For Ivan and his family, the autumn of 2020 turned out to be very different. Ivan had his first day at the University of Shumen “Archbishop Konstantin Preslavski”, and his wife had her first day at high school. Their son had his first day at kindergarten.
Success story from kindergarten “ Prolet” in Yambol.
Svetlana Zlateva is the principal of kindergarten “Prolet” in Yambol. She shares the problems she faces in the town and the community, and how she manages to overcome them. In this story we tell you about Radka, a mother of two children, who study in kindergarten “Prolet”.
To become a university student – for some this is child’s play, for others – mission impossible. The present story is not about the typical experiences of a future student, but my personal story in light of the anxieties which probably every young Roma person experiences on the bumpy road to higher education.
As I’m starting my third year as a Psychology student in the Plovdiv University, my parents are finishing their secondary education via distant learning. This fact alone stands as testimony for the shift in the attitudes of Roma people in Bulgaria in the last few decades. While during my parents’ childhood school might have not been regarded as an important part of their lifepath, today education is a number one priority for people from our ethnicity.
Some of the kindergartens in Bulgaria are attended by a significant number of children from the Roma community. Nevertheless, the number of Roma educators is extremely low. From a young age, children need someone to look up to in order to be able to recognize their own potential; someone who can serve as their role model. Kindergartens working with vulnerable communities can support this process of building confidence and inspiting children by employing teachers from Roma backgrounds.
“Ma’am, I want a shuvalka!” The little boy from the “Lily” kindergarten in the Hrishteni village is pulling his teacher’s sleeve as he’s looking around for the object in question with an inquiring look on his face. “What do you want, a chuval?” asks the teacher, perplexed. I go into the building of the preschool, take the shuvalka and hand it amusedly to the young worker wannabe whose mother tongue is Romani.
When I was a child, my grandma, Petra, would pick me up from kindergarten in our lovely village Vladimirovo in the Montana region and take me to the local patisserie. At that time, my parents worked in Montana and couldn’t look after me during the week which is why we got together only on weekends. It seems that my grandma saw in the small patisserie with all kinds of delicious treats a small substitute for the peaceful and joyful evenings spent together with family.