Dream To Dream: photo exhibition on Roma secodary education opens in Varna and Sofia

[PRESS RELEASE 5TH JUNE 2018] Roma Education Fund (REF) and the Centre for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities (CEICSEM) Bulgaria are pleased to announce a collaborative photo project titled “Dream to Dream: Bulgarian Roma Gain Traction and Skills in Secondary Education”. Twenty portraits of Roma secondary school students will be exhibited in Bulgarian cities Varna and Sofia, depicting these young people, their everyday lives and their dreams for future professions. The photographer Rayko Chaprazov is a Roma journalist, documentarist and an educator himself.

The common point between all the students is that they receive secondary school scholarships, awarded by REF through its grantee, the Center for Educational Integration of Children and Pupils from Ethnic Minorities (Ministry of Education and Science) under the project “Supporting Roma students for Successful Completion of Secondary Education”.

Exhibition events under the Bulgarian Presidency of the European Union

8 June 2018, Varna University of Economics, Education Committee of the EU

For the first time the exhibition “Dream to Dream: Bulgarian Roma Gain Traction and Skills in Secondary Education” will be displayed in the Black Sea city of Varna, at the opening of the study visit of the Education Committee of the Council of the European Union. 

The opening starts at 9.00 on 8 June with a presentation by Ognyan Isaev, REF Country Facilitator for Bulgaria and Manuela Radeva, Director of the CEICSEM.

Click here to view the agenda of the meeting.

18 June 2018, Sofia, Ancient fortress Serdika – Largoto

For a second time the exhibition “Dream to Dream” will be shown in the heart of Sofia between 18 June and 1 July, 2018.The Bulgarian Minister of Education and Science Krassimir Valchev will give a welcoming address at the opening ceremony on 18th of June, 11 a-m. at the “Ancient Fortress Serdika – Largoto” complex in the heart of Sofia.


Since the school year 2016/17,
Centre for Educational Integration of Children and Students from Ethnic Minorities has been implementing the REF and the Ministry of Education co-funded project “Support for Roma Pupils for Successful Completion of Secondary Education”. The initiative aims to increase the retention rate in secondary education of 700 Roma students, to improve their GPA and regular school attendance, as well as to motivate the high school students to stay resilient and continue towards tertiary education. The instruments for the efforts have been scholarships, tutorship and mentorship.

Significant results are already visible regarding the involvement and empathy of students and their parents to school life, as well as the decrease of the number of school absences.

After the completion of academic year 2016-17, 85 Roma high school students have applied to universities, and 45 are already enrolled in tertiary education.