How the “Let’s celebrate love … when it comes on time” campaign went places

February 14th is the day that becomes a symbol of excitement and romance for the youth, when their hearts beat faster and their eyes shine with excitement. This is a time to express feelings through romantic gestures, messages and special surprises. Youngsters seek to show their love and affection in the most creative ways, immersing themselves in the sea of ​​emotions and absorbing themselves in the magic of the moment.

Despite this romantic image, young people often fall into the trap of thinking about love, which leads them down the path of premature responsibility. Exposed to the idealized view of relationships, they sometimes doom their destiny to family life in an experience of youthful passions, becoming mothers or fathers too soon. This early responsibility often robs them of the opportunity to develop their talents, learn and grow in the areas that interest them, and chase their dreams. Thus, before they even realize it, they may lose the opportunity to further their education or pursue their dream profession, driven by the ideals of love and family.

During the past week, Amalipe Center made a call to mediators, schools, youth groups to join the campaign “Let’s celebrate love… when it comes on time”. Because in recent decades, February 14 is a day in which St. Valentine and Triphon Zarezan – the day of love or the day of wine. And when you are 14, the fourteenth day of February is the long-awaited day when you can legitimize your feelings and when youthful emotions cannot be subdued – the day when it is somehow allowed to talk about love at 14.

The topic attracted attention. It gave reason to reflect on the future life of young people. A great activity was observed on the part of the students. In a safe and secure environment created for them by their teachers, they could talk about the topic so important to them frankly and share experiences and experiences. Even students who were not active and showed no interest until now were included in the talks.

Conversations about the future of each of them took place very dynamically. Young people were excited by the fact that someone was interested in

United school of Pobeda

their future and motivated them to make the right decisions for themselves. Sometimes students share that early marriages are often at the will of their parents, which they find difficult to oppose. We collected valentines, photos and shared thoughts. You will see the photos. Children’s frank thoughts shake. “I want to leave the neighborhood and change my future.” Strong words of a young man showing decision, will and desire for a better life. The good example of successful young people is the tool that influences the most.

Primary, united, secondary and high schools from all over the country joined the campaign. From small settlements and large regional cities – more than 40 schools. Students from the majority as well as children from different ethnic groups participated. With them were teachers, pedagogical advisors and educational mediators, as well as speakers such as students and role models – over 1,500 people.

And this is how they did it in many of the places in the country that we were told about:

During the week of love in the PGTO “Dobri Zhelyazkov” – Sliven, trainings were conducted by the school ombudsman, on the principle Peers teach peers among students in the 8th and 9th grades as part of the campaign “Let’s celebrate love… when it comes on time” . In the form of interactive group work, the students elicited their values, prepared a Pyramid of Values ​​and a Wall of Class Values. They debated issues related to education, family and love. In a workshop for valentines, with a lot of enthusiasm and desire, valentines with wishes were made and distributed to everyone in the high school. In the school hall on February 16, a thematic celebration dedicated to Love as a value was held, including literary readings of poems and essays by students and teachers, musical and dance performances. We end the week with a lot of mood and faith in the future!

The students from “Panayot Volov” Secondary School, Todor Ikonomovo village, Shumen region participated in the campaign under the guidance of their teachers Diana Kirova and Elena Zdravkova.

Under the motto “With love – first to my future, then to you.” the participants held a discussion related to the prevention of early marriages. The finale summed up the message to Roma girls with the movie “Life is Beautiful”, namely – love, reflected in the crooked mirror of traditions, is the end of freedom, the premature transformation of a girl into a woman… A woman bent over by the responsibilities of a young mother, housewife, wife . Therefore – let’s not allow early marriages to leave behind empty ranks and broken destinies!

The students of the 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades of the “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” Sredets decided to organize a lecture on the topic “February 14 – With love – first to my future and then to you”. They motivated the eighth graders to believe in love, but also to be careful and responsible. Because their actions today determine their tomorrow.

