First, ICF is proud of its initiatives and achievements in the youth sports sector. The first and only organization in our district, “Faculteta”, ICF was able to establish a year-round Sports Club for young Roma people. The Club offers several options: football (including teams for boys and girls), boxing, weight-lifting and other team sports.
Second, ICF partnered with the district’s municipality and successfully funded the building of an open football field in the area of “Faculteta” itself to serve the needs of the Club. The field is currently serving as a playground for children of other ethnicities from the neighboring areas as well.
Third, our teams have participated in several local tournaments and have won awards. We have gained visibility at both local and governmental levels with our initiatives, and in collaboration with the Rottary Club Sofia, we are able to expand our efforts in this direction, such as our ongoing plan to build a locker room and bathrooms adjacent to the football pitch.
In addition, noteworthy is our collaboration with the Bulgarian Council of Ministers and the Central Commission for prevention of crime among minors of under-privileged background. The ICF Chair, Kiril Vassilev has been selected as a member of the prevention team and as a counselor for the minors. He works actively towards this goal as well as towards the reduction of the drop-out rate in the local schools.
We aim to continue and further strengthen our efforts to use the sports club as a recruiting center for minors who wish to get involved in physical activities in the afterschool hours and serve as a platform for integration of more youths in our club.
In the cultural heritage sector, with very limited funds and mostly with the volunteer work of students, teachers and community members, we have also been able to organize several events in Elementary School 75 “Todor Kableshkov” and the Technical School for Leather Work, celebrating the Roma culture, performance arts and crafts.
Танцов Ансамбъл – “Ромски Таланти” Ръководител – Марин Сашов (Малик)
Most importantly, during the school year many students participate in a music and dance ensemble “Roma Talents”, where they sing, dance and play instruments. The community celebrates The International Children’s Day when we do fundraising to obtain more musical instruments for our young folk musicians. The students competed in several competitions and have won awards and gained recognition for their talents. Several workshops have been organized for them to work with traditional crafts, painting and sculpting. In addition, students from School 75, under the guidance of their geography teacher, worked on a semester long project exploring the roots of the Romani heritage in South Asia. With the help of the local community an exhibition of students’ art and craft objects was organized in the school.
2015 – Workshop for the teachers of School 75 devoted to the Moodle digital platform conducted by the Center for Educational Initiatives.
Note: We have not been able to run other initiatives in the educational sector. For this reason, the scope of our immediate efforts is primarily education.