In the summer of 2012, Uusipesula church from Turku, Finland began researching for ways to help the Bulgarian Roma community
Uusioesula's member Sonja Ek contacted Heidi and Svetoslav Popov, who had seen the need for themselves first hand, having both spent nearly two years in Sofia, working with Pastor Traykov and his small Roma church.  As such, it was soon agreed that the aim of the program would be to support Roma children's education

September 2013 was the launch date for the after-school homework club. The work has continued since and consists of the following elements:
1. Assisting children with homework and giving additional help with the school lessons.
2. School transport, to assure that children attend school regularly.
3. Lunch and material assistance, which school attendance is needed i (equipment, clothing etc.) .
In Sofia the Traykovs family have undertaken and committed themselves to running, managing and co-ordinating all the practical work involved in this project:


Miroslav "Miro" Traykov
Betel church-Roma pastor in Fakulteta, Sofia.
Pastor Miro himself has a professional education in that he is a welder. His desire to work together for the education of children is driven by his conviction that it is only by investing in educating our children that generational cycle of poverty can be broken. His request for assistance was the impetus for the project and over and above his other pastoral and vocational responsibilities, he continues to actively assist with the club, on a daily base.
Pastor Miro’s family is an example of transferring values to the next generation.
Zlatka Aleksandrova
Pastor Traykov’s daughter Zlatka having trained and graduated from a vocational school as a confectioner a few years ago, now works in homework club as a teacher.  She initially started out helping her father in the church taking care for children’s work and now runs the after-school project.  Zlatka, is even viewed by her own community an unusually educated young woman

Tanya Traykova
The pastor's wife, Tanja, ensures that the kids get lunch and snacks. In practice, the family living room has become a second home for the children, as the club is operating in the parish’s hall in Traykovs own house yard.  Tanya has become a mother or an aunt to the children and it is often to her that the children proudly boast what their latest new good grade or other achievement in school is.

Aleksander "Sasho" Aleksandrov
Zlatka’s husband Sasho helped from the start with children's school transport. He is also responsible for church music activities and is often found singing acoustically with his guitar and with the children. The homework club has also inspired Sasho to continue his studies, so in the evening he is attending a vocational school class.

Petya Traykova
The pastor's niece also assist with the project management for the homework club.  Petya has completed high school and is currently studying second year Health Care Management at Sofia University: Petya is a rarity among young Roma women and our hope is that she will motivate many of the other Roma children to dream big dreams and to work hard to achieve those dreams.

"We don’t want our Roma children to beg on the streets of Europe. We want them to have a future in this country to which they belong. "
- Miroslav Traykov
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