A meeting of two worlds: BSS Plovdiv visits the school in Davidkovo

07 Feb 2022

On a sunny morning in the beginning of February the BSS Plovdiv team embarked on an important mission. A mission that brings hope to a crippled brethren of ours – the “Cyril and Methodius” school in Davidkovo, in the middle of the Rhodope Mountains.

After a 3 hours drive through snowy roads, with drifts thigh high at some places, the cars finally reached the last bend of the road and entered the village. It was huge – more like a small town than a village. During its days of glory, the place had been home to over 5000 people and the local school enjoyed the buzzing of the voices of more than 300 students. Those days are long gone now.

Today the village is a pale spectre of its former self. At night you can count the lit windows of the houses. There are 2-3 of them nested on each of the surrounding peaks. Their inhabitants, tough as the mountain itself, refuse to leave their homesteads for a better life in the city.

In the middle of this forgotten by all the gods place you can see the local school, towering above the rest of the buildings, like a titan covered in snow, resting in his winter slumber. There, we were welcomed by the headmistress, Mrs. Roza Kuncheva, who told us the school’s story. It turned out that “Cyril and Methodius” runs on the sheer will of its headmistress. The state funding is almost nonexistent and Mrs. Kuncheva is locked in a never ending battle with the institutions, refusing to give up. Due to the geographic remoteness and the small number of pupils, the teachers and the school board are forced to make do with what they create seemingly out of thin air. We are not talking about electronic devices and furniture. It is about clothes and shoes for the pupils. It is about warming up the building. It is about the precarious route of the school bus, collecting children from the other villages around Davidkovo, even in the deepest snow.

The handful of children, studying at “Cyril and Methodius” understand the struggle of their teachers. Not because they are told about it. But because they are part of it, together with their families, with their neighbours and with their friends. And they are thankful. They love to go to school and with eyes wide open to discover the secrets of the world. A world, some of them have only heard about during school days. A world, where even the concepts of a “streetlight” or a “crosswalk” sound almost esoteric and alien.

We were moved by the acts of heroism of our colleagues in Davidkovo, who could perform the sacrament of teaching in such an environment. And we are bound to help them with any means we can muster. Like a brother holding a younger sibling in one hand and the torch of knowledge in the other, paving the way of learning through the deep snowdrifts of the mountain. And we’ll make sure the torch remains lit.

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