I have always believed that a person is brought up best by getting good examples. One such example of self-initiative and personal civic responsibility, which everyone should have, is given by the students from Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski ”- Kamen Zhizhanov and Evgeniy Panchovski. The two study different specialties and what unites them is the theater, and recently their mutual desire to make the Bulgarian capital an idea cleaner.


The idea for the Clean Capital project was born a year ago, when the two noticed how much rubbish there was in the area around the university and decided to do a little cleaning just the two of them. Thus, they start cleaning regularly not only around the university, but also in other places, including outside Sofia. The boys realize that despite the many movements and non-governmental organizations that promote the cleaning of the surrounding areas and organize such cleanings themselves, the capital and the country in general are still extremely dirty. With one mass cleaning a year, things will not work out - you need perseverance and someone to really dedicate themselves to it. I would add the need for someone to start educating people in the benefits and meaning of cleaning, and not in any other way, but through personal example. This is exactly what Kamen and Evgeniy do, proving that purity depends on all of us as citizens, on our personal attitude and thinking, and not on ministries, institutions, etc.


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Thus was born the Clean Capital project, which started as a Facebook page only about two months ago, but already has many followers and most importantly - volunteers who are involved in the cleanings that the boys organize or organize themselves. The boys believe that everyone wants to live in a clean place, so why not be the ones to do this little miracle. In addition, for them, cleaning is not just cleaning, but a social activity that unites them. This time is shared with friends with whom they talk, discuss important topics, exchange experiences and build useful relationships. In this way, in addition to doing good for all residents of the capital, they communicate, learn new things and grow personally. According to them, in a cafe you can never generate such meaningful conversations and topics as are born during a joint cleaning.


One of the most important events, which they carry out thanks to many volunteers, is the cleaning of the Debar Garden at 4 Layosh Koshut Street - one of the few quiet and peaceful gardens in the center of Sofia. Thus, with their own funds (paints, paint brushes, shovels) and the support of "Hood Transformers" (a civic initiative to improve the urban environment), they managed to transform the garden and breathe new life into it.


Vigilant citizens from different settlements even send them photos of the cleanings they carried out themselves, inspired by their initiative. One such example is given by a boy who cleans key places in Smolyan, although it has nothing to do with this city.


Kamen and Evgeniy share that they are pleasantly surprised by the children's reaction when they see them cleaning. Some children address their parents with the words: "Mom, look, they clean, come on!" Others say, "Well done!" It is extremely important to show positive practices from an early age. This is the stage in which the personality is built and its self-responsibility to the surrounding world and to others is formed. Against the background of the negative examples given by television, movies, social networks, and even the family environment very often, the example of these two boys is really impressive.


According to Kamen Zhizhanov, if good examples multiply and become more frequent, there will indeed be a great social change for only one generation to come. Because if the environment that children have at home does not educate in positive values, then the outside must do it. And vice versa. That is why one of their future ideas is to start attending schools and give children the opportunity to get involved in cleaning initiatives. In this way, the desire for volunteering will be strengthened and a culture of environmental protection will be built.


The boys are of the opinion that in Bulgaria the positive change is happening, it is just at a slower pace than in the western countries. And also that patriotism is increasing among young people, which is a sure sign that positive change will occur.

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