The President of the SACP, Dr. Eleonora Lilova, once again supported the celebration of Vasilitsa (Roma New Year). The event is organized by the Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue and Tolerance.


"It is a pleasure for me to be part of this special day for the Roma community for the third year in a row. This year our meeting is through a platform, but more importantly, we can be together again on the holiday. I wish everyone health, prosperity and may your dreams come true. Let Bango Vasiliy bring a lot of joy and protect you throughout the year!”, with these words Dr. Eleonora Lilova greeted all participants in the meeting. Then she addressed the team of "Amalipe" with the belief that with our joint efforts in 2021 we will be able to implement many activities related to the integration of the Roma community.


The Chairperson of the Amalipe Center, Mr. Deyan Kolev, thanked the SACP for its support over the years and spoke about the campaign "Rebuilding the bridges between us", which aims to show the richness of Roma culture, closely related to that of Bulgarians and other ethnic groups living in Bulgaria.


Mr. Kolev emphasized that the campaign is becoming more and more successful and the number of involved institutions is increasing. Until last year, respect for Roma culture was shown by all major national institutions and the people who represent them: the President and Vice President, the Chairperson of the National Assembly, the Ministers of Education, Labor and Social Policy, Health, Regional Development, Foreign Affairs, National ombudsman and many others.


This year, due to the conditions of the pandemic, the campaign is on a limited scale and is conducted entirely online. It includes mainly the diplomatic corps, only three of the ministries directly involved in the challenges currently facing the education system: the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the Ministry of Health, ambassadors and diplomats representing their nations and states in our country, as well as the SACP.


"The celebration of Vasilitsa is connected with an old legend, which says that the Devil destroyed the bridge on which the Roma walked, but St. Vasil rebuilt it so that they could cross the water and start their new life. Vasilitsa is the day when, through the power of tradition and ritual, we build bridges to the coming days with the belief that they will be better!”, shares Mr. Kolev.


The event was attended by students from 11th, 7th and 4th grade at Secondary School "Vasil Levski", Yablanitsa and Secondary School "Hristo Smirnenski", Gulyantsi - part of the educational partners of "Amalipe". They addressed traditional musical greetings to Dr. Eleonora Lilova and said what the holiday means to them and their family. These two schools from Northwestern Bulgaria are an example of the educational progress of the Roma community and there are no children and young people who have dropped out of school. The success of children in the educational system is a step forward in the development of this community and a good example of the educational model in a multicultural environment.


The children were happy to have a short discussion with Dr. Lilova, in which they shared about the challenges they face during distance learning. They also shared what professions they intend to choose for themselves and especially the impatience to be together again at school.