26.06.2018Horo of tolerance was danced for the 15 consecutive year in Veliko Tarnovo

Nearly 1500 children, teachers and parents from 90 schools and volunteers from across the country gathered in Veliko Tarnovo on June 8 and 9 for the fifteenth edition of the Children's Open heart Festival, demonstrating that mutual understanding and tolerance are not forgotten issues. The festival is a joint initiative of Amalipe Center, Veliko Tarnovo Municipality and Trust for a Social Achievement. Started in 2003 as a joint performance of several schools in Veliko Tarnovo region, 15 years later, the festival presents the beauty and creativity of different ethnic groups in more than 100 schools and kindergartens throughout the country.

The official opening took place with the performance of the music teacher at Hristo Botev Primary School, in the village of Kardam, Galina Zhelyazkova, who sang the Roma hymn "Dzelem Dzelem". The students of "Vasil Levski" Secondary school in Yablanitsa continued with a Roma dance, after which 11 beautiful girls from "N.Vaptsarov" Primary School in the village of Selanovtsy, who spread their spell for fortune and luck with their "Zlongonki" dance.

Their presence at the stage delighted the official guests of the festival: Prof. Lubomira Popova - District Governor of Veliko Tarnovo District, Mr. Gancho Karabadzhakov - Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo, Mrs. Penka Ignatova - Director of Education Directorate in the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo, Lalo Kamenov - Ministry of Education and Science, eng. Rozalia Licheva - Head of Regional Education Department, Mrs. Nicole Virsh - Deputy Ambassador of the Swiss Confederation and Deputy Head of Diplomatic Representation, Mr. Evgeni Todorov - US Embassy, Ms Gergana Efremova - "Teach for all - Bulgaria", Ms. Ina Ivanova - Expert at CEICSEM, Mrs. Diana Nikolaeva - Regional Representative of CAD, Prof. Mariana Mandeva - University of Veliko Tarnovo "St. St. Cyril and Methodius ", Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yosif Nunev -" St. St. Cyril and Methodius ", Mrs. Angela Dosseva - Regional Social Assistance Directorate, Mrs. Rumyana Dzhambazova - Department of Child Protection at the Social Assistance Directorate.

Greeting letters were delivered on behalf of Ms. Zornitsa Rusinova - Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy, Ms. Lilyana Pavlova - Minister of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, Mrs. Milena Damyanova - Chairperson of the National Commission for Education at the National Assembly, PhD. Yanka Takeva - President of the Union of Bulgarian Teachers.

The festival program continued with the attractive dance "Samodivi" of the students from the group of folklore of the ethnics - Roma folklore at Secondary school "St. Kliment Ohridski " in the town of Simeonovgrad. Lorenzo Marinov was a special guest  for all participants and guests of the 15th edition of the festival. There were a number of performances that filled the color and sound of the Marno Pole Park and immersed guests and viewers in the incredible world of music and art of different ethnicities.

Moderators of the Festival this year were the actress Natalia Tsekova and the journalist, poet and actor, Valery Lekov.

At 18 o'clock the central street in the old capital city was colored in bright shades and flags. Hundreds of children and teachers walked along the street, dressed in traditional costumes, and danced a traditional dance in front of the building of the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo, where they were greeted by Mrs. Rositsa Dimitrova - Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy.

An hour later, the premiere for Bulgaria of the film "Kremena", directed by Martin Dinkov took place in the big hall of the K.Kisimov theater. The director presented his idea for the film and told the full hall the real life story of his heroine. 

During the second day of the Festival, the participants showed enormous musical, dance and artistic talents, and were joined by the groups created within the project "Together we find a solution: educational integration in a multicultural environment in Veliko Tarnovo district" funded by EA "OPSESG". For example, the little actors from the village of Sotiria made the viewers laughed at tears, but also provoked them by presenting the fairy tale "Plums for Garbage" seen through a different point of view.

Especially for the official closing of the "Open Heart" Festival and to award the Grand Prize of the Municipality of Veliko Tarnovo came the Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy Rositsa Dimitrova, who awarded the small performers from the elementary school in the village of Rajdavitsa.

A number of Amalipe friends,as well as schools from the network that have shown enormous results during the school year, have been awarded. And at the end of the day, all the guests had the opportunity to enjoy the AUDIO - VISUAL SPECTACLE "SOUND & LIGHTS ".

It is certain that the "Open Heart" filled with warmth the hearts of viewers and made the two days of the festival unforgettable both for the participants and for the guests. 

"The Open Heart" revealed the colorful, smiley and blissful childhood world that speaks more than anything else. A world in which adults should look like in a mirror because there are no prejudices and barriers in front of the children. "Open Heart" is a textbook of tolerance, kindness, and vision of what the world should like. Because in the child's eyes it is colorful, smiling, beautiful and with equal opportunities for all.

See the smiles and excitement of the kids in our facebook group.


Shared by participants:


Thank you on behalf of the children

Vassil Levski Primary School, Trivoditsi village


A celebration of kindness, beauty, tolerance and smile! A wonderful example that all ordinary people can live in harmony, understanding and mutual respect!

R. Tomova, Atanas Damyanov Vocationla School, Nikolaevo


The Festival is a member of the European Association of Festivals, awarded by EFFE label 2017 - 2018.
logo TSA
The Trust for social achievement (TSA) is a non-governmental organization which mission is to break the vicious circle of poverty by promoting opportunities that help disadvantaged Bulgarian citizens to achieve educational and economic success. The TSA supports programs that, with their integrity, growth potential and transparency, help improve the well-being of the poorest people in Bulgaria, with a special focus on the Roma.


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