On July 1st, 2011 started the implementation of project “Equal Employment Opportunities”, funded under Bulgaria-Turkey IPA Cross-border cooperation programme 2007-2013, CCI No: 2007CB16IPO008
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The ALLIANCE FOR REGIONAL AND CIVIL INITIATIVES (ARCI) is a non-governmental organization, registered in public benefit in the beginning of 2006. The headquarters is in city of Sofia, as it has established branches in five cities in Bulgaria – Haskovo, Blagoevgrad, Vidin, Silistra and Lovech. The association has a license No 200712450 from the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET) for organizing and conducting training for vocational qualifications for 31 professional branches in 56 specialties. ARCI is registered by the Agency for Social Assistance for 4 types of social services.
The association is a member of the National alliance for social responsibility (NASO) from 2009. More than 400 organisations – social services providers are members of NASO. NASO is part of the European Association of Service Providers for People with Disabilities (EASPD).
ARCI participates in the Bulgarian Platform for International Development / BPID /, which is a network structure of NGOs working in the sphere of international cooperation development. 23 organizations working on issues related to development education, health, gender issues, environment and sustainability are members of BPID. Since 2010, BPID is a member of CONCORD - European NGO Confederation for Relief and Development. 18 international networks and 25 national associations in the EU Member States, representing more than 1600 European NGOs in the European institutions are members of CONCORD.

ARCI brings together experts in the non-governmental sector from different parts of Bulgaria. We build our experience on successful development and management of projects financed by the European and National programmes, and local budgets.
The mission of ARCI is to support the development of the civil society in Bulgaria through fostering the involvement of people of all social groups in public affairs and the governance of the country in order to enhance the social and economic situation and the quality of life of the Bulgarian citizens.
Main activities in Bulgaria

Supports the development and implementation of initiatives for economic, social and cultural development of the regions in Bulgaria;

Promotes civil initiative by supporting, initiating and implementing actions for civil society involvement in the decision-making process of public institutions;

Encourages civil initiatives in the field of environmental protection and improvement of living conditions;

Organization of joint initiatives with bodies of the government and local authorities;

Strengthens the public-private partnership in Bulgaria;

Enhances the social involvement of young people for the resolution of their specific problems;

Assists minority groups, people with disabilities and socially vulnerable groups;

Organizes and conducts trainings and seminars in order to increase the  professional qualification of the labor force in the Center for Vocational Training to ARCI;

Initiates and participates in establishing partner networks with national and international organizations and NGOs;

Develops and implements programs and projects for application to the national operational programmes;

Encourages and organizes activities for the preservation and introduction of traditional Bulgarian communities’ events, cultural activities, traditions, crafts and customs, combined with voluntary initiatives to improve the environment or solving local problems.

SUCCESSFULLY IMPLEMENTED PROJECTS
ARCI has implemented projects until the present moment in the following countries: Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Hungary.
ARCI has conducted vocational qualification trainings within projects funded by the PHARE program, "Regional Development" Operational Programme, "Human Resources" and others.
Various projects, including activities to provide logistics services and conducting traditional Bulgarian festivals, workshops, seminars and debates.

"Electronic challenge for modern education (ECME)“, funded by the Republic of Bulgaria and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia IPA Cross-border programme, CCI Number: 2007CB16IPO007. The project is implemented by: «Alliance for regional and civil initiatives (ARCI) – Blagoevgrad branch»,

Republic of Bulgaria and Citizen association HANDICAPPLUS-support group for people with disabilities, the Former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia. It is focused towards development of new electronic forms of training the sphere of tourism, namely restaurant and hotel management.

„MedPlanet – medical plant network for enhancement of the comparative advance of Calarasi – Silistra cross-border area for sustainable development”, funded by the CBC programme Romania – Bulgaria 2007-2013. The project is implemented in partnership with National Institute for Biological Sciences /Romania/, National institute for chemical -pharmaceutical research and development /Romania/, National Institute of Research – Development for Machines and Installation Design to Agriculture and Food Industry – INMA Bucharest /Romania/, Foundation “New Century”, /Bulgaria/. Project studied opportunities for wider use of medicinal plants and derivatives of natural products, and strengthen cooperation between herb producers in the region.
One Cross- Border Region – One European Destinations“, funded by the CBC programme Romania – Bulgaria 2007-2013. The project is implemented in partnership with Commercial - Industrial and Agricultural Chamber - Calarasi and the Association for Cross-Border Cooperation and Development "Danube Dobrudja".

The objectives are to strengthen cooperation in tourism sector for the development of cross-border compatibility tourist product representing the region of Silistra - Calarasi as a destination for alternative tourism;

ORGFARM – organic farming – a challenge, or responsibility for our nature” financed by Bulgaria – Serbia IPA Cross – border Programme. The project is implemented in partnership with Regional Agro - business Centre – Vidin and Agro – project Timok. The project promote organic vegetable and animal production as a way of protecting the environment and provide a modern eco lifestyle.

Raising the capacity of environmental NGOs for active participation in the environmental programming and planning at local level“, funded under the IPA programme 2008. Project parners are ARCI and NGO “Biosfera” – center education environment nature /Macedonia/. The project aims at improving the capacity of civil society and local authorities during preparation and implementation of projects.
“Green transport - introducing sustainable forms of transport through experience and good practices exchange”, financed under "Regional Development" Operational Programme 2007-2013. Partners under the project were Blagoevgrad Municipality /Bulgaria/, Municipality of

Székesfehérvár, Hungary and Alba Regia Ifjúsági és Szabadidős Egyesülete (ARISZ)”. The project promotes cycling as an environmentally friendly, healthy, inexpensive and quick method of navigating in urban environments and aims more people to use bicycles not only in their free time, but also for traveling to work and school.

“To have a choice” – A project for activation of civil society and raising the awareness, conducting of public television debates aiming to increase public confidence in local authorities and politicians. The project is financed by the Trust for Civil Society in CEE;
 “From seeds to bunch and bunch to world”– a project, financed under the Youth in Action programme, with Lead partner Turkish NGO and partners from Bulgaria (ARCI), Lithuania, Poland and Estonia. The project’s mission was the exchange between different cultures, religions and

ethnic groups united by the idea that all of us depend on the root and only the common efforts can create the gifts of our land.

“We are all equal, all different”, financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Fund for NGO - Bulgaria 2008 -2010 under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area (EEA).Its main objective is to support the development of civil society in mixed ethnic areas by mobilizing four school communities

to reduce instances of discriminatory behavior on ethnicity and breach of human rights in education.;

ARCI has also realized social initiatives - “Together we can more”, financed by the MATRA/KAP programme of the Dutch government. The main objective of the project was support of the activity of a Day-time center for disabled children in the city of Ihtiman, Bulgaria. Project activities included the purchase of equipment for the Day-time center,

conducting trainings for parents and teachers in order to support inclusion of children with special needs, activities to promote opportunities for integration, etc.;

"This publication has been produced with the assistance of the European Union through the Bulgaria – Turkey IPA Cross-Border Programme. The contents of thispublication are the sole responsibility of Alliance for regional and civil initiatives (ARCI) – Haskovo branch can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the Managing Authority of the Programme.”

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