Giving Voice to Disability: Interview with Mathew, the Bulgarian Volunteer from Varna

“YE kick off disability in motion through video guidance” was an international social project. It occurred in Romania from 29th of April till 9th of May. The most relevant topics addressed were about: disability, education, video & media youth, embracing diversity, tolerance and inclusion. Eight European countries took part in its development each one sending one helper and one group leader (with and without disabilities).

Mathew is a Bulgarian guy chosen and sent to Romania by the Association FOR YOU in order to attend every phase of the project, interacting with any kind of disabled people and making video interviews. We asked him some questions about his tasks, his impressions and his previous working experiences.


Please do a short presentation about yourself: who you are, what do you do in life, how you are connected with FOR YOU and why have you chosen to apply for this project in Romania.

Hi, I’m Mathew. I’m from Varna and I’m a professional 24 years old table soccer player. I met Elina (the president of Association FOR YOU) inside my club during one match. She told me about her work and this international project. I wanted to try because it could be a good chance to learn and/or improve my skills with disadvantaged people making myself helpful.

Why were you interested in working with people with disabilities? Have you ever studied or worked in something related to that field?

No, but it was interesting for me because I wanted to discover some new lifestyle experiences. In my high school days, I studied technical matters and engines. Afterwards, I started to provide hydro-insulation components for buildings and roofs. As you can guess, working with people with disabilities is a totally new challenge for me even because they’re discriminated in a lot of different ways (most of them are invisible for the rest of the society). Luckily I already had familiarity in working with children, old people and youngsters. This, thanks to my main hobby: professional table soccer.


After your coming back would you carry on helping disadvantaged people?

Yes, I want to do it. Obviously, I’m not perfect and these are just my first steps, but I would try if I got the opportunity.

Just the last questions: what did you do exactly for the project? I mean, what were your tasks during your everyday routine and what did you learn?

We had a lot of tasks in this project. We were a mixed group (six persons from different European countries) appointed to make videos and interviews about people with disabilities. After that, every group (we weren’t the only one) had to publish its final work in a specific group web-page. The video materials were shooted in order to see what is the reality and the mentality of disabled people, to promote a guidance handbook for a better interaction with people with disabilities but also to widen the understanding of disability, encouraging interaction and inclusion and bringing this problematic matter more to attention as an aspect of normal part of our life.


During that work for sure, I improved my speaking and listening to English skills and my communication skills in general. In addition, the need to collaborate in a common project with different people from any part of Europe implicate a big enhancement in your teamwork capabilities. It was challenging (especially for a bunch of newbies) but extremely satisfying in some ways!

Thank you, Mathew, for your availability and good luck for your future plans!