Partners Bulgaria

Social Inclusion through Music

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Developed by Partners Bulgaria Foundation for the city of Dupnitsa, the project was implemented in cooperation with the Municipality of Dupnitsa, Partners-Dupnitsa Association and the Committee for Combating Juvenile Delinquency. The core idea is to work for social inclusion and correction of risk behaviour through developing children’s musical skills and talent and stimulating creative expression.

Some context:

For a single year only 31 552 children in Bulgaria dropped out of school (source: the National Statistical Institute and the State Agency for Child Protection). The trend is for a progressive increase of the number of these children. Some 5000 are homeless, life on the streets making them a vulnerable group for becoming victims of crime but also for committing crimes themselves. The Central Commission for Combating Juvenile Crime reports that in the last two years there has been a twofold rise in the number of juvenile offenders. Most of the hearings have been of cases of larceny – 59%, hooliganism – 10%, truancy -10%, disturbances – 5%, vagrancy and beggary – 4% and others. In Dupnitsa, 51 children with anti-social behaviour were registered in 2005, the majority of them for larceny and hooliganism.

So, why Dupnitsa?

  • Total population 43 930 with about 3000 Roma minority living in an isolated Roma quarter with 100% Roma inhabitants;
  • Increasing illiteracy among the young Roma population; increasing school drop-out rate;
  • Increasing number of minor crimes and offences committed by underage offenders and lack of alternative prevention forms against anti-social behaviour;
  • Existing good partnership relations between local NGOs and local authorities and educational institutions;
  • Previous experience from child-related projects PBF implemented in Samokov;
  • Identified children at risk with musical talents and desire for self-expression through music.

Target group:

  • 15 children at risk of mixed ethnic origin /Roma and Bulgarians/ aged 13 to 18 from the town of Dupnitsa. These have minor offences committed and do not attend school regularly. All of them have expressed musical talents and either can or have the desire to learn to play a musical instrument.
  • Children’s parents
  • 20 teachers involved in the education of children with deviant behaviour

Objectives:

  • To establish conditions for setting up and development of a Music club in which a children rock band will be trained.
  • To provide support to the children for development of their musical skills and talents, for improving their school results, for enhancing their social skills outside their usual isolated environment.
  • To raise the awareness and sensitivity of the community towards the problems of  children with deviant behaviour and to enhance the interaction mechanisms between institutions dealing with this issue
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