General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
Reinforced process
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Mrs. Maria Yordanova Gvozdeikova - Zlateva -
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Mrs. Vanya Dechkova Ishmerova - Deputy Mayor
Mr Kadrin Hasanov
Total population: 
13 312
2021 National Census
Roma living in the Municipality: 
3 430
Description of the Municipality: 

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The municipality of Tvarditsa is located in the Western part of the Sliven region of Bulgaria. The municipality consists of 10 entities – two cities (Tvarditsa and Shivachevo) and eight villages, three of which are located in mountainous areas. The Roma community lives mainly in three settlements: TvarditsaOborishte and Shivachevo. More than half of the Roma population in the municipality lives in Tvarditsa, concentrated in the "Istok" area of the city and also on the outskirts of the Kozareva neighbourhood .

In terms of infrastructure, one of the main issues is the lack of sewage systems in the Roma neighbourhoods with the resulting health hazards including many cases of  Hepatitis A. There is also a need to improve the road infrastructure, illegal housing occupancy, and improving garbage collection services in the Roma neighborhoods in Tvarditsa.

Some Roma families with better socio-economic status have started moving out of the Roma neighbourhoods, taking advantage of the high availability of housing for sale in the city. 
With regards to education, the most important issues to tackle is school segregation and increasing the number of places available to children in kindergartens.

Most Roma citizens in Tvarditsa are only able to find informal employment (e.g. woodcutters on a daily wage). As a consequence, many are not covered by health or retirement plans. There are also many Roma families that rely on social welfare to survive.

The ROMACT Process

The ROMACT process was initiated in Tvarditsa in November 2015 with the signature of the letter of commitment by the Mayor of the municipality. Shortly afterwards, the Community Action Group (CAG) which is composed of Roma citizens from the various Roma neighbourhoods in Tvarditsa was created.

The ROMACT process has been reinforced with the signature of the agreement letter in April 2023.

The Taskforce for Roma inclusion was created following Mayor's approval in February 2024.

The municipality has been very actively involved in efforts to improve the lives of the Roma community in Tvarditsa. As a result, the municipality developed projects that meet the needs put forward by the CAG and the Local Council adopted the Joint Action Plan (Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion) in December 2016, date on which the creation of a Taskforce for Roma Inclusion was also voted.

Actions  implemented include :
- A project to address school dropout rates and to tackle illiteracy levels in Roma pupils submitted to the programme "Science and education for smart growth" (OP SESG);
- the municipality has invested in additional containers for garbage disposal which will shortly be distributed in the Roma neighbourhoods;
- the development of a sewage system in the Roma neighbourhood;
- the creation of a cultural community centre in the neighbourhood (under the Programme for Rural Development);
- the repair and purchase equipment for the building of one of the kindergartens (under the Programme for Rural Development).

The CAG defined its needs based on a short-term and a long-term vision, as described in the tables below:


Short-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
InfrastructureIncrease the frequency of garbage collectionIncrease the frequency of garbage collection
EducationPrevention of school drop-outsEnsure all Roma children have access to kindergartens
Othereation of a community centre in the Roma neighbourhoodDevelopment of activities for the prevention of Hepatitis A
Long-term priorities of the CAGObjective 1Objective 2
EducationIncrease the levels of literacy of Roma childrenEnd segregation of Roma children in schools
HousingTackling the issue of illegal buildings
InfrastructureImproving infrastructures in the Roma neighbourhood

The Municipality benefited of ROMACT expertise for the following projects :
The expertise provided by ROMACT for municipalities involves training and guidance on preparing project proposals and implementing inclusive policies aimed at improving the living conditions and social integration of vulnerable populations, including the Roma.

* Strategy for community-led local development for the period 2017-2023 of non-profit organization Local Initiative Group - Tvarditsa - RDP
Status: approved

* "Concept of municipality Tvarditsa for social inclusion of vulnerable groups", Funded by the OPHRD-OPSESG
Beneficiaries: 635
Budget: 282 000 €
Status: approved

* "Complex Measures for Socio-Economic Integration of vulnerable groups from the Municipality of Tvarditsa"- Funded by the OPHRD-OPSESG
Beneficiaries: 500
Budget: 360 164 €
Status: approved

* Making kindergarten a better place for our children - Funded by the Ministry of Education and COIDUEM.
Beneficiaries: 146
Budget : 9 000 €
Status: rejected

