Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria
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Current Projects

Home Improvements for Families at Risk

Home Improvements for Families at Risk

In June 2008 Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria joined the Program for Prevention of Child Abandonment and Institutionalization. Program partners are the Municipality of Stara Zagora, the Prof. Stoyan Kirkovich Hospital, the Social Assistance Regional Directorate – St. Zagora, the Social Assistance Directorate – St. Zagora, the Samaritans Association, World Without Borders, The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association, and ARK Bulgaria.

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The Housing Microfinance Program

For five years, Habitat for Humanity International has been working closely with DIGH, a Dutch housing association, to design and fund social housing projects in Bulgaria. Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria receives financial support from DIGH and in partnership with Mikrofond we have created a Joint Housing Fund offering low-income families access to energy efficiency loans with reasonable terms and interest rates.

These loans allow families to finance self-help home improvement construction to reduce their energy costs and to improve their housing conditions. Home improvements may include the following items: roof repair, hydro insulation, exterior wall insulation, window repair or replacement, updating bathroom fixtures, replacement of inefficient appliances, etc.

The Joint Housing Fund currently amounts to Euro 1 000 000 for the next period of 10 years

 

The Financial Education Program

Current Projects

Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria's Housing Microfinance Program provides financial education training seminars to our beneficiaries. The Financial Education Program gives our beneficiaries the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to adopt good money management practices for family earnings, spending, savings, borrowing and investing.

Financial education builds awareness as to how low-income households can gain control of their financial resources and better manage with their limited capital. In July and November 2008 twelve Mikrofond loan officers received training to facilitate the seminars. Over the next two years, twenty beneficiary training seminars will be provided in all regions where the Housing Microfinance program is active - Blagoevgrad, Burgas, Vratza, Kurdzhali, Pazardzhik, Razgrad, Silistra, Sliven, Smolian

 

My Home is not my Fortress

Current Projects

Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria, known in Bulgaria as Podslon za chovechestvoto Foundation, together with the Center for hope Foundation, are starting up the initiative “My home IS NOT my fortress”. This is a joint initiative with the families of children with disabilities for improving the accessibility of their homes.

The situation

Bulgaria is one of the least inclusive countries in Europe with regard to disabled people. According to the National Statistical Institute, more than 10% of the population in Bulgaria is impaired or disabled and 19 000 of these people are children. In most cases the environment makes them even more dependent on their parents. Bathroom or kitchen facilities are often not appropriate and disabled people cannot go out alone as the stairs, elevators or house entrances are not adjusted to their needs. Furthermore, the existing governmental accessibility grants are intended mainly for public buildings. Private housing remains extremely unsuitable for people using wheelchairs.

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Renovations of multi-apartment buildings

Renovations of multi-apartment buildings

Large parts of the active population of Bulgaria live in big blocks of flats which were built 50 or 40 years ago. The maintenance of these multi-apartment buildings has become a severe challenge for the homeowners in recent years and many buildings are rapidly deteriorating.

Habitat for Humanity Bulgaria, together with the microfinance institution Microfond, is establishing partnerships with homeowner associations all over Bulgaria to renovate blocks of flats – privately owned or owned by municipalities. The aim is to support families of low income in their desire to live in decent buildings, and achieve lower energy consumption.

 

Home renovations in small villages

Home renovations

The project addresses the housing needs of another vulnerable group - families with children from rural areas.

In the past 20 years rural areas in Bulgaria experienced major loss of employment, income, and services of all types. While commercial agriculture is beginning to recover, living standards in rural areas are still lower than they were before 1990. Health and social conditions are still deteriorating. Young people move to bigger nearby towns or the capital in search of employment, leaving behind poor villages with an ageing population.

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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: a holistic approach to community development

Comminity development

Housing is an important element for breaking the cycle of poverty. However, additional effort needs to be invested to achieve sustainability, particularly for poorer communities such as where the Roma population lives in the village of Pamukchii. HFH Bulgaria will build core houses and will support the renovation of existing houses. In addition we will work with partners to develop local economic opportunities. Results from the project will be evaluated and used to inform future developments in other communities.

 
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