Syrian and Iraqi Refugees Project in Bulgaria
Since August 2013, thousands of Syrian and now Iraqi asylum seekers have arrived in Bulgaria via Turkey. The influx of asylum seekers into Bulgaria has been a challenge to the local authorities, which have never had to absorb such a substantial numbers of asylum seekers.
Bulgaria hastily erected camps that did not meet basic living conditions, let alone meet their needs. The buildings were derelict and despite attempts by the local authorities to paint and renovate, the asylum seekers lived in crowded conditions. Old sheets hung from laundry lines formed cubicle walls, that did not give each family any real privacy.
Many of the refugees, of which one-third are children, live in these camps. One of them, an abandoned elementary school in Voenna Rampa, is a grey, forlorn industrial zone in the northern suburbs of Sofia.
We are assisting them in the following ways:
Shai Fund is partnering with service providers from the Bulgarian State Refugee Agency, Bulgarian Red Cross, IsraAid and B’nai B’rith Bulgaria to assist Syrian refugees in desperate need in Bulgaria. We bring bags of hygiene products, diapers, food (rice, lentils, oil, sugar, coffee etc.) and non-food items like toothpaste, shampoo, tooth brushes etc.
Transitional Housing for Syrian Asylum Seekers Granted Status
Shai fund has been working to renovate transitional housing for refugees granted status. Transitional housing helps the families move from totally dependency in the camps, to where they can start becoming more independent and eventually moving out of the camp situation and into the towns and cities.
Mental Health and Psycho-Social Services (MHPSS) Program
Shai Fund has partnered with the Bulgarian State Agency for Refugees, Bulgarian Red Cross, B’nei Brith Bulgaria and IsraAid to train local refugee professionals on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and practical tools of working through trauma. The program aims to promote the resilience and wellbeing of families through the provision of post and preventive emergency psycho- social services. It provides urgent professional support in the form of capacity-building for the diverse groups responsible for refugee welfare and integration.
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