"A person must have a foundation on which to build, and the foundation is laid in school", with these words the journalist of the Bulgarian National Radio Valery Lekov began his talk with the children of the “Otets Paisii” Secondary School in the village of Medkovets.

He visited the place at the invitation of the Center for Sustainable Communities Development as part of a series of initiatives under the GEAR project (Gender Equality and Antidiscrimination for Roma).

The movie and theater director and journalist talked about his life and professional path so far - about life in the Roma neighborhood, work in theater and cinema, as well as in radio. The children were particularly curious about his short films, as well as the methods of making audio recordings and their processing. They are about to start working on their own online radio very soon.

Mr. Lekov's story about the road from the Roma neighborhood to national media and the significance of the school as an institution inspired and motivated the young people in particular. Here is part of the story:

"I was born in the gypsy hamlet of Kyustendil at a time when there was no asphalt on the streets and we walked in mud. There was no sewage, no running water. I come from a very poor family. My grandfather was a porter. As a grandson of a porter, I made my way, and probably at your age I never thought about whether I would be a porter, whether I would work in cleanliness or what would happen to me.

Do you know where it starts, where is the magic, the yeast of everything that changes people? Here is this place called school! Everything starts from here. I don't know why I was a good student, but the change in me came from a meeting with a gypsy poet, who later became the deputy principal of my school. For me it was a kind of magic and provoked in me an urge to write poetry, sketches.” Thus, his path gradually reached the Bulgarian National Radio, where he tells the stories of interesting people from unknown villages in Bulgaria for more than 15 years.

The young people expressed a desire to invite Mr. Lekov to a new meeting, when they themselves become his fellow journalists and can boast of their materials. One of the most significant meetings for them are precisely those with successful people from the community, who make them believe in their dreams and work for their realization every day!


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