Bulgarian Visit Day Seven

Day 7: Wednesday, March 16

This was our third day conducting interviews with people from Careertrek. By now we feel like we’ve been working in this place for years, on account of everybody being so welcoming.

IMG_0721We started the day with a couple of Skype meetings with Eryn and Darryl who oversee Career Trek programming in Brandon and The Pas. We were curious to learn how they manage their day-to-day communication with the headquarters, the channels they use, the frequency with which they report and the procedures they follow in case of emergencies. We also wanted to know how they organize all the tasks that need to be done in order to keep things running – training of part-time staff, maintaining relations with key stakeholders, getting parents involved, gathering feedback and reporting. They were both very kind and generous in sharing their experience with us and we could have continued our discussion for hours if it wasn’t for Lasha who had to drag us out of the meeting room and take us to lunch with the rest of the staff.

Estrella was very kind and gave us an insight into her work and the contribution she is making to the creation of a database and the structuring of the mailing system.

IMG_0722In the afternoon Ann, Dannielle and Sasha took us to a 27th floor cafeteria across the street with a superb view of the city. They told us more about their work as Program Coordinators and all the preparations that need to be made in order for a programming day to go smoothly. These guys really know their stuff! And why wouldn’t they – Sasha has been involved in Career Trek ever since he was 10-years old! He has been through each and every step of the way and it’s no wonder that he is able to contribute so much to the organization’s effectiveness. Ann and Dannielle are very passionate about their work and were very generous in sharing their experience with us.

IMG_0719In the evening we were invited to present at a board meeting. We weren’t surprised by the friendliness with which everyone there welcomed us, but we were amazed by the devotion and dedication that they had to Careertrek and its cause. We got to make a presentation on Bulgaria, our education system and the work we are doing at the Centre for Inclusive Education. It was followed by a discussion during which we found out that some of the problems we are facing in Bulgaria were also present in Canada and learned about the ways in which they have been overcome. It was truly an inspiring experience!