и бе подчертано значението на обучението чрез сътрудничество в интерактивна среда като катализатор на ефективността на образователния процес.

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Happy children in the new kindergarten in Montana


In Kosharnik, Montana, the new kindergarten is already functional and hosts 112 children aged 3-6.  All children attend the kindergarten regularly and with pleasure and parents’ meetings happen regularly as well. The municipality added funds (beyond the required 10%) to improve the outside space and to also repair a small medical center next to the kindergarten. The kindergarten with the help of the municipality applied and received delegated budgets in January 2018 for sustaining the building and staff salaries - definitely a ZOV success in securing future sustainability.

In the period January – June 2018, children and parents are involved in extracurricular activities: 144 children in Kosharnik, Ogosta and the village of Gabrovnica attended Bulgarian language classes and 188 were involved in art and sports classes. 667 parents from all locations were engaged in motivational meetings, events and classes with their children.

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Montana - Results EDUCATION


Number of children in kindergartens (3-6) in newly established groups under ZOV, including groups for Bulgarian lessons - 711

Number of pupils (1 - 4 grade) in newly established groups under ZOV - 223

Number of participants (children and parents) in events - theatre, cinema and other culture & sport events – 1 869

Number of children in extracurricular activities (children & parents clubs, green schools, trips, museums) – 1 266

Number of parents in campaigns and consultations on education – 4 137

Note: Data covers the period 2016 – 2018

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Health awareness campaigns in Montana


To raise the sensitivity and awareness of the Roma community on the matters of health prevention with focus on maternal and child health, 350 information material sets were spread in the Roma neighbourhoods Kosharnik and Ogosta in Montana, and in village Gabrovnitsa.

The health mediators consulted 99 Roma on health and social issues. Informative and explanatory work for prevention of morbidity and building of awareness on the importance of timely immunizations for 62 children and youths was conducted. The health prevention activities have been assigned to 150 women living in the places where the project operates.

Special attention has been paid to the health mediators of 24 pregnant women. The project activities cover 13 families with large number of children – the topics of contraception and the use of contraceptives were discussed with them.

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Mapping the Roma for the purposes of health prevention


The collecting of current and reliable information on the health state of Roma families is implemented through the mapping initiative, which started in October 2016 with the help of the Health Mediators’ National Network and professional sociologists.

The sociological surveys organized in the Roma neighbourhoods in Montana and in village Gabrovnitsa will help to identify the Roma in risk and those with socially significant diseases.

The collected empirical information will help to develop adequate measures aimed to improve the healthcare for the population.

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First steps on the road of health mediation in Montana


Six health mediators were appointed to work in Montana on the improvement of the healthcare culture of the residents and to facilitate the access to health services for the Roma living in the region.

Owing to the partnership between ZOV and the Health Mediators’ National Network, three new health mediators were trained in the Medical University in Sofia and obtained their professional certificates.

The activities to further improve the competency of the medical professionals for work with the Roma community are a continuous process. The medics have already participated in a seminar on family planning, reproductive health and contraception, mapping trainings and a discussion forum on the subject: “Early marriages in the context of trafficking prevention.”

The initiative schedules upbuilding trainings and analysis of the achievements and omissions in their work, so that the health mediators can work better with the target group.

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Fully refurbished medical centre in village Gabrovnitsa in Montana


The Health and Consulting Centre organized in the municipal administration building in village Gabrovnitsa was fully refurbished in 2016, alongside with the consulting rooms of the Municipal Medical Centre.

The centre in Gabrovnitsa will also undertake the medical-service providing for the two neighbouring villages Virove and Bezdenitsa.

Forthcoming is the equipping of the consulting rooms in “Municipal Medical Centre – Montana” EOOD. The medical specialists will work in the newly fitted rooms to improve the health state and health awareness of the residents of Ogosta neighbourhood.

The expectations are that the proximity of the two health centres to the local residents will motivate the people to timely seek medical services.

The Centre has a General Practitioner’s medical office and Obstetrics and Gynaecology consulting room, and a General Nursing surgery; it also hosts a health mediator's office.

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Активни здравни медиатори


Петима здравни медиатори в Монтана активно работят от 2016 г. за подобряване на здравната култура и улесняване на достъпа до здравеопазване на ромите в района.

