PROJECT “UNITING LOCAL AND REGIONAL RESOURCES FOR EFFECTIVE DEVELOPMENT” /2001- 2003/
Realized with the financial support of the United States Agency for International Development through Foundation for Local Government Reform, Bulgaria
Defending the Interests of the Municipalities-members in front of Regional and National Institutions
TIn this program direction the Association will develop standpoints for improving the legislative environment of the local government; will elaborate analyses on operative laws; and will organize meetings between the local authorities and the Parliament Members, representing the Haskovo and Kardzhali regions.
Strategic Partnerships, Regional Policy and EU Integration
In this direction RMA “Maritza” plans to organize meetings between the local authorities and NGOs, media, citizens and international partners; to hold forums; and to develop and print issues.
Training and Technical Assistance
In this program direction the Association will provides training and technical assistance to its members, according to their needs and demands.
Institutional development of RMA “Maritza”
In this program direction RMA “Maritza” plans to hold meetings of the Open Municipalities Committee; to organize meetings of the General Assembly and the Board of Managers; and to renovate the equipment of the office.
PROJECT ‘A GREEN HEART FOR SIMEONOVGRAD’
/MARCH – MAY 2003/
Realized with the financial support of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives
The project “A green heart for Simeonovgrad” was developed by Regional Municipalities Association “Maritza” in co-operation with Simeonovgrad municipality. In March 2003 the project was approved and received funding from the Canada fund for local initiatives.
As a result of the implementation of the project a site for recreation of the residents /a park/ was created and the appearance of the centre of the town was improved.
The project brought the residents of the municipality around the idea for creating better living conditions, developing the town with joint efforts and provoked their activity and initiative.
Through the project realisation the ecological culture of the population was improved and their engagement in protecting the environment was raised.
As a result of the project the young people decided to hold once a week an ecological day in the park, to learn new things about Nature and to take care for the flowers in the park. On the other hand the unemployed people were integrated in the social life of the municipality and acquired new skills and knowledge that could help them for their further realisation.
Partnership and co-operation were established between the residents of the town and the local authorities, which is a prerequisite for future voluntary participation of the people in the process of solving municipal problems.
The participation of municipal employees in the co-ordination and implementation of the project raised their capacity for realisation of projects funded by foreign donors.
The above mentioned results were achieved through the realisation of the following activities:
- Information campaign – held during all the ten weeks of the project
Four information meetings with young people were held within the information campaign. The meetings were organised in the following schools in Simeonovgrad: Primary School “Otec Paisi”, Secondary School “Saint Kliment Ochridski”, Secondary School “Ivan Vazov” and Primary School “Saint Kiril and Metodi”. Materials with information about the project /aims, activities and expected results/ were prepared for the meetings and given to the young people. After that the students were acquainted with the project, they declared their willingness to plant the flowers in the park and to take care of them. The students from the primary schools and their teachers decided to hold once a week “ecological days” in the new park.
The project was also presented to the unemployed people, who are receiving social dole from the municipality. The meeting with the unemployed Bulgarians and Romas was organised with the support of the Unemployment Bureau in Simeonovgrad. The topic of the meeting was “Let’s Transform the Dumping Ground into a Park, Let’s Do it together!”
A press conference was held in the office of RMA “Maritza” for acquainting all the citizens from the region with the project, funded by the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives. The press conference was attended by representatives of the local and central media. Journalists from Cable Television “Rekording”, Newspaper “Novinar”, Radio “Darik”, Radio “Metronom”, Radio “Veselina” and “Bulgarian National Television” took part in the press conference. At the press conference Rayna Yovcheva, Executive Director of RMA “Maritza” and Geno Vasilev, Mayor of Simeonovgrad Municipality announced the start of the project: “A Green Heart for Simeonovgrad”.
During the information campaign 200 posters, presenting the project and inviting the population to participate in the project implementation were printed and disseminated in all the parts of the town.
Information about the project funded by the Canadian Embassy was published also in the information bulletin of Regional Association of Municipalities “Maritza” which was disseminated in the country. The booklet was sent to representatives of the different ministries, the Bulgarian Parliament, municipalities, different NGOs and funding organisations.
Regional Association of Municipalities “Maritza” will participate with the project “A Green Heart for Simeonovgrad” in a competition on “Best practices at local level” of Foundation for Local Government – national NGO, working for the development of the local authorities in Bulgaria. The project of RMA “Maritza”, funded by the Canadian Embassy will be included in the database with positive practices of FLGR, published in their Internet site: www.flgr.bg and sent to all the municipalities and organisations working for regional development in the country.
