She is in fourth grade and lives in Sheker Mahala in Plovdiv. She doesn’t speak Bulgarian at home and rarely leaves the neighborhood because she is too afraid. She has been insulted and attacked in the center of Plovdiv before. Roza speaks only Romani and she is struggling at school. She sits in the back and never participates in class. She is trying to copy the letters from the board, but her teacher usually erases everything before Roza has a chance to catch up. She has learned a few words in Bulgarian at school, but she is having a really hard time. However, everyone around her simply acts as if she just has to be fluent in Bulgarian and that’s it.
Many children in Bulgaria go through something similar…
* Roza’s name and location have been altered in order to protect her identity.