През втората половина на 2016 г. здравните медиатори са работили по 64 индивидуални казуси в трите локации: в кв. „Огоста“ – Монтана има предимно проблеми с хронично болни и възрастни хора, в кв. „Кошарник“ работата е предимно с млади хора, докато в с. Габровница преобладават социалните казуси.

Медиаторите изпълняват периодично посещения и консултации на терен за промотиране на профилактичните национални здравни програми, ваксинации, превенция на заболявания, контрацепция и полово предавани болести.

 В края на март/началото на април 2017 г. здравните медиатори се включиха в извънредната кампания за имунизация срещу морбили. Бяха ваксинирани общо 67 деца: 40 в кв. „Кошарник“, 19 - в кв. „Огоста“ и 10 – в с. Габровница.

Медиаторите редовно се срещат с млади хора, за да обсъждат проблеми, които ги вълнуват. Само за периода януари-юни 2017 г. са организирани общо 18 мероприятия в  кв. „Кошарник“ , кв. „Огоста“ - Монтана и в с. Габровница.

В трите локаци: кв. „Кошарник“ , кв. „Огоста“ - Монтана и с. Габровница, са сформирани 3 групи за самопомощ от жени. Дейността стартира планово в края на 2016 г. и за първата половина на 2017 г. са проведени 18 срещи. Очаква се най-инициативните да бъдат привлечени от здравните медиатори като доброволци в предстоящите здравни кампании и прегледи.

През май 2017 г. медиаторите имаха надграждащо обучение, насочено основно към техниките за сформирането на групите за самопомощ. Женските групи за самопомощ бяха сформирани през септември 2016, като от началото на 2017 г. имат редовни месечни срещи.

За периода юли 2016 – юни 2017 г. сред общността на уязвимите  групи са раздадени 180 броя здравно-информационни материали.

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Medical examinations in Montana


More than 450 GP’s consultations and 380 gynecological exams were performed for the first 6 months of 2018. 362 children were examined by pediatricians, 65 newborn children were visited and 45 immunizations performed. 430 health informational leaflets were distributed to the community.

For the reporting period the ZOV health mediators in the Montana region have worked on 28 individual cases. Of these, 8 are of a social nature and 20 are of health nature.

In June 2018, the campaign on health insurance "Make it Now! Health is happiness!" was launched by the local ZOV team. The purpose of the campaign is to motivate people to regularly make their health insurance, learn about the benefits of health insurance, learn how to monitor whether their employer carries out health insurance and act accordingly. The campaign aims to provoke people to become responsible for their own health and the health of their children.

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Монтана – резултати в здравеопазване


В рамките на Програма ЗОВ Община Монтана ремонтира сгради за два здравно-консултативни центрове – в монтанския квартал «Огоста» и в с. Габровница. Центровете са близо и в самите  ромски махали. Те са оборудвани ще бъдат според съвременните медицински стандарти.

Здравното образование и превенция, както и медицинските прегледи ще са предимно за деца и младежи и за млади майки и семейства.

За здравна превенция и ваксинопрофилактиката се разчита на здравните медиатори и медицински професионалисти от Общинския медицински център.

Вижте в тази графика конкретните резултати от работата ни в приоритета ни здравеопазване в района на Програма ЗОВ в Монтана периода 2016 – 2018 година.

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Montana - Results HEALTHCARE


Number of general medical exams carried out by GPs/paediatricians and screenings – 1 928

Number of specialised medical examinations, incl. gynaecological examinations – 889

Number of health consultations (health mediators) – 852

Number of intrauterine devices - 36

Number of beneficiaries of information campaigns and events, women and health support groups - 1 220

Note: Data covers the period 2016 – 2018.

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Empowerment and Culture

Концерти, изложби и състезания насърчат децата от ромската общност


Районът по ЗОВ в Монтана отбеляза 8 април 2017 - Международния ден на ромите с пъстър концерт, в чиято програма бяха вплетени традиционни ромски и ориенталски танци, латино и брейк денс, детски и поп песни. На сцената се изявиха деца, подготвени в извънкласните форми по Програма ЗОВ. В рамките на честването в Драматичния театър в града бе организирана изложба на фотографии и рисунки на деца, които имат извънкласни занимания по ЗОВ.

Изпълнен с емоции бе и концертът на малчуганите от детска градина “Слънце” в с. Габровница за първа пролет.

В района редовно се организират спортни състезания, основно по футбол. През 2017 имаше и едно вкусно състезание: за най-вкусна баница в монтанските квартали „Огоста“ и „Кошарник“.

