(Sofia) To show solidarity with those who were forced by war or poverty to leave their homelands and seek refuge for themselves and their families. This is the aim of the Solidarity Festival, organized by Caritas Sofia and other organizations such as CVS Bulgaria, which will be held in front of the History Museum in the Bulgarian capital this weekend. “We want to show in deeds, not just in words, what solidarity is”, said Margarita Spassova from Caritas Sofia, drawing attention to the fact that the programme includes “several causes in support of vulnerable groups of people in the Bulgarian society who are being helped by Caritas”. There will also be an opportunity to listen to the stories of lonely elderly people from different regions of Bulgaria. But the focus will be on migrants. For people to learn more about the Middle East, organizers have planned a walking tour along the “via Tsar Simeon”, the “Arab Street”, with the shops of merchants from that region. Also, one of the pavilions of the Festival will host the “We are welcoming Europe” initiative, aimed at influencing European migration policy.
“When the crisis began seven years ago in Syria, the refugees could not possibly imagine that Europe would welcome them with fear, a fear that certain political parties have turned into hatred”, the organizers explain. The programme also features events at the movies, a pop/jazz concert, an exhibition, and photographs with traditional Bulgarian and foreign costumes.