Conceived as a campaign for promotion of the activities of Teach for Bulgaria, Classroom Stories picked up corporate support from the third biggest telecom in Bulgaria - Vivacom.
Made up of 6 webisodes, released over a period of 3 months, the main outreach channels were social media, digital daily dnevnik.bg and free public screenings at arts and cultural events and festivals. Each webisode was accompanied by an article revealing interesting details about the characters of the films, their personal situations and our experiences filming.
The main challenge addressed by the web-series, and episode 3 in particular, is the skewed Bulgarian public perception of NGOs like Teach for Bulgaria as dry, technocratic and even bureaucratic public fund collectors with little or no real-world impact. On the corporate side, Vivacom, as the smallest of the major telecom players, were also very keen to generate public goodwill by building a reputation for supporting innovative and effective community projects.
At the root of Teach for Bulgaria’s activities lies the concept of the successful and inspiring young person choosing to postpone a business, academic or corporate career for 2 years in order to teach at a regular or failing public school. Geri, the teacher of Episode 3, finds herself with a particularly difficult assignment, teaching Bulgarian Language to discriminated and almost illiterate Roma 11-year-olds. This is a very touchy subject in the contemporary Bulgarian public consciousness with prejudice and mistrust being the prevailing attitudes of the public toward the Roma minority.
Yet, we felt that for exactly that reason, the story of Geri and her students could create a strong emotional resonance with the viewers and show both Teach for Bulgaria and Vivacom at the forefront of a noble and promising effort to bring significant positive change to the lives of ordinary Bulgarians and their children.
Episode 3 had a very successful online run and was in the center of several government-NGO discussions about solutions to the pressing educational problems of the Roma minority.