By Katerina Bozhilova (YES 2019-2020, Bulgaria, hosted by YFU USA in Glenwood, IA)
Bulgaria na Mladite (or the Youth of Bulgaria) is a non-profit organization that was established as youth development organization aimed at helping young people think critically, and to give them a platform to showcase their talents. My first experience with this organization was in 2019 for their “Model Republic of Bulgaria 2019” event held at the American University in Bulgaria. The goal of this event was to teach kids about politics by roleplaying the Bulgarian government. Participants were assigned different roles such as minister, ambassador, journalist, or photographer. I was the Minister of Culture and got to sit in all of the council’s meetings. There, we discussed at large many international and domestic affairs, economic stability, social matters, and environmental issues. Then, after we had discussed them, each one of us had time to express what we feel is the best way to overcome and fix the issues.
It wasn’t just a political event; it was a great opportunity to meet many amazing people with high potential from across the country. When I saw that they were looking for ambassadors for the organization — I applied. After a few weeks, it turned out that I was accepted and now am proudly an ambassador for them in the Plovdiv region. In this role it is expected that I organize a project that benefits my local community. For my project, I am still figuring out technicalities and communicating with the others to make sure it is the best it can be.
The most important thing I realized from this experience is how much activism and hope there is for the future. All the people in attendance at the event are spectacular and everything I want to be. We make a good team because we have a goal in commo: more educated, confident, and creative people in Bulgaria.