In the secondary school in the city of Smyadovo, the campaign “Let’s celebrate the love that comes on time!” brought together students and

educational mediators to emphasize that love is a wonderful feeling, but at the right age and with the right person. Teachers and mediators motivated young people to continue their education, to keep dreaming, to fight and to realize, and they, in turn, said “It’s too early!”

Parents and students from Shumen “Traiko Simeonov” Secondary School celebrated February 14th. Aksinia Rankova, who graduated from them and is now a student, was a special guest. Talks were given at the event explaining the harms of early marriages and early school dropouts. Organizers of the event are the mediators in the school and the students from the student council. Attendees were given handmade heart-shaped cards bearing messages.

On St. Valentine’s Day, representatives of the Student Parliament of “Lyuben Karavelov” Secondary school , Asparuhovo, Melis Hristova and Eliza Naydenova, organized two trainings with the aim of preventing early marriages under the title “It’s too early for us!”. They explained to the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th grade students that there is a right time and place for everything. Let us all build ourselves as valuable individuals first and then make a wise and responsible decision about our lives. Decisions made now will decide our fate tomorrow. Together we all said “It’s early!”

As part of the “Let’s celebrate the love that comes in time” campaign, the “Hristo Botev” United School, Kaspichan village, hosted students – volunteers from the Amalipe Center. In our dynamic discussion, we talked with the young people about the topics: What is love? When is she on time? Which is more important love or education? And what opportunities education provides.

In the Vocational High School of Agriculture Shumen, inclusion in the campaign was discussed. The young girls and boys, festively excited, listened with interest and shared their experiences. Some of them had already made their decision: “Education and realization first, then starting a family”, while others were attending an extracurricular activity for the first time and were now considering what their life would be like after graduating from school. The activity was useful for getting to know, bonding and planning for the students’ future.

“Vasil Levski” elementary school in the village of Karadjovo decided to organize a lecture on “February 14th, with love – first to my future and then to you”. A special guest was Maria Grigorova from the village of Bolyartsi, who told about her journey from the Roma neighborhood to Plovdiv University, one of the successful Roma who broke all stereotypes and prejudices about the Roma woman and the Roma community. She motivates students to believe in love, but also to be careful and responsible. Because their actions today determine their tomorrow. The lecture was aimed at preventing early marriages. “Try to be a good example, develop, believe in love, but be reasonable” with these words she addressed the students.

Let’s celebrate love… when it’s time was the topic of discussion with students from the “Vasil Levski” elementary school in the village of Preselentsi. The conversations were about dreams, education, profession and when is the right time to start a family. Love is wonderful, but only when it’s at the right time.

Mrs. Ivanka Alexandrova, mother of two children from the school and a resident of the village, was invited to the “Otets Paisiy” elementary school

in the village of Podgorica, Targovishte region. A discussion was held on various topics – about love, the role of education, the right to choose, early marriages… The mediator of the school, Suleiman Efraimov, also took part in the event. The students made and cut out hearts, which they distributed to classmates and teachers, and also made a board. They also watched the movie “Two Roma Worlds”. The event was filled with many pleasant emotions.

In the primary school in the village of Tarnene, the discussion among 14-year-olds was the long-awaited day when you can legitimize your feelings and when youthful emotions cannot be subdued – the day when it is somehow allowed to talk about love at 14.

The Primary School in the village of Glozhene also celebrated “Love – when it comes on time”. With the children of the 1st grade, the teachers drew attention to the purest and most sincere love – that of a student for a teacher, and with the 7th grade

students, the discussion was about the prevention of early marriages through a presentation on the topic.

The students from “Panayot Volov” elementary school, Madara village, Shumen municipality, participated in the campaign they organized together with “Amalipe” center – “Let’s celebrate love when it’s time!”, by developing and writing together “Recipe for Love” , in which everyone gave an idea, what needs to be included in it. The chairman of the school parliament – Nikoleta Lachezarova presented a presentation on the topic – St. Valentine – prevention of early marriages.

