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Bulgaria: marathon for refugees set up by Caritas. More border control

Marathon for migrants in the Borisova Gradina Park, Sofia, Bulgaria, on Saturday, 27 February: the event promoted by Caritas Sofia is meant to sensitise people to migrants and collect funds for activities with refugees at Bulgarian shelters. Participants, including young volunteers, will be dressed as traditional Pizho and Penda folklore dolls, the images of the Martenitsa, typical Bulgarian ornament made of white and red yarn, and worn in March. “We want to show everyone that migrants are our brothers, and we wish to foster social integration, which is mainly up to non-governmental associations such as Caritas”, says Angel Gyorev, in charge of migrants for Caritas Bulgaria. “Without humanitarian corridors, migrant journeys are even more dangerous; abuses and mistreatments have been reported”, he says. In his opinion, “authorities would like to investigate on that, but the difficult conditions of migrants, fear and disorientation make their statements unprovable”. Some people are said to have been sent back to the border: in September, an Afghan was shot dead by the police, and a few migrants died for hypothermia. In the meantime, Bulgarian authorities are preparing to tighten border control for they are expecting more people from Greece, while migrants have arrived in Bulgaria through Turkey until now.

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