Business Center Svishtov

[+] Community Forum Svishtov 2002

[+] Informational Securing of Villages Project

[+] Reconstruction of Bus Stops in Villages

[+] Council of Toursim Svishtov

[+] Forum Svishtov 2005

[+] Community Forum Belene 2006

[+] ALAVA Project

"Community Forum" Program     In October 2002 the Municipality of Svishtov applied before Balkan Assist association and SDC for participation in the new batch of the program in Bulgaria. "Community Forum Svishtov 2002" completed 10 Forum sessions in a 12-month period after its start. The first session was held on December 13, 2002 and the 10th session was held on December 11, 2003. The two main topics and their subtopics were discussed during the sessions, 27 work groups were created.
      BCS team was the main organizer of the Forum's sessions in Svishtov, created the materials, the bulletins, assisted in writing the projects and was the main host of the working meetings of the groups. As a result, 12 projects will be implemented during 2004.

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"Informational Securing of the Small Towns and Villages in the Municipality" Project    With the "Informational Securing of the Small Towns and Villages in the Municipality" project, Business Center Svishtov set the tasks to facilitate the administrative servicing of village residents, to improve and decrease the prices of information services, and to establish connection between the villages and the municipal center, as well as between the villages themselves.
    Through the active participation of the village mayors, all the fifteen villages in the Svishtov municipality were provided with identical equipment - personal computer, laser printer, scanner, UPS, modem. Twenty-seven village staff members (incl. mayors) went through eighty hours of computer literacy course, working with Windows XP, word processing and electronic spreadsheets, using special administrative software, etc.
    By the end of the project, in all fifteen village councils, there were better administrative servicing, greater access to information, and qualified staff who is able to provide these types of services. Internet connection and e-mails were also provided to the village councils.
    Business Center Svishtov's computer specialists developed a software product, available "in place" in all villages, containing up-to-date information about laws, regulations, normative documents, statutes, phone directory, resolutions of Municipal Council Svishtov, etc.
    This project has laid the foundations of transforming Svishtov municipality into the first Bulgarian "e-municipality" with a computer network in all of the administrations in the villages and the town. This wouldn't be possible without the active support of the local administration and the good partnership with the village councils.

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"Reconstruction of Bus Stops in the Villages" Project    Another step in the development of the civil society was the "Reconstruction of Bus Stops in the Villages" project, which Business Center Svishtov implemented in 2004. The project involved the partial improvement of village infrastructure through the reconstruction of the bus stops.
    Through this project, Business Center Svishtov has planned to improve the potential of project implementation "in place" through formation of civil informal groups of village mayors and delegating part of the project activities to them. Fifteen bus stops have been reconstructed - one in each of the villages.
    In June, 2004 the village mayors registered "Unity 21st Century" association. The goals of the new association are development and recognition of the spiritual values, the civil society and the effective local self-government in Svishtov municipality.
    The project activities ended in October, 2004 with a large conference where representatives of the Svishtov municipality, non-governmental and ecological organizations, village mayors, members of the Forum-office organization Balkan Assist, and the Project-office FLGR took part.

    The projects are part of the "Public Forum Svishtov Programme" and have been co-funded by the Swiss government's Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation and Svishtov municipality.

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"Council of Tourism - Svishtov" Project     Business Center Svishtov is also a partner in Institutional support and development of Council of Tourism Svishtov Project. The Center will equip tourist informational desk and will participate in creating advertising materials and tourist routes in the municipality. There will be Start Your Own Tourist Business courses and tourist guides. The Business Center Svishtov's team, together with the Council of Tourism Svishtov, and the wide support from local ecological organizations, has been a key member in designing the tourist itineraries and the advertising materials for their promotion. Our specialists have also created the tourist gateway to Svishtov municipality -

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"Forum Svishtov" Project       In the end of February 2005 Business Center Svishtov was selected for participation in the partner network of the Forum Programme and became one of the five Forum-center in Bulgaria.
     In May 2005 the Steering Committee of the Forum Programme has approved BCS's proposal for the continuation of the Forum in Svishtov, that would be realised in 3 residential districts in Svishtov.
     The main subject of Forum Svishtov 2005 was "Civil participation in improving living environment", and the 3 residential districts worked in different subtopics.
      From September 2005 to March 2006 Forum Svishtov held 11 sessions. 9 projects are going to be implemented in 2006 - a project of all the town and 8 local residential projects.

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"Community Forum Belene" Project      On May 23, 2006 in Sofia was the official signing of the contracts for the start of the next batch of Forum Program in Bulgaria. During this batch Business Center Svishtov is going to make 5 rounds of sessions in Belene on the subject "Improving life quality in Belene municipality"

     The main goal of "Community Forum Belene" is:

     ü To create conditions for improvement of life quality in Belene municipality through active participation of citizens and social-economic partners in the processes of local development
     ü To establish a capacity in the local community for active and efective participation in the processes of local development and demand for joint solutions for improving life quality

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"ALAVA" Project      On July 1, 2005 in Sofia was held a meeting of the five NGO's which had been selected to set up training courses under the ALAVA Project ( Adult Learning as an Added Value to the Activities of Community-based NGOs), funded by the EU Grundtvig I Programme and partially by the Swiss Federal Office for Professional Education.

      At the meeting were representatives of Foundation for Local Government Reform, European Training Centre LACTEA, The Institute for International Cooperation of the German Adult Education Association, representatives of the 5 community-based NGOs, partners at local level, including Business Center Svishtov.

      The project is aimed to strengthen the capacity of the local community organisations and add more value to their activities through establishing adult learning centres within community-based NGOs. Four training modules are going to be developed within project's framework, assessed as most important for local communities. The trainings are going to be held in 2006.

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