PGSSHVT “Angel Kanchev” Razgrad students and teachers together made a board, which is placed in a prominent place. Conversations on the topic of the future of each of them proceeded very dynamically. The young people were excited by the fact that someone was interested in their future. The students were very pleased that not only such an occasion was celebrated, but also the topic of early marriages was included.

The clothing high school in Razgrad also joined the campaign. The educational mediator was able to gather the girls and boys from different ethnic groups, students in the educational institution, often

faced with many challenges such as old traditions and discrimination from society, and convey to them the message that you should fight for your goals every day – a good future and the big love of life. But you always have to work on yourself first.

At the vocational high school for mechanics in Sliven, more than 50 students discussed the topic of early marriages and love that comes on time. For a large part of them, the question “How do I see myself in 5 years” is a challenge, but after the discussion for many young people, education and good realization are already the goal.

In the “St. Kliment Ohridski” elementary school, Pet Mogili village, the educational mediator prepared a board with a diagram about the risks of early marriage and life before marriage. The diagram illustrates so well the two paths that each person can take that the conclusions can be drawn at once. As well as making the right decisions.

In the elementary school in the town of Berkovitsa, the teachers, the educational mediator Magda Simova and students from junior high school took part in the discussion. Everyone united around the opinion that early

marriages are an obstacle to the successful realization of students. By getting married, they become housewives who cannot financially provide for their families, premature birth at an early age poses risks for the mother and the baby, etc. Students say that often early marriages are at the will of their parents, which they find difficult to oppose. If more serious attention was paid in society and they suffered sanctions and punishments, perhaps their numbers would decrease.

In the school in the village of Staro Oryahovo, the discussion was lively with great activity on the part of the students. The students of the 7th grade of the “St. St. Kiril and Metodii”, the village of Staro Oryahovo, watched a short video, after which, motivated and informed, they prepared an information board, distributed flyers and held discussions.

The students from the 6th and 7th grades of the “St. St. Cyril and Methodius”, the city of Lovech, held a discussion on the issues related to the value and importance of education, as well as prevention of early marriages. With high student turnout, the discussion did what it should. At the end of it, the unanimous conclusion is “It is more important to study!”. There is time for the rest!”.

The students from the 5th to the 7th grade of the 1st OU “Vasil Levski”, Valchedrum, participated in a discussion on the topic “For” and “against” early marriages. At the school in Walchedrum, the

discussion, in which more than 50 children took part, took place actively. The participants shared that “A person should be well-educated so that he can choose his life partner himself, and not have someone else choose it for him.”

In the primary school in the village of Sarnevo, students, parents and teachers openly talked about early marriages and education. The desire for children to be heard was in the air. The film “Life is

beautiful” of the “Amalipe” Center was screened at the “Saints Cyril and Methodius” elementary school in the village of Sarnevo. Then a discussion was held on the topic: Changes in the body and psyche of adolescents; first thrills, excitements, emotions and feelings; the role of Roma women in modern society; the attitude of the family to the problem of early marriages among the Roma community. And the Student Parliament created a “Wall of Love” poster.

In the school in the village of Medkovets, the educational mediator organized an information

campaign, which was attended by nearly 50 students. The educational mediators of SU “Otets Paisiy” in the village of Medkovets celebrated February 14 with an information campaign about early marriages under the title “Let’s celebrate love… When it comes on time”. The students were given specially made cards in which they found more information about early marriages.

In “P.K. Yavorov” Elementary School, Kardzhali, the students of the student parliament prepared a board and held a talk on the topic: “Let’s celebrate love…when it comes on time” with the students of grades 5, 6 and 7. The initiative was aimed at students. They understood that one had to finish school first, that early marriages led to unhappiness and dissatisfaction. The appeal of the discussion is aimed at adults. Children say “Parents, don’t give your children for money”.

In “Nayden Gerov” elementary school in the village of Gavrailovo, students and a pedagogical advisor reflected on the topic of early love and marriage. Our aim was to provoke them to realize how small they are, and how great the responsibilities that follow from early marriages. Students from the 7b grade of “Nayden Gerov” elementary school, Gavrailovo village, made a board dedicated to February 14 – the day of lovers! They gave each other valentines, shared their thrills and excitement. There was a debate related to age awareness…. distinguished their childhood feelings from future true love! “It is a responsibility to love”!

