Broken windows project


Broken Windows Project- reclaiming the public space in Voenna Rampa Refugee Camp/ Sofia- Bulgaria

Our project
The project was developed following the successful case studies of the Broken Windows Theory (the impact of the urban landscape and urban disorder on higher crime rates and anti-social behavior), as well as UNHCR’s Global Public Space Programme. We aimed at reverting the negative trends in the camp by “space reclaim and improvement journey” within common spaces and involving refugees in the improvement of their living conditions.


Our activities
Day 1: Reclaiming space journey with more than 40 local and refugee volunteers. A day devoted to cleaning the playground and backyard, halls and walls leading to the classroom.
Day 2, 3, 4: Days of artistic intervention: Together with Open Space Foundation Sofia we managed to create  a blackboard wall where kids can practice what they have learned during classes and a mural representing refugees, their journey and adding educational value to the space which leads to the classroom.

Our target groups
During the project we managed to involve asylum seekers and refugees and local volunteers. Together we had more than 50 people involved in the activities and thus created a common action where solidarity was a main value which helped us finish the work together.

Our partners
The project idea was created and developed by  Cynthia Garibay, Federica Piga and Nina Stoyanova, active volunteers in The Refugee Project. The project is funded by the Refugee Fund of SCI International and is part of the Building Bridges Campaign for raising awareness about asylum seekers and refugees! The artistic element of the project was possible thanks to the great artists from  Open Space Foundation Sofia.  The State Agency for Refugees also contributed to the project by supporting the idea.

Our success
During the project the artistic intervention, as well as the joint effort to improve living conditions of refugees also helped locals to better understand the difficulties refugee’s face not only in Bulgaria but also through their whole travel to Bulgaria. Mutual understanding as well as solidarity and community work  greatly impacted both refugee’s and local’s perception of “otherness”, while working towards a tangible objective: improving the conditions of the refugee camp.

We would like to thank all volunteers and asylum seekers for the successful completion of the project! The project showed that together we can stop building walls and start building bridges!