The current competition for scholarships for young people of Roma origin is organized within the framework of the Active Citizens Fund Bulgaria (ACF) under the Financial Mechanism (FM) of the European Economic Area 2014-2021. The ACF Bulgaria has a total value of 16,045,000 euros, provided by donor countries – Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway, based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Republic of Bulgaria. The main goal of ACF Bulgaria is to “strengthen civil society, active citizens, and empowered vulnerable groups.” The operator of the Active Citizens Fund is the Open Society Institute – Sofia (OSI-Sofia), in partnership with the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation (WCIF) and the Trust for Social Alternative Foundation (TSA). The budget managed by TSA for providing scholarships to young people of Roma origin studying health specialties (scholarship program) is a total of 750,000 euros.

As a supplement to the scholarship program, within the framework of the Active Citizens Fund, TSA implements the project “Mentor Support for Students of Roma Origin Studying Health Specialties.” The current competition contributes to the thematic priority of “Empowering Vulnerable Groups.”

II. Description, Objectives, and Expected Results of the Scholarship Program

The goal of the scholarship program is to contribute to the formation of a community of professionals in the field of healthcare, motivated and prepared to contribute to solving health problems in the Roma community and with the potential to become significant role models for young people of Roma origin. Participants in the program will receive financial support in the form of scholarships for a period of one academic year, as well as mentorship from a mentor – a professional in the healthcare sector.

The scholarship program started in the academic year 2018/2019 and has a duration of six years. Within these six years, it is envisaged to provide approximately a total of 272 annual scholarships, each valued between 2350 euros and 3700 euros, depending on the specialty studied and the year of awarding the scholarship. The total indicative budget for providing scholarships in the current competition for the academic year 2023/2024 is 93,000 euros to support an indicative number of 26 scholarship recipients.

The deadline for submitting applications is 6:00 PM on October 30th. More information on application conditions can be found [here].

Translation: Simona Veleva