Development and Implementation of Social Mediation Mechanism for Access to Social Services of Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Persons with Humanitarian Status with Special Needs

The project has created a network of 10 trained social mediators recruited from the refugee community to provide social services to vulnerable asylum seekers and newly recognized refugees.

Asylum seekers and newly recognized refugees in Bulgaria cannot rely on mechanisms for support in the new environment because they do not know the Bulgarian language, they are not aware of their rights and obligations and are often victims of xenophobia. On one hand, these factors hinder their access to social services. On the other, government officials, health institutions, municipalities and municipal services are still unaware of the rights of asylum seekers, refugee and foreigners with humanitarian status and often do not speak any foreign languages.

Year(s): 2011 - ongoing

Target group(s): Vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees during a period of 12 months after being granted international protection



- Raising public awareness among refugee communities about the project, development of selection criteria for those wishing to be trained for social mediators

- Implementation of social mediation mechanism through recruitment, training and testing the potential candidates. Setting the foundations of a network of intermediaries (social workers) from the refugee community

- Development of professional qualification, practical skills and specific skills in support of secondary integration of representatives of the refugee community and tailor-made social services in the initial phase of integration of newly recognized refugees from vulnerable groups

- Provision of special mechanisms for facilitated communication and interaction between vulnerable groups and state institutions, municipalities or other related to the integration into the Bulgarian society state bodies

- Providing specialized and intensive care through the support of other refugees who are trained to work with state institutions, know their rights, obligations and opportunities in health services, social assistance and social services, education, housing, vocational training and access to labour market in the cities of Sofia, Nova Zagora and Banya.

- Getting acquainted with the specifics of the provision of social mediation in small towns

Type of product


Brief description of the product / outcome / method


The social mediators were training within 10-day training in order to develop practical and specific skill for supporting the communication of vulnerable groups with state institutions, including in the area of health services, social assistance and social services, education, labour market, etc.

Impact on target groups / Transferability potential

10 foreigners with refugee status and humanitarian status trained to provide social mediation.

Promoter of the initiative

Name of organization / individual: Bulgarian Red Cross

Country: Bulgaria



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