Educational mediators – the missing piece of the intercultural education puzzle.

During the period from November 8th to 10th, 2023, the Lesopark Hotel in the city of Lyaskovets transformed into a center for intensive and interactive training for over 80 educational mediators assigned to schools nationwide. The training, organized by the Amalipe Center, combined intensive sessions, interactive exercises, and inspiring success stories, creating an environment for knowledge acquisition and exchange of experience.

The event began with the opening of the training, introduction of participants, and the presentation of the “Network of Educational Mediators.” Subsequently, the work continued in two parallel groups. One was led by Deyan Kolev, the chairman of the Amalipe Center, who provided current and essential information to educational mediators regarding the funding of the position and key aspects concerning the future of educational mediators in the new academic year. Deyan Kolev emphasized the importance of the new resource for the appointment of educational mediators. This innovative approach, provided from April to May, includes changes in the Regulation on Funding (Article 52a). A special resource will be provided to schools and kindergartens with a concentration of vulnerable groups from July 2023, and it will be updated from the beginning of 2024. The numbers are individual, depending on the number of students and the vulnerability group.



More information can be found here.

At the end of the first day, all participants gathered in one group for a general session. In this part, the initiative for the selection of “coordinator mediators” was introduced. Due to the significant interest in the involvement of educational mediators in the network and its development, the Amalipe Center decided to conduct a competition to appoint Mediator Coordinators who would actively contribute to the network’s development on a voluntary basis. The selected Mediator Coordinators will play a key role in team management and take responsibility for issues and problems. They will maintain an up-to-date database of educational mediators, participate in meetings with the Amalipe Center, and support the community.


After the nominations were completed, educational mediator Tashka Mutafova proposed to all present to collect a membership fee for all educational mediators included in the “Network of Educational Mediators,” and mediator Bozhidar Atanasov suggested that the membership fee be used for the “I Want to Learn” Fund. The proposed annual membership fee from all mediators is 20 BGN per year, subject to coordination with all network members. The Amalipe Center will organize the proper and transparent collection of the membership fee. These initiatives create a more structured and engaged educational network ready to turn its energy into a sustainable and beneficial contribution to the future of education in the country.

On the second day, in the first session, the groups exchanged to allow all participants to go through the educational sessions. Then, all participants had a general session on organizing campaigns, led by Teodora Krumova and Atanas Atanasov. In both groups, the annual activity calendar created by the Amalipe Center was presented, as well as the initiatives and campaigns to be implemented by the Amalipe Center. One of the upcoming initiatives and campaigns in which all mediators can participate is the “Mediator of the Year,” organized for the third consecutive year and open to all educational mediators. Another similar initiative coming up is the campaign “My Opinion Matters,” which this year will be open to educational mediators who have formed a team with at least two included parents, but more information will be sent to all Mediators at the beginning of January 2024. In addition to presenting initiatives and campaigns in which interested Mediators can participate, the session also provided information on the steps to organize a campaign, event, or initiative. Thus, all participants can now successfully organize similar campaigns or events in the schools where they work.

In the afternoon sessions, participants were again divided into two groups, with one group led by Deyan Kolev and Lalo Kamenov (Director of COIDUEM), and the other group led by lecturer Teodora Krumova.


The topics in both sessions were related to discrimination and hate speech, how to identify them, and how to react in such cases. Thanks to Mr. Kamenov’s expertise, participants now know the procedure for reporting and responding to cases of discrimination.

In the other group, Teodora Krumova presented European institutions and the upcoming European elections. Participants received valuable information about the functions of the institutions and the importance of European issues in the context of their work.

At the end of the day, participants met successful Roma individuals who shared their personal success stories. For this part, Dimitar Malinov, an employee at the Regional Directorate of the Ministry of Interior – Pleven, was invited to share his personal story and emphasize the importance of education. He successfully completed the sports gymnasium in Pleven with high honors, was a talented football player, but decided to become a law enforcement officer. He enrolled in the Academy of the Ministry of Interior, where he achieved the best results in his class. Currently married with two children, both of whom are pursuing education – one in Bulgaria for a master’s degree and the other in the Netherlands. His message to all participants was that education is the most valuable thing, and educational mediators play an extremely important role in this process.

Following him, Atanas Mateev, an educational mediator and teacher, presented his first novel, “Human – The Power of Blood,” sharing the story behind the book and reading short excerpts. The book will be available at the end of November, with a special price of 12 BGN for all educational mediators. Together with Malinov, they provided an inspiring dose of motivation for the training participants.

On the last day, the session focused on fieldwork and interaction with parent clubs. Atanas Atanasov and Valeri Angelov from the Amalipe Center introduced participants to the specifics of working with the community, different Roma groups, their traditions, and culture. Mediators need to better understand the community they work with every day, as they are the people who will support modernization within the groups. The next session focused on working with documentation and maintaining confidentiality. The training concluded with awards and certificate presentations, with participants leaving Lyaskovets with new knowledge and inspiration.

This unique experience in Lyaskovets not only strengthened the educational community in the country but also emphasized the importance of effective training and the inspiration that can be provided by professional trainers. The event left a lasting impact on the participants’ minds, and they returned to their schools with new knowledge, motivation, and readiness to face future challenges in Bulgarian education.



The initiative “Human Rights: Educate, Inspire, Change!” is implemented within the framework of the project “Rights and Values” and is funded by the European Union and the Open Society Institute – Sofia (OSI).


“The Network of Educational Mediators” is administered by the Amalipe Center with the support of the Trust for Social Alternative.