Volunteers in action!
- Posted by: Hristo Hristov
- Category: Uncategorized @bg
Being a volunteer is a vocation, a mission and a goal for a person who wants to be one.
Kindness saves people’s lives! It is a part of the people who have a loving heart.
Volunteers are the ‘superheroes’ who believe in goodness, love and hope.
I have met thirty-five ‘superheroes’! I have met them at the national training for volunteers. They are from all over the country, and everyone carried the goodness in his heart! We gathered in Sofia with the mission and the vocation to be volunteers (superheroes) of the ‘Arete Youth Foundation’. All of us were ready to give, perform and help. We were full of positive emotions and charged with very strong energy, ready to be one team, to be Arete’s volunteer team.
On the very first day, we all gathered together and began to get to know each other. We talked about our mission to be volunteers, we talked about our dreams and goals. After that, we started working and sharing our ideas. We rehearsed for the upcoming fourth fundraising concert, which was being organized with the goal of raising money for scholarships for twelfth graders and students of Roma origin with excellent merits.
We all made efforts to organize the concert. Bobby – a very organized person – assigned our tasks. Hristo was always by our side and helped with everything we needed. Donka – an ‘art soul’ – wrote the script and carefully supervised the implementations of the tasks given. Emo and Nassy – “dancing hearts” – were training all over the place as they were going to show their own dance at the concert. We all gathered at the office of the Arete Youth Foundation for the very first rehearsal. Euphoria and excitement by the upcoming event could be seen all over the office. We were happy, joking, laughing together, as we had known each other for years. This is how the first day of training went.
On the second day, the concert we were all excited about was coming up. We gathered together and got down for final preparations. Steven and Vihra rehearsed for their first performance as concert hosts. Тhe boys took care of the heavy lifting and arranged the chairs in the hall and took care of the technical support. Some of the girls took care of the food, a lot of sandwiches had to be made for all of us. Girls who were studying hairdressing and cosmetics took care of good-looking of presenters and participants who had to look astonishing when they went on stage as they later did. Hristo Georgiev had the task of arranging his beautiful paintings and preparing them for sale. Indeed, he later sold more than half of his works. What a better appreciation of his talent?
We all took our seats. It was time for the concert to begin. The spotlights turned on , the curtains opened and the music from the accordions of Kiril Petrov and Mariyan Minchev filled the hall with joy. Petar Rangelov and Thomas Tomov with their fascinating performance of “Dzhelem, Dzhelem” started the concert and fulfilled the souls of the guests with their voices and talents. Sasha-Sandra and Sandrito performed their hit music and made us all smile and dance. The next performer was a volunteer like us – Vanyo Rumenov, who made us all cry. He is a first-year student, studying music, and his appearance on stage was his first appearance as a performer. Soniya Mihaylova, yes, the same one who was a semi-finalist in ‘The Voice of Bulgaria’. Later on whe was a finalist! It was her second year in university and as Vanyo Sonya was part of the ‘Academic mentorship’ program of the Arete Youth Foundation. Soniya and her younger sister Lyubima performed one of the most popular song in Bulgarian folklore – ‘Ya kazhi mi, oblache le biyalo’. Nikky Kirchev who had the idea for the very first fundraising concert back in 2017 sang another popular Bulgarian song. Actually, after the concert guests could be heard talking about Roma as ‘guardians of Bulgarian folklore’.
It seemed like the hall erupted when the popular Sasho ‘ The Joker’ and his partner Yulia appeared. They made us all stand up and dance again. It was the second time Sasho ‘The Joker’, Petar Rangelov and Neno Iliev joined the concert’s agenda. We the Roma need more people like them who are committed to the cause of motivating Roma youth to pursue huigher education.
Until the end of the concert, we enjoyed theater presented to us by three young actresses: Donka Kyoseva, Melina and Veronika Atanasovi as well as Nassy and Emo’s modern dance; the brass band from Pazardzhik and Thomas Tomov, who amazed us with ‘Ochi chornie’. It was amazing!
Everyone was singing and dancing from the bottoms of their hearts and showed what they were capable of. We all together went on stage and sang “Ederlezi”. I could see how each of us was pleased with ourselves. Some laughed, others cried and we greeted each other.
Radostina Chaprazova, Country Director of the Arete Youth Foundation expressed a grate gratitude to all of us and to the people who came to donate for our cause. We were all happy.
The concert was a dream come true. The concert created memories, made many people happy and showed that goodness exists! We went back to the hotel happy with ourselves and what we had achieved! Tired but happy that we fulfilled our mission – being the volunteer team of “Arete”.
I don’t like the last day of our trainings. Happy that it’s over but sad to be parting ways. Although it had been for three days only, we got closer. Arete Youth Foundation gave us a chance to re-acquire the skills and qualities we needed as well as to experience great moments and to try to be at the peak of our potential.
In every community there is something to be changed and in every heart there is the power to do it.
“Be the best version of yourself!”
Author: Gabriel I. Borisov