- Cleaning of the terrain – during the second and the third week from the start of the project
The terrain in the centre of the town, which had been transformed into an unregulated dumping ground was cleaned by the citizens /unemployed, employed and students/ and was raked with a bulldozer.
- Preparation of the terrain for planting, forming of lanes and delivery of humus – during the third, the fourth and the fifth week
The terrain was prepared for planting. The soil was grained and humus was delivered.
The lanes were formed and covered with gravel. A place for playground, that the Municipality of Simeonovgrad will build with own resources, was prepared. The participants in the implementation of the project /unemployed people and other citizens/ had made the flowerbeds, where daisies, rudbekia, digitalis and anterinium were planted.
- Planting the terrain with deciduous, coniferous trees, shrubs, grass and flowers – during the sixth, the seventh and the eighth week from the beginning of the project.
The terrain was planted with 30 deciduous trees – sycamores; 20 coniferous trees – tui and cypresses; 100 deciduous shrubs – spirea and 100 coniferous shrubs – evonimus eponica. The planting was made by unemployed people, young people and other citizens.
After the terrain was planted the municipality built with own resources a water-main for watering the plants.
- Working out of a brochure, presenting the project and the results of its realisation – during the eight and the ninth week of the project.
The brochure contains information about the reasons for developing the project, the funding organisation, the goals of the project and information about its realisation. The brochure was given to the citizens and the official guests during the ceremony for opening of the park.
- Working out and placement of warning signboards – in the tenth week of the project
Warning signboards “Don’t pollute”, “ Keep clean”, “Don’t throw litter” were placed in the park with the purpose of non-admission of pollution of the terrain.
- Assigning of a green patrol in the centre of the town – in the tenth week of the project
A green patrol composed of two unemployed people was assigned. The patrol observes the cleanness of the environment to be kept and imposes fines on the breakers. The members of the patrol will receive salaries from the municipality.
- Official opening of the park;
The official opening of the park became a holiday for the citizens of the town. It began with a competition for children’s drawing on asphalt, on ecological topic: “My town clean and attractive”. 40 children participated in the competition – girls and boys from 4 to 17 years old. 21 children were rewarded by the municipality and all the participants in the competition received gifts from the mayor.
The mayor of the municipality presented the project, funded by the Canadian Embassy and delivered a speech for appealing towards the people for preserving the cleanness of the park and the town as a whole. He gave appreciation certificates to the most active participants in the implementation of the project. Certificates were given to Peter Velkov, Minka Miteva, Sasho Hristov and Angel Angelov.
In the evening there was a concert with the participation of Group for old traditional songs “Vodolei”, children’s group “Veseli Noti” and Ensemble for folk songs and dances “Megdantzi”. The elaborated information brochures were given to the citizens who took part in the initiative. Representatives of local and national media were invited to participate in the official opening of the park.
Project: “The Changing Role of the Local Authorities – Public-Private Partnerships, Prerequisite for Realizing Successful Business in the Modern World”
Implementation term: September, 2002
Funding: USAID, HAPI Program
Aim of the project: To reveal the role of the public-private partnerships for effective development, by accentuating on determining the roles and the responsibilities of the local authorities in the process of creating public-private partnerships; stimulating the dialogue between the municipal authorities and the representatives of the business for economic development.
Project: “Modernizing the Equipment and Optimizing the Work of the Regional Fire and Rescue Service – Haskovo”
Implementation term: 2002-2004
Funding: Municipality of Leicester, UK; Fire and Rescue Service, Leicester; Haskovo Municpality; RMA “Maritza” and Regional Fire and Rescue Service /RFRS/ – Haskovo.
Objectives of the prject:
- To improve the technical equipment of RFRS – Haskovo, through providing fire engines and auxiliary automobiles, and equipment for rescue activities;
- To optimize the work of RFRS – Haskovo, through exchanging experience with Leicester Fire and Rescue Service.
Project: “European Added Value to the Professional Performance of Municipal Administrators from Regions with Ethnic Minorities.”
Implementation term: December 2003 – July 2003
Donor: Open Society Foundation
The project is realized by European Training Centre “Lactea” and RMA “Maritza”
Goals of the project:
- To help the “europeazation” of the Local authorities activity in regions with mixed ethnic population;
- To raise the professional capacity of the municipal administrators in the Mineralni bani, Stambolovo, Simeonovgrad, Kardzhali, Svilengrad, and Madzharovo municipalities, through organizing training focused on the good practices in the sphere of the local administration.
- To encourage the partnerships of the municipal administration with the local comunity by applying the European experience and mechanisms for interaction;
- To stimulate sustainable partnerships between the local authorities and the NGOs.