September 2015, Sofia

TSA signed contracts with 15 NGOs from around Bulgaria to implement the scholarship program for Equal Chance: Access to High Education 2015/2016.

Since its start in 2011, this project addresses lower rates of high school enrollment and graduation of Roma students due to financial need by providing stipends to high-school students on a competitive bases. Students are selected by partnering NGOs based on their family income and circumstances, motivation to study, and need to travel to school outside the students’ hometown. The expected results of the program are higher rates of attendance, grade completion, and high school enrollment of Roma students.

While being Roma is not a requirement, the expectation is that many of the program participants will be Roma given their economically disadvantaged status. The amount of 500 BGN per student covers the cost of textbooks and bus passes, to be purchased and provided to students by the partner NGO. A reserve fund of 50 BGN per student allows for organizations to meet other individual needs of students (e.g., winter shoes).