The mountaineer, explorer, and true supporter of Teach for Bulgaria represents the inspiration and dedication our society often seems to need.
“What I would like us to work towards is helping people awaken. Most of them have gotten not exactly lethargic but passive. […] You have to be active in your support as well. Likes on Facebook won’t work, you have to sweat. When they look back, I wish they could see peaks, accomplishments, hardship, sweat, and tears, if they have to, but these are the things that stay with you.”
This is what mountaineer Boyan Petrov shared in an interview for Terminal 3 in August of 2016. His words are a reminder of his energy, implacability, high goals, dedication, honesty, perfectionism, perseverance – qualities which inspired and will continue to inspire thousands of people. We, Teach For Bulgaria’s team, teachers and alumni of the program, students, partners, and friends, have been honored to know Boyan as one of our true supporters and sources of inspiration. He supported our mission to provide access to high-quality education to every child in Bulgaria by participating in key events, giving motivational speeches, and by setting an example by not giving up on the long obstacle-ridden path to accomplishing his high aspirations.
The peeks we have in common
Even though Boyan would sometimes climb mountains on his own, he proved how much we could accomplish together. He kept reminding us that nature is our common good and it is up to us to protect it. He demonstrated how we should not close our eyes to presumptuous politicians, personal and corporate interests, which could harm our environment. And that if we stand united, we can take a stance against them. Even the rescue mission to locate him in the Himalayas became a symbol of the power of joint effort which, at first glance, seemed impossible.
Boyan’s legacy and implacable spirit which we saw during the Pirin protests, in his cause to protect the Black Sea coast and Kresna ravine, his meetings with children and young people with diabetes, the stories he shared about his preparation to climb the high peaks – it made us reflect on our own aspirations, the changes we wanted to make, the importance of leading purposeful lives. The example he set continues to be just as crucial – for many people’s personal growth and also if we want to ever live in the Bulgaria that Boyan Petrov fought for.