Our Dream: The Choice

In the town of Kyustendil, in western Bulgaria, 90 km southwest of Sofia, some Roma children are fighting age-old stereotypes by choosing to continue their education beyond the age of 16, as is mandated by law. With support from their poorly educated parents who have struggled their entire lives to find employment, there are now children who are excited about the potential that a high school and even a college education can provide.

In a society in which many Roma girls marry young and many Roma boys work alongside their fathers after finishing the eighth grade, the potential for a career provides these children with a path out of poverty and a realistic chance for a better life.

Lili and Raina are supported by their parents, who realize the power of education and are excited about their children’s future. Their parents encourage them to study and follow their dreams. Emil, who dreams of being a football player, doesn’t value education and has little hope of escaping a future in the ghetto. These are their stories.

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