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Toni Todorov

Project Manager

Director of “Social Services Complex” in Montana. The Complex combines a Crisis centre for children who have been victims of trafficking and violence, and Public Support Centre that offers social services to the community in the areas of: prevention of child abandonment; prevention of violence and provision of support to children who have been victims of violence; prevention of deviant behaviour; prevention of dropping out from school; reintegration of institutionalized children; foster care and adoption.

Toni Todorov worked as senior expert for the Regional Inspectorate of Education in Montana on the matters of integrated education, special schools and homes for upbringing and education of parentless children. Through this work he gained experience in the area of educational integration of children and pupils of varied ethnic origin.

Todorov worked with children of diverse ethnic origin and occupied the position of Director of the Home for Upbringing and Education of Parentless Children in village Georgi Damyanovo, district of Montana. Has extensive experience with project work.

Toni Todorov holds Master’s degree in elementary-school teaching and social pedagogy awarded by the University of Veliko Tarnovo “St. St. Cyril and Methodius.”

Aleksandar Gerasimov

Coordinator Education

 Aleksandar Gerasimov has been Director of “Humanitarian Activities” Directorate in Montana Municipality since 1999, responsible for the implementation of local government’s policies in the fields of Education, Culture, Healthcare, Sports, Social Activities, Faith, Minority Integration and Youth Activities.

Alexander Gerasimov has managed the teams of numerous projects, including projects related to desegregation of the educational system, organizing of culture and sports events on the occasion of the 8th of April – the International Roma Day.

Occupied the position of Principal of 8th Secondary School “Otets Paisiy” in Montana for seven years where he taught Mathematics. Holder of Master’s degree in Mathematics from Shumen University “Konstantin Preslavski.” Studied Management of Education in the Central Institute for Teacher Qualification and has been awarded Second Degree of Professional Qualification.

Dr. Valeriya Todorova

Healthcare Coordinator

Dr. Todorova has been Senior Expert in Healthcare for Montana Municipality since 2000. She is responsible for the medical specialists working in nurseries, kindergartens and schools, and for the health mediators. Implements activities related to the healthcare policy of Montana Municipality.

Has previous experience as Paediatrician in a Paediatric Polyclinic Ward and in the Paediatric Ward of “Dr. S. Iliev” General Hospital in Montana.

Dr. Todorova graduated from the Medical Academy of Sofia in 1983. Specialized in Paediatrics. Holds qualification in Health Management.

Veselin Lakov

Integration Activities Advisor

Veselin Lakov is founder of People’s Community Centre “Zvezda 2007” in Montana. Has profound experience in the non-governmental sector. Worked for the “Human Rights” project (1996 - 2006). Participated in projects for desegregation and preservation of Roma cultural identity.

Currently works as Associate in Charge for the “Auxiliary Activities” Department of Municipal Enterprise “Chistota.”

Alumnus of the Higher Military School “Vasil Levski” in Veliko Tarnovo.

Coordinator of the National Network of the Health Mediators

Coordinator of the National Network of the Health Mediators

Petar Tsvetanov is Coordinator of the “National Network of the Health Mediator Partners” project for Montana. Chairman of the Managing Board of “National Network of the Health Mediators” Association and founder of the same organization, which is the driving engine for the affirmation of the health mediator’s profession in this country.

Tsvetanov has been awarded his qualification in 2005, upon training in the project “Improvement of access to healthcare for Roma women and children.” Has nearly ten years of experience as Health Mediator – initially for the local government of Valchedram and, since 2012, for the local government of Montana.

Worked as Montana District’s coordinator for the “Healthcare” component of the project “Health promotion and optimizing the prevention programmes for maternal and child healthcare – 2008/2009,” implemented under programme “PHARE 2004.”

Neli Vasileva

PR and Communications

Neli Vasileva is Senior Expert in “Culture and Faith” Department of Montana Municipality. Worked as journalist and programme manager for regional printed and electronic media in Montana and Vratsa, and also as PR assistant for the Municipal Council in Montana. Has practical experience in working for projects and with project management. Trainer in journalism.

Neli Vasileva graduated from the Faculty for Elementary School and Preschool Teaching and the Faculty for Journalism and Mass Communications of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.” Passed post-graduate specialization in Public Relations and Advertising in the Faculty for Journalism and Mass Communications. Holds specialization in Culture Science.