In the First Primary School “St. Kliment Ohridski”, the town of Radnevo, the 5th, 6th and 7th

grade students participated in a discussion about when is the right time to start a family, for and against early marriages. They made cards for St. Valentine, as well as held a discussion on the topic “Risks of early marriages among minorities”. The whole event was very interesting to the students. They listened to songs about love, watched a film and a presentation about the harm of early marriages. They made valentines for their loved ones.

In the village of Dolno Golemanci, municipality of Haskovo, they joined the campaign through a talk about the relationship between two lovers, the role of the family, education and early marriages. Everyone spoke and gave an opinion on the matter. We made hearts in different colors, which the children glued and a template – a heart with a message to a loved one. “Love that comes at the right time” turned out to be an extremely interesting topic for this age. The children actively participated in the talk and shared their feelings and likes.

From the primary school in Chirpan, region Stara Zagora also joined the campaign. With great interest from the students, everyone liked the topic very much and joined the discussion.

The unified school in the village of Pobeda, the unified school in the village of Markovo, Shumen region, Secondary school “Dimitar Rahov” Sliven, Secondary school “St. Paisii Hilendarski” Varbitsa also took part in the campaign. The students there wished to express their respect and affection for the people who care for their education and prosperity on a daily basis. With wishes to love and be loved, they presented classmates, parents, guidance and their teachers with sweet treats, a box with love wishes and beautiful paper flowers that they made themselves.

In the primary school in Dolno Ezerovo district, Burgas, in the week before February 14th, a “Box of Love” was placed in the lobby of the school. In it, primary and junior high school students submitted their wishes and favorite messages to their loved ones. Representatives from the Student Council gave a speech to their classmates about the holidays accompanying February 14, explaining the connection between the traditional Bulgarian holiday and the Day of Love. They presented their classmates with stickers “My big heart. Junior high school students read essays about love and looked for messages from what they read. They clarified the dimensions of love and determined whether there is equality between the sexes and what is the “role of man and woman” in modern partner relationships. The students understood that, in fact, love is not only the feeling that a man feels for a woman and a woman feels for a man. A mother’s concern for her child is also love, the encouraging words of the father to the son, as well as the chocolate bought by the grandmother for the grandchild, are expressions of love. Love in the family is the basis of a peaceful and happy coexistence, as well as a necessity for children to grow undisturbed and to experience a fulfilling and joyful childhood. And if a child is deprived of this, he becomes an inferior person, perhaps even unable to loves A person who has not known the warm feelings, the tender urge of love. “”With love – first to my future, then to you” . “We believe that after the activities, all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls will end. The importance of housework, which is mostly done by women at home, will be recognized and appreciated. Women’s equal access to education, political, economic and social activities will be promoted.”

Gorno Sahrane village, region Stara Zagora

Parents, teachers, as well as all students from V to VII grades from “Vasil Levski” Elementary School participated in a discussion on the topic of early marriage prevention. “Don’t do like me, kids! Now I can’t work and fill out my documents” – shared a parent – participant in the discussion.

The participants were shown films and clips created by Amalipe and dedicated to all children who are cut off from education: “Life is wonderful”; “The Risks of Early Marriage among Minorities”; “Two Roma worlds”. Making a “love time frame”.

In PGOD “Euridika” Kardzhali, students willingly participated in making a board, decorating and writing valentines. The film “Two Roma Worlds” caused enormous interest. The discussion then turned into a debate.

