The year 2020 brought us unexpected experiences. Make us closer to our closest ones, distance us from others. There were people for whom it was a real challenge to survive at home with their families during these months of trial. Four or five people in one place, and can you imagine being ten, including 9 children?
This is exactly what happened in Mariana Pencheva’s home. 7 years ago, the teacher from Veliko Tarnovo became a second mother for 10 of her students from extremely poor families. Since then, she has taken care of them not only at her own expense, but also thanks to benefactors. Her house is never quiet and boring, and it can’t be.
And, during a state of emergency, because of the coronavirus, when everyone stays at home, it gets even better.
Despite the chaos of the various children’s curricula, the lack of computers and a strong enough internet connection, Mariana and her 9 girls and boys are really happy to be together. And the lack of social contacts strengthens the connection between them.
„We are taught to look at the good side of life and a little philosophically. Each child’s daily activities were in accordance with the school hours, but there was time for games, fun moments, time for creation, learning, sharing, and the best thing was that we kneaded bread with the children, prepared delicious cakes, pancakes , cakes, delicacies. I think we realized how lucky we are to be together, despite the situation. “, Shares Mariana.
Indeed, it is a great fortune to have such a close-knit family.
But it is just as much a responsibility. Homework and classes are done on a strict schedule to keep things running smoothly. „Personally, my work has increased in volume, as I work at the school as a pedagogical advisor and have helped teachers, parents and children, but I have successfully combined school activitieswith my children. “
There are difficulties, of course. And they are related to the material provision of everyday living conditions.
„I deeply believe that the right people and the right things always happen to us on time. I am happy and grateful to say that many friends and people who support us and believe in us have reached out and over time we have provided everything necessary for the normal course of the learning process. One of the people who gave us a hand at this time is the Durchev family,owners of Balkantel,and their help is invaluable. “
“Since they learned about us and our cause, they always get involved and help us and support us all year round, helping us with the needs we have, because the main thing with us is that everything happens in good faith and without people who are ready. to help, without benefactors to lend a hand in difficult times, we could not cope. Our country needs people to invest in the future, helping the children of Bulgaria and I am grateful to know such people.“
This is no longer a one-time charity event or some kind of charity at all. It is a way of life that creates a wider community in which everyone helps each other, not just at Christmas. For Mariana, this is a mission.
„I think that everyone is born with a mission on this earth and I am happy to know my own. I teach children that giving brings the greatest happiness in life, so we help many more children from babies to adults every year, their number is more than 150, both for the first day of school and during the school year and during the winter – with clothes , shoes, toys, books, textbooks, backpacks and everything they need. The children are from different settlements in Tarnovo district and Gabrovo district. Some of them are my former students, some of them I know from my volunteer work.“
And, in the context of a global pandemic, Mariana’s family will grow by another member. In the new school year, another child will live in their home as it is first grade.
Mariana is also proud of the first students among her children. Despite the pandemic conditions in everyday life, which complicate the way of life, Mariana is optimistic about the near and not so near future.„I believe that we will have many good moments, more trips to charge us emotionally and new adventures.“