Maria Kazarina, coordinator of the Youth Bank of Veliko Tarnovo: The Voices Fund helped us realize our first project, giving us an opportunity to see how an idea works. As a result, 20 children and adolescents - having been in the past aggressive or victims of aggression - developed teamwork skills, tolerance and assertive behavior. We believe this is the first step in tackling this serious problem.
Stella and Vicky are from Veliko Tarnovo, both thirteen years old. They study in the same class but are in constant conflict. They cannot divide the leader position among their peers. Each of them strives to appeal more to the others, hurting the other one. Once Stella is a victim of Vicky's verbal aggression, next time vice versa. They have been included in the dance workshops organized by the Youth Bank of Veliko Tarnovo, driven by their interest in street dances and hip-hop music. The dances are extremely dynamic and help the two girls to focus the accumulated negative energy into creativity. Gradually, beside new choreographies of favorite hip-hop performances, Stella and Vicky begin to respect and understand the different point of view. During the rehearsals for the dance show, organized by the Youth Bank, the girls get closer and even start to help one another. If Stella fails with the steps, Vicky reacts to conceal confusion. And vice versa. Thanks to the dances, at present Stella and Vicky are friends, and their relationship is based on understanding and acceptance of the other. Dance workshops are part of the project of the Youth Bank of Veliko Tarnovo "Street dance against school violence". In addition to workshops, the youngsters organize lectures and discussions with a psychologist aimed at preventing and dealing with aggressive behavior.