* “Art makes the world a better place “- Financial Mechanism of European Economic Area (FM EEA).
Budget: 175 753 €
Status: rejected

* "Establishment of a STEM center for Technologies in Creative Industries in 'Neofit Rilski', National Program  “Establishing school STEM environment” school" , Funded by the Ministry of Education
Budget: 138 500 €
Status: rejected

* Patronage care for elderly and people with disabilities, OPHRD, Procedure BG05M9OP001-6.002 "Patronage care +"
Budget: 133 305 €
Status: approved

* Activities for transformation of the buildings of "Georgi Karavelov" High School, Shivachevo, Tvarditsa into buildings with close to zero energy consumption, Financial Mechanism of the EEA, Renewable energy, energy efficiency and security ; "Energy efficiency in buildings" BGENERGY-2.002-0027
Status : on the reserve list

"Patronage care for elderly and people with disabilities in Tvarditsa", Funded by the OPHRD, Procedure BG05M9OP001-6.002 "Patronage care +"
Budget : 133 305 €
Status : approved

* "Provision of integrated services for early childhood development in Tvarditsa" - Funded by EEA Grants.
Budget : 501 013 €
Status: approved

* "Activities for transformation of the buildings of "Georgi Karavelov" High School, Shivachevo, Tvarditsa into buildings with close to zero energy consumption" - Funded by EEA Grants.
Budget : 732 345 €
Status: rejected

"I am me and I am unique, just like you" - Funded by the Center for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities, Competition procedure 33.22-2023.
Budget : 19 692€
Status : approved

"Together we succeed", Formulation of a sustainable, efficient and effective mechanism for the inclusion of parents from ethnic minorities in school life - Competition procedure 33.22-2023.
Budget : 15 206€
Status : on reserve list

Trainings provided by ROMACT experts :

Community Action Groups (CAG):
* Training on community establishment and management of the Roma community centre and of NGO;
* Training on local self-government;
* Coaching for participating in a meeting of the Local Council;
* Solving the issue of lack of address registers and ID cards of Roma people;
Monitoring of the Municipality Action Plan for Roma Integration;
Addressing drug delivery and use in the Roma neighbourhoods;
Harmonizing activizm with professionalism

Local Authorities (LA):
* Coaching on planning the implementation of short and medium term activities;
* Training session on strategic planning;
Coaching for the elaboration of mechanisms for monitoring and evaluation of Joint Action Plan;
* Training on "Approaches to work with and in the Roma community";
Implementing a project under the integrated procedure;
Information on procedure BG05SFPR002-2.003: “Future for the children” in Bulgaria;
Opportunities under the new Erasmus+ Program (2021-2027) in the School Education sector;
Participation in a public consultation of the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Bulgaria;
Role and meaning of NGOs for active civil society. Work for public benefit;
Address registration for persons who do not own legal home;
Approaches for working with and within Roma community. Working in intercultural environment;
Social and Emotional Development and Language Culture through Lego Education (training for teachers).

Taskforce :
* Coaching for to support the elaboration of local mechanisms for preventing school dropouts and early marriages in Roma community;
Reinforcing the local partnerships for more effective practical implementation of children's rights and the protection of children at risk.

ROMACT Small Grants Scheme :
ROMACT offers small grants scheme to support the efforts of the municipalities and Community Action Groups to respond together to the needs of the most vulnerable and to multiply the good practices across ROMACT municipalities.
Under the scheme of small grants, the following project was supported by ROMACT during October 2020 – April 2021:

Together for a cleaner and greener neighbourhood – Municipality of Tvarditsa
ROMACT supported the municipality with 4699 € to improve the waste management in the Iztok neighbourhood of Tvarditsa where +1000 people reside. The project mainly covered placing 19 additional garbage containers in key locations, establishing two spots for collecting animal manure, improving the landscape of public areas, and creating a green area for public use. An information campaign was organized regarding the proper disposal of household waste and animal manure to maintain a clean and healthy environment.

Timeline Points

25 Oct 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 1
15 Nov 2015
Local Elections in Bulgaria - Round 2
16 Nov 2015
STEP 1 - BECOMING COMMITTED - Tvarditsa joins the ROMACT programme
5 Dec 2016
Creation of Taskforce
5 Dec 2016
Step 3- Translating priorities into measures and projects- Adoption of Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion
2 Nov 2017
End of ROMACT Process
6 Apr 2023
ROMACT reinforced process
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