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FLORIKA, Bulgaria – Prevention of the trafficking of women

Girls in the project FLORIKA wearing dresses they themselves produced in their sewing classes. Photo: © Andreas DauererGirls in the project FLORIKA wearing dresses they themselves produced in their sewing classes.
Photo: © Andreas Dauerer
Project area: Burgas, Bulgaria

Supported by TDF since: 2012, in collaboration with “STOP dem Frauenhandel” (STOP trafficking in women)

Target group: disadvantaged girls in the Roma neighbourhoods

Background:

  • Not only in Burgas, the Roma community suffers hostility, which leads to social exclusion and precarious living conditions, and drives them into unemployment and poverty.
  • For girls, the most common cause for dropping out of school is early (forced) marriage, sometimes at an age of 13 years, leading to permanent disadvantages in education. A lot of girls do not even have primary education and are functional illiterates.
  • Girls and parents are exposed to the risk of being lured by false promises of easy money made by international trafficking networks, which force them into cheap labour or prostitution abroad. 
  • In Germany, according to the Bundeskriminalamt (German Federal Criminal Police Office), 17% of the victims of “Human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation” in 2015 came from Bulgaria. In 2016, it was already 19%.
  • The situation in the Pobeda neighborhood in Burgas, Bulgaria is especially precarious. A big part of the households does not have access to electricity, water or the sewerage system. Additionally, drug and alcohol abuse are a sad reality, which is why numerous parents neglect their children.

Project activities:

The FLORIKA project aims at preventing trafficking in women. Girls aged between 9 and 15 years are given pedagogical support at the day care centre of the Roma-Union in the Roma neighbourhood Pobeda in Burgas. Social education workers offer homework assistance, sewing and cooking classes, dancing workshops and other group activities, providing them with an individual support. A local midwife talks with the girls about topics such as sexual education or child marriage, since in a lot of cases, the girls are already mothers at the age of 14 or 15. The Roma-Union also sensitizes parents.

Some additional activities are:

  • Public information campaigns against trafficking in women, and close collaboration with the local government.
  • Street work to win the parents’ confidence. Many could already be convinced that education is vital to their daughters’ futures.
  • Group discussions about early and forced marriage, role models, children’s rights, different occupations, love, friendship etc.
  • Excursions and performances to strengthen their self-confidence and to act against the exclusion of Roma-girls.

Impact:

  • Regular participation and positive feedback of the girls. The individual support by the social education workers has strengthened their self-confidence and supported them in their personal development. In the first six months of 2018, 49 girls were inscribed in the activities of FLORIKA. In 2017, 32 girls regularly participated in the offered courses and projects.
  • Up to now, none of the participants of FLORIKA dropped out of school and none of the girls has been forced to marry or trafficked into prostitution.
  • In 2017 the social workers reached out and advised 9 families in the Pobeda neighborhood on a regular basis. These families had problems regarding unemployment or violence.

Project leader: “Roma-Union” Burgas

Contacts:
Voluntary project coordinator Juliane von Krause (bulgarien@frauenrechte.de)
or TERRE DES FEMMES – International Cooperation (iz@frauenrechte.de)

Your support is needed for:

  • food, materials and excursions.
  • information campaigns against trafficking in women and child marriage.
  • the maintenance of the day care centre.
  • the remuneration of the social education workers and pedagogical staff.

Support FLORIKA with a one-time donation or contribute regularly and become a sponsor!

You can also donate to the following account, using the keyword “Bulgaria” as a reference for your payment:

TERRE DES FEMMES e.V.
EthikBank
BIC GENODEF1ETK
IBAN DE35 8309 4495 0103 1160 00