“Walk hand in hand and get closer to one another!”
These are the words teachers always tell to the children in the kindergarten when they take them out. These words have extreme power and impact here in Belitsa, the community where Christians and Muslims have co-existed peacefully for centuries.
The exhibition “Bridge” with 22 panels with photos reflecting our interfaith youth camp "BRIDGE-Inter-Cultures" was officially opened at the "Georgi Todorov 1885" Community Center in the town of Belitsa on 31 May. The event coincided with the celebration of 50th Anniversary of Nadezhda (Hope) Kindergarten in the Municipality. The messages of the two events interweave and show once again the symbolism of going hand in hand and side by side, regardless of the challenges, the difficulties, the colour of the skin or what we believe in. Building bridges is a mission, to give your hand and to go along is faith, cause and hope for the future.
Before the kids concert and celebration the kindergarten 50th Anniversary the official exhibition opening took place. Guests from Sofia Angelina Vladikova - chair of “Bridges – Eastern European Forum for Dialogue” (URI E Cooperation Circle) and URI Europe Liaison Officer together with Svetlana Karadzhova – Board of Trustees of Bridges and President of the “Society of Banat Bulgarians” and Hatidje Dzhurina, representative of the “Bulgarian Memory” Foundation were cordially welcomed by the Mayor Radoslav Revanski and his deputies Krasimira Mavrodieva and Sabit Gagham, the chairman of the Municipal Council Ahmed Ahmed, the secretary of the municipality Ilyaz Dagonov, senior specialist Humanitarian activities "in municipal administration - Krum Popov, the local religious leader - Ahmed Gorelski, the directors of the two secondary schools, Elena Andreeva and Fanka Kasheva and secretary of the Community Center Maya Padareva.
Angelina Vladikova, Chair of Bridges congratulated all attendees on the event and shared the ideas, goals and activities of the organization focusing on building bridges of harmony, understanding and tolerance, and focusing on our what unite us to build better society, free of stereotypes, prejudices and violence. "I am happy that we are here in Belitsa where people from differnet faiths coexisted for centuries peacefuly. I am also proud that in the interfaith youth camp we have 17-18 year teenagers from your town, with whom we build bridges together". In response to the BRIDGES message Mayor Radoslav Revvanskinexpressed his satisfaction that the exhibition "Bridge-Between-Cultures" and the representatives of the three organizations are in Belitsa because there is something to find here to spread the peaceful and fraternal relationship between people of different religions and ethnicities. "Belitsa is an example of friendship, brotherhood and partnership between people of different religions and ethnicity and I, as mayor of this municipality, feel proud of this fact."
After the official ceremony Angelina Vladikova gave 20 copies of the Interfaith Colouring book for children (URI&BARAZA production) to the Director of the kindergarten in Belitsa.