The Initiative for Health Foundation is building on the Room for Change campaign, with street action and a petition.
The aim of the campaign is to open a room for safer drug use in Sofia. The street action is a continuation of the public discussion with institutions which took place in June 2015. This time, our target is to inform Bulgarian society and request their support for our safe-injection room initiative.
On 18, 19 and 20 August, in the City Garden of Sofia, the Foundation’s team explained to the citizens the nature and benefits of having a place where people using drugs could inject in a closed and hygienic environment, receive appropriate help in the event of overdose, and discard their used paraphernalia more safely, instead of soiling public spaces. As part of the action, the Foundation exhibited an installation, showing both faces of Sofia – a beautiful city, but bearing the unpleasant imprint of street drug use. The citizens were able to express their support for the idea by signing a petition. Over the course of 6-7 hours on the street, the campaign gathered more than 160 signatures. We met a lot of positive reactions to the idea, and also some cases of people who were initially sceptical, but changed their position after having listened to reasonable argument. The media also covered the action.
The campaign will continue to collect signatures among people using drugs and among the residents of the Vazrajdane district, who are the closest witnesses to the open drug scene in Sofia.
Colleagues of the Initiative for Health Foundation furthermore disussed the issue of injecting rooms in the Bulgarian media, including prime time televsion broadcasting.
The petition can be signed online too, in Bulgarian here, and in English here.
Anna Lyubenova – Initiative for Health Foundation