General Information
ROMACT Cycle: 
Mayor of the Municipality: 
Merdin Bayram
Contact Person within the Municipality: 
Djemile Djemalova Kulyumova - Head of department "Education, Health and Social Policy"
Dyian Dankov
Total population: 
10 374
NSI 2017
Roma living in the Municipality: 
3 500
Description of the Municipality: 

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Varbitsa is a town in eastern Bulgaria and is part of Shumen Province. Varbitsa municipality includes 16 settlements.
Most of Varbitsa's 3 500 Roma are located in two neighbourhoods: Troshka, where Horohane are living  and Musikantska, where Drandari (musicians) are living. The latter are more marginalised with part of the neighborhood houses built outside a regulated frame and without basic utilities.
Other Roma live in separate neighborhoods of the villages of Byala reka, Mengischevo, Lovets, Tushovitsa, Metodievo, Malomir and Ivanovo. 
School attendance is rather high, however, about 25% of Roma girls do not complete primary school and get married at the age of 16-17. 
More than 500 Roma community members migrated to Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands in the last 5 years.

The ROMACT Process

Varbitsa joined ROMACT programme in November 2018 with the signature of the Letter of Agreement.
In September 2019, the Taskforce for Roma Inclusion was created. 
In  March 2020, the Municipal Action Plan for Roma Inclusion was adopted. 

Several training were provided: 

The local authorities were coached/trained on:
* National programs 2021 - 2027 funded by the EU structural and cohesion funds in support of municipal policies for social inclusion
* Partnership management for planning and implementation of municipal policies for social inclusion
* Establishing a municipal taskforce establishment 

The CAG members were coached/trained on:
* Advocacy and negotiation skills with local authorities

Timeline Points

21 Nov 2018
Step 1- Becoming Commited- Signature of the letter of commitment
24 Sep 2019
Creation of Taskforce
27 Mar 2021
Step 3- Translating priorities into measures- MAPRI updated and adopted by City Council
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