[Contest 2012] THERE IS FUTURE AND HOPE FOR ROMA PEOPLE
My name is Ekaterina Nacheva and I would like to write a story of our youth leader. His name is Stafan Ivov, 26 years old and he lives in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria.
He is a Roma youth who is living in the Roma region “Lozentz” and finished his secondary education in the segregated school. Despite the environment, the teachers who did not believe in his potential and other Roma classmates who did not have any dreams or purposes, Stefan was motivated from his parents to be a real model in his generation.
Even when he was in the school he used every opportunity to talk to Roma youths to be educated and be different from others youths who had choosed to quit the school. After the secondary school he applied for Master degree of Law and this year he is going to graduate.
He has been a youth leader in his region since 7 – 8 years and many young people are inspired by his life and way of thinking. He shares with them values and important principles to help Roma youths to be responsible citizens in Bulgaria.
Stefan is one of the leader of the non-formal organization Roma Destiny. The mission of Roma Destiny is to support the personal development and the social integration of children, youths and adults from Roma origin; to promote the convergence of the ethnic groups in Bulgaria; to promote the equal access of Roma people in the area of education, employment and social services.
Last week Stefan realized his idea to gather tree Roma boys and they sang the Bulgarian hymn. This video has been very popular in Bulgaria and the main goal of this video is to show that Roma people love Bulgaria and they really want to see Bulgaria united. Many journalists from the national TV, radios and newspapers have met with Stefan and the youths from our organization. Now people in Bulgaria know that there are Roma youths who can be a real model for their generation. The mayor of our town Stara Zagora have proposed to Stefan to be a consultant in the municipality.
We proud that we have such a leader and we believe that this is the beginning for more Roma young leaders to stand and be the real voice in the society.