Lyubomira Velcheva is the National Director of the Award in Bulgaria. Before she began working for the Award, Lyubomira was a Human Resources professional, working in a large International Corporation. She says that she took a leap into the unknown because she was drawn to the idea of changing young people’s lives.
What has been your greatest achievement so far, working with the Award?
Talking from the Award perspective I will say, that we have established one great and recognisable organisation, the biggest youth organisation in Bulgaria nowadays. Lately, all education and youth events we are attending, we ask the question ‘how did you hear about the Award’, and always there are at least several people (teachers, young people or parents), who are stating either they are Award participants, mentors or Leaders. This implies that we are everywhere.
Talking from a personal perspective, it is my personal development and growth. I was 27 when I have become a National Director. And I was not ready at all for this responsibility. Still, my perseverance, naivety, and curiosity I guess have helped me find the perfect team, build a strong base for the organisation, and create a meaningful experience and framework in the Award, that makes young people #WORLDREADY.
What are your ambitions for the Award in the future?
Our ambition is to make the Award available to all young people in Bulgaria. To promote the youth work and make it part of a structured system.
Together with the team we also have a dream to have an Award house on three floors. On the first we will have the team workplaces, the second will be the training space, where different sorts of training will take place, and on the third will be a youth space, where young people can come and develop ideas, skills or just do something together. We will also have a garden and will organise youth festivals and massive adventures journeys. Now, as soon as we achieve the goals we have, we will make our dream a SMART goal and start dreaming for even more!
What does the future of education entail? What changes do you hope will be made?
I call it learning, but not education, as education suggests boundaries and limits. In the future, I do believe that learning will be a process. This process will have a framework and opportunities that enable people to learn and develop skills and competencies that make them a better version of themselves, in order to make this world a better place. In two words, the future of education should make this world a better place.
What elements contribute to a good education?
- Environment – both fascial and emotional;
- Adequacy – in terms of time, generation, territory, needs;
- Impactful – making a real impact on learners, and the local society. This impact needs to be measured and assessed on a yearly basis;
How has the role of educators changed to date? And how do you think they’ll change in the future?
The role has changed so much in the past five years and has become so demanding, yet in the same time, less and less respected by society. We as a society expect a lot from them, while forgetting to value what they are giving us and taking it for granted. If we want to have great educators, including teachers, we do need to change our attitude to them and rebuild their image in society, giving them the respect they deserve and also the freedom to create.
How do we best equip and empower young people to be agents of positive change in the future?
- Believe they are such;
- Giving them the freedom to be such;
- Supporting their journey to become such;
- Celebrating together their success;