The municipalities of Burgas, Gabrovo, Montana and Pernik have received funding for the construction of youth centers under the Programme "Local Development, Poverty Reduction and Enhanced Inclusion of Vulnerable Groups", implemented by the Ministry of Education and Science with the support of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area 2014-2021.
On 20.10.2020, the Minister of Education and Science - Krassimir Valchev and the Head of the Programme Operator - Tzvetana Guerdjikova met the mayors and the deputy-mayors of the four municipalities in order to sign the contracts for funding.
On behalf of the project promoters the meeting was attended by: Tanya Hristova - Mayor of Gabrovo, Yordanka Ananieva - Deputy Mayor of Burgas, Zlatko Zhivkov - Mayor of Montana and Tihomir Antonov – Deputy Mayor, Stanislav Vladimirov - Mayor of Pernik and Stefan Krastev - Deputy Mayor.
Minister Valchev declared the start of the projects’ implementation and expressed his confidence that the new youth centers will become not only a favorite place of the youth, but also an important factor in the local development.
The Head of the Programme Operator wished the project management teams "to work with youth inspiration and zeal" in order to become an attraction point for the young people in the respective region and an active participant in the National Network of Youth Centers, already established by the youth centers in Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Dobrich and Vratsa.
Each of the municipalities will receive financial assistance in the amount of nearly BGN 4,000,000 to create a new youth center on its territory - according to a model recommended by the Council of Europe. The funds are directed not only to the construction of modern infrastructure, but also to support the overall activities of the center, that includes various initiatives and activities related to the needs and the interests of the youth in the region:
- educational, cultural and civic initiatives (incl.: various interest clubs and courses to acquire new knowledge and / or skills),
- activities for reintegration of dropouts (and those at risk of dropping out) from the education system,
- activities to stimulate the participation of the family, local authorities and non-governmental organizations in the work with the youth,
- joint activities and exchange of experience with other youth centers in the country,
- activities related to the exchange of good practices with youth centers from donor states.
Each youth center will ensure the participation in these activities of at least 1000 young people aged between 15 and 29 (20% of them being from vulnerable groups).