In “Hristo Botev” ObU, Stamboliyski, the campaign was marked with a presentation and talk – early marriages – modern slavery under the title “We celebrate love.. when it comes on time; legend of the wine god Dionysus; a lecture on gender relations; making and reading valentines; forming large-scale hearts in the school yard with flags and with the students themselves; filming the activities and publishing them on the school page. “Our goal was to make the students think about the bad consequences of early marriages; To think about the suffering of the children of women separated and abused by their husbands in their families; To realize that the multiple roles of the girl in early marriage make her a “slave” without education; To put themselves and their development first, in order to be more free and independent – empowered and a little more emancipated; To think about gender relations; To change their relations according to the requirements of the 21st century – relations of tolerance and respect between the sexes; To realize that every girl is a future, potential wife and mother and to treat them with respect as their mothers; To realize what male power is for; To plan their lives, looking towards a common goal; To open spaces for conversations on all “”uncomfortable”” topics – and to strengthen the created trust between students and teachers.”

In the Vocational High School of Fashion Design in Veliko Tarnovo, the campaign was also celebrated, under the motto “For love when it comes in time”. Students together with the educational mediator Ekram Myumyunov and the expert from the Amalipe Center Valeri Angelov created a special information board and discussed with the students the harm that can follow from an early marriage or cohabitation. They also talked about the dreams and fears of young people, uniting around the thesis that there is time for everything and that serious decisions should not be rushed.

In “St. George Pobedonosets” Vocational High School of Agriculture in Suvorovo, teachers prepared a presentation which they presented to the students by class. We also had a box of love wishes. I discussed early marriages. Young people thought about early marriages and began to advise themselves and set examples with their families.

In the elementary school “Hristo Botev” in the village of Krushovitsa, they organized a discussion with students; talk with young people of Roma origin; drawings related to the subject; writing messages; interview about the importance of education before love; conversation with parents, etc. An important message around which everyone united was “True and meaningful love must first be for my bright future.” Radoslava Spasova shares: “The times in which we live pose a number of challenges for young people of Roma origin. They have to deal with many problems of all kinds. Many adolescents do not manage to find their place in society. Taking into account the role that the youth community plays in public life, we must strive to make sense of the free time of adolescents, to stimulate their work in an atmosphere of tolerance, freedom and imagination, by assuming and fulfilling responsibilities by building a club in our neighborhood. Working in a team, overcoming difficulties and taking on responsibilities will contribute to their personal growth. Let the feeling that they will do something worthwhile build their self-esteem and contribute to their feeling of completeness. I dream of creating more opportunities for the youth in the field of education and employment. To improve the access and full participation of all young people in the public life of our village.”

In the village of Ravna Gora, Burgas region, the educational mediator organized a discussion in which he touched on the following topics: “When is the right time to start a family?” ?”, “For and against early marriages”. The children made flyers in the shape of hearts with the words “Love but in time” and pinned them to their clothes. They also produced beautiful drawings and boards.

“Hristo Botev” Elementary School, Alekovo village, the educational mediator organized a talk on the topic of early love and its consequences for adolescents. The theme helped to attract the children’s attention and succeed in getting them to be kinder to each other.

In the Vocational High School of Chemical and Food Technologies in the town of Pazardzhik, a discussion on the topic “When does love come?” was organized with the help of the psychologist. The thought “Love makes sense of my world and makes my life more beautiful” stood out in the discussion. The organizers say: “We are satisfied with the achieved result, we have engaged the students, giving them the opportunity to raise their awareness, to give their own ideas, to enrich their knowledge, to participate. To support the personal development of young people, skills to develop, to cope with the changing world. The lack of motivation in their communities’ decision-making processes was more difficult to deal with, although most answered the questions comprehensively and were well informed. I believe that the

difficulties are due to profound changes in society. Young people should participate actively in the elections, development of creative thinking, they should be given space, trust and funds.”

In the discussion on the campaign of the primary school in the village of Dobrolevo region Vratsa students got involved actively. Everyone agreed that they should first realize themselves in life and then create a family. The school is unanimous that more talks, celebrations, meetings with successful Roma should be organized, as well as more work with parents from vulnerable groups.

In the Elementary school “Hr. Botev” village Rakovitsa region while the students were making valentines and drawing lots of hearts, a conversation was going on. The theme was about love and relationships between people.

Surely these are only a part of the schools that joined the campaign. Thank you all for the information you shared with us!