The Health and Social Development Foundation (HESED) was founded in 1998 with the mission to promote opportunities for personal and community development, health and social well-being, as well as to create and popularise effective approaches for the successful integration of socially excluded communities. It is a leader in the development and implementation of a new approach for successful integration of the Roma community in Bulgaria. The foundation develops and implements successful models for early childhood development, health promotion and integrated services, which break the vicious cycle of poverty and social exclusion. HESED’s team is multidisciplinary and multi-ethnic. It includes over 40 specialists from various fields (psychologists, social workers, teachers, medical staff, health and social community assistants from the Roma community).
HESED established the first community-based health and social center in the Roma community in 2003 and the first mobile medical unit for outreach services for vulnerable groups. This model was assessed as a good practice and the model of community-based services was disseminated and further developed in the largest Roma settlements in the country in the framework of the National Programme for HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control and the Programme for Improvement of the Control of Tuberculosis in Bulgaria implemented by the Ministry of Health and funded by the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFAMT). Recently the fifth community centre MIR has been opened in the Roma community Fakulteta in Sofia. HESED is a member of numerous national and international networks and councils and partner in series EU-projects (WEDworks, FINALLY).