Project of The Month November 2005 - Integration Center in the village of Lesnovo, Elin Pelin Municipality
Social Norms Foundation

The village of Lesnovo was among the most damaged after the flooding in August 2005. The development of the Integration Center happened to take place in the same month and became the unifying factor for the local community, this time for a happy occasion – celebrating its opening.

The idea for such a center was a result of the evaluation of the needs of the target groups – minority groups, people with disabilities, children at risk, the local community. Together with a representative of the Municipality of Elin Pelin we studied the possibilities - premises, materials and money. We wanted to establish a center for the people from a small village who very often remain outside programmes and projects. We wanted to have a center which will offer something for everyone, a center that will bring people together and will give them a reason to enjoy their village.

We decided to use the recourses of the Public reading house and in this way to develop already existing activities as well as expanding them. The Integration center has two main units:

- A hall for culture and art where through activities typical for children – games, music, painting, modeling - integration is encouraged and skills for help and self help are being developed. Activities traditional for the Public reading house were kept as well – children’s folklore group, dancing, modern ballet, piano classes, and authentic folklore group of elderly women. We believe that this is a good way of keeping the traditions and customs and to guarantee the communication between generations.

- In response to the challenges of modern life an Information unit was formed. The following activities take place there: developing modules for improving the level of education of children who have not been to school before through encouraging their interest in using Internet, communication and technologies; using multimedia products in working with children with communication difficulties – phonograms and audiovisual products;

The good partnership with Elin Pelin Municipality, the Board of trustees of the Chitalishte, the local school and the kindergarten as well as the village mayor’s office was of great importance for the successful implementation of the project. We believe that we have found the right way towards the integration of our children – through many joint activities that emphasize abilities rather than deficiencies. Our community feels important and empowered as a result of this project.

Kv. Hadji Dimitar bl. 92 et.1 ap.27 
Tel. 0887 211 628

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