The first online meeting of the Board was held online on December 19, with representatives of the Center for Sustainable Communities Development, the Council of Refugee Women in Bulgaria, the Bulgarian School of Politics, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Oborishte Municipality.

Each of the participants presented himself/herself and his/her motivation to join the Board. The upcoming trainings of its members in January and February next year were also discussed. One of the trainings also includes a simulated environment in which the refugees will work with representatives of a specific municipality to achieve their respective goals, in order to see in practice how the system works. The formation of an organizational structure for inclusion and advocacy aims to develop and launch policies and initiatives to successfully integrate refugees into Bulgarian society.

The selection of participants lasted more than a month, and more than 25 applications were received. 14 interviews were conducted with the candidates. Rules for the conduct and procedure for the selection of members were developed, as well as criteria and a working group for selection. At the end of the process, the group selected the following members:

  1. Shakib Ahmad Haidari - Afghanistan
  2. Zinaida Zapototskaya - Ukraine
  3. Iryna Strutynska – Ukraine
  4. Muaz Osman Rasul - Syria
  5. Tamara Sergiienko - Ukraine
  6. Hanna Rybikova - Ukraine
  7. Natalia Kuzmenko - Ukraine
  8. Sher Daud Arian – Afghanistan
  9. Mohadese Mirzae - Afghanistan
  10. Olena Hrytsiuk - Ukraine
  11. Mohammad Nikoei – Iran

The Board's team will include four more people who participated in the activity of a previous board with a similar aim to this one. They are Sara Alkaf from Yemen, Hamid Khoshsiyar from Iran, Faye Eshkevary also from Iran and Sagir al-Anezi from Kuwait.


The team is expected to work together for at least one year and improve bilateral communication between responsible institutions and refugees.

Parthership for Sustainable Refugee Inclusion project is being implemented with financial support of EUR 17,067 provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway under the EEA. The main goal of the Parthership for Sustainable Refugee Inclusion project is to enhance skills of refugee communitie representatives for recognition of the institutional environment and access points to the decision-making system in Bulgaria.

All responsibility for the content of the document is borne by Center for Sustainable Communities Development and under no circumstances can it be assumed that this document reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Operator of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria.


Center for Sustainable Communities Development

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tel.: 3592 986-47-10