I’m a Romani woman! I am proud of my origins!
- Posted by: Raycho Chaprazov
- Category: Uncategorized @bg
Tanya Chavdarova Dimitrova is a nurse. As a student at the Medical University in Plovdiv, she worked in two of the biggest hospitals in the city. In 2022, Tania got married, graduated and gave birth to her first child. She is currently on а maternity leave. She is only twenty-four, but she has achieved a lot! She is proud to be a Romani woman. She has been through all the programs and initiatives of the Arete Youth Foundation. She is one of the first volunteers of the organization in Plovdiv.
Gabriel Borisov is the guy who interviewed Tanya – he is a student in 10th grade at the school of “St.St. Cyril and Methodius” in Simitli town. Gabriel is a volunteer at the Arete Youth Foundation, a participant in the first national camp ” Forward Together ” since 2022 and participated in the preparation and realization of the IV charity concert, which was held in November in Sofia.
Hello, Tanya! I’m glad you agreed to talk about your bright and successful path!
Hi! It is a pleasure for me!
Where did you grow up? How did you spend your years at school?
I grew up in the village of Anevo, near Sopot. I studied at the secondary school “General Vladimir Zaimov”. I finished my secondary education there. It was there where the spark for medicine ignited. This is the place where I spent most of my time as a student.
What happened after that? Why and at which university did you choose to study medicine?
I first started taking extra classes in Health and Biology. I wanted to learn many things related to medicine. I also wanted to know how to get into university. I didn’t know exactly what I needed. I didn’t know where to start and… Then the Arete Youth Foundation helped me. I found out about the student camps they organize and I immediately signed up. I was firstly a participant in the National Camp for girls of Roma origin, and then in the National Camp “Forward Together “. I think it was in 2016. There I got to know all the programs that gave me a chance to find my way to university. I sincerely thank them! After that I decided to enroll at the “Paisii Hilendarski” University and major in Nursing. I was approved in the first qualification. It was a great success for me!
Was this your dream? To be a nurse?
Yes! It really was my dream! Ever since I was a little girl I have loved helping people and taking care of those in need. I insisted on this dream of mine. During those four years at university, I tried hard, studied and developed myself. I had a mentor from Arete’s Academic Mentoring Program who helped me a lot. I passed all the exams successfully! Now I am a registered nurse!
What motivated you in pursuing this dream of yours?
The desire to succeed! To achieve more! The education that would give me a good life. All of my loved ones, those who supported me and gave me courage! Without their support it would have been difficult.
Were there any other graduates in your family before you? Or people who have followed your path?
I have a cousin who is a doctor. I’m very proud of her too! I’m proud of myself too!
Wonderful! You mentioned that you came across the Arete Youth Foundation. How and why exactly did you come across it, I don’t know if saying “come across” is the right way to describe it?
My cousin introduced me to the work of this foundation in 2015. And from there it all started. With the camps, the mentoring program, the program ,,Peer to peer”. I thank them for that!
How do you feel, as a girl who comes from a Romani background, but still graduated from university?
I am proud! I am proud of my origins! And I am also very proud and grateful to the people who have supported me all these years!
What would you like to say to the Romani girls who come after you?
To follow their dreams! To evolve! And to conquer peaks! To be an example to those around them!
Do you have a favourite quote or a verse, or any words that guide you?
Just keep going forwards!
Thank you for taking the time to tell us about yourself and your journey so far. I wish you success and many more reasons to be proud! You are a girl that the Romani society is proud of! Thank you!
It was a pleasure! Thank you!
Author: Gabriel Borisov
Translated by V. Chaprazova