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Montana Municipality

Montana Municipality has 53 856 residents according to data from the last census of 2011. The Bulgarians form the most numerous ethnic group, followed by the Roma. The residents of Montana Municipality who define themselves as Roma account for 7.3% of the local population. The Roma community in Montana Municipality is more numerous than the average for the country.

There are two segregated neighbourhoods of compact Roma population in the territory of Montana: Kosharnik and Ogosta. The relative share of Roma population is very high in the villages Gabrovnitsa, Virove and Doktor Yosifovo, as well.

The local government of Montana conducts focused integration policies. The official document that regulates the main aspects of this activity is the Action Plan for the Support of Integration Policies of Montana Local Government, approved in 2013 and updated in 2015. It has been developed on the grounds of the National Strategy for Roma Integration of the Republic of Bulgaria (2012-2020). Priority sectors in the plan are: education, healthcare, housing conditions, social inclusion and employment, supremacy of law and non-discrimination, and culture.

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Kindergarten No. 8 “Prolet” in Kosharnik neighbourhood

This kindergarten is situated in Kosharnik neighbourhood in the town of Montana. It was opened in 1982. Currently, the kindergarten provides education for 80 Roma children organized in two full-day groups and one half-day group. The high birth rate in the neighbourhood and the inadequacy of the building to meet the contemporary standards predetermines the need for a more spacious facility.

As of the beginning of 2010, Kindergarten No. 8 “Prolet” has two branches – “Slantse,” which is situated in village Gabrovnitsa and “Zvezditsa,” which is situated in village Bezdenitsa. The children from village Virove commute to “Slantse” branch for their classes.

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Kindergarten No. 5 “Daga”

This kindergarten offers integrated education to Bulgarian and Roma children; the objective is to prepare the children for their successful performance in school, measurable by the national education standards.

The teachers work successfully with bilingual children, with children of delayed intellectual development, physically disadvantaged children and children with speech problems, as well as with children of special educational needs and children growing in foster families.

Kindergarten No. 5 “Daga” has already participated in a number of projects.

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First Primary School “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”

This is the oldest school in Montana, founded immediately after the Liberation. It provides education for 520 pupils through 45 teachers. Among its pupils are Roma children from Ogosta neighbourhood and village Dolno Belotintsi. As of the beginning of 2016-2017 school year, this school merged with the 6th Primary School “Lyuben Karavelov.”

The school makes optimum use of the possibilities for alternative financing under national and operational programmes; the goal is to modernize the material environment and to make school life more attractive for the children. The school has two multimedia classrooms, two interactive teaching boards, events room, a modern sound system, a collection of national costumes and three rooms equipped for extracurricular activities according to pupils’ interests.

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Municipal Medical Centre – Montana

Its structure includes 12 physicians of different medical specialities. The Centre is under the umbrella of the local government.

Under the ZOV project in Montana, the Centre will provide qualified physicians – general practitioners, gynaecologists, paediatricians and specialists in internal medicine. The physicians will work in the specially furnished medical offices for the providing of scheduled healthcare for the persons in need enlisted by the health mediators and approved by Montana local government.

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National Network of the Health Mediators

“National Network of the Health Mediators” Association was founded on the 23rd of April 2007. The continuous efforts of the Network members and the successful on-site work of the health mediators contributed to the Association’s growth into the largest NGO in Bulgaria, whose members conduct daily field work among the vulnerable communities.

The Network’s main objectives are to support and facilitate the access to healthcare and social services for all disadvantaged people, to improve the quality of healthcare and social services in Bulgaria, to improve the health culture of the disadvantaged ethnic minorities and to raise the citizens’ awareness with regard to the health system, to develop and affirm the European practices and approaches for facilitating the access to healthcare for the disadvantaged groups and to establish and develop new services of higher quality in the area of mediation.

An important aspect of the Network’s activities is the training and continuous improvement of the health mediators’ qualification.

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People’s Community Centre “Zvezda 2007” – Montana

“Zvezda – 2007” is one of the youngest community centres in Montana Municipality. It works with the residents of Ogosta neighbourhood. Its mission is to preserve the Roma cultural identity, to unite the community and to contribute for its integration.

The Community Centre develops creative activities, organizes events with Roma writers and social activists.

Highlight of the Centre’s schedule is the celebration of Roma traditional holidays.

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