site.btaCommunity Centre for Protection and Inclusion of Refugees Opens in Varna

Community Centre for Protection and Inclusion of Refugees Opens in Varna
Community Centre for Protection and Inclusion of Refugees Opens in Varna
UNHCR Representative in Bulgaria Seda Kuzucu at the opening of the Community Centre for the Protection and Inclusion of Refugees in Varna, June 24, 2024 (BTA Photo)

A Community Centre for the Protection and Inclusion of Refugees was officially opened in Varna on Monday. The UNHCR Representative in Bulgaria, Seda Kuzucu, said that the community centres represent a transformation from the already existing so-called "blue dots" that were opened in 2022. She explained that these centres are connected in one network of inclusion and protection called Compass, which exists with UN support in 6 cities in Bulgaria, specifying that the centres serve all refugees seeking asylum, including Ukrainian refugees. 

"We work with various local partners and want to support the already existing efforts of the state and local institutions to support refugees," Kuzucu noted, adding that these centres provide legal services, support for learning the Bulgarian language and for mental health. She commented that there is an increase of people seeking asylum in Bulgaria. 

Nevyana Fileva from the Energy Association said that currently there are about 12,000 Ukrainians in Varna and that the main goal of the centre is to unite the life of Ukrainian refugees with that of Bulgarian citizens. During the past school year, about 1,200 Ukrainian children were enrolled in kindergartens and schools in the Varna region, with an expected increase of 40% of those wishing to enter the education system in the next year. According to her, the numbers of Ukrainian refugees at the national level have increased by 4,000 in the last two months.

As part of the opening, an exhibition with photographs called The Way of the Refugee was presented as well, featuring pictures covering refugees from Ukraine.

/NF/

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By 03:29 on 19.07.2024 Today`s news

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