TRAINING BULGARIA'S YOUTH HOW TO DEBATE

by Anthony Georgieff

BEST Foundation's tournament takes place in Burgas

best foundation competition 5.jpg

Оne of the (many) notable things Marcus Tullius Cicero said over 20 centuries ago is that "to live is to think" – and if we are not ashamed of what we think we should not be ashamed to voice it. His prophetic adages have a particular relevance in a world dominated by social networks, fake news and manipulative media where one of the most important things for every individual is to make their thoughts heard, loud and clear. And it is impossible to attain that unless you are trained to debate.

This is what the BEST Foundation – supported by the Fulbright Commission and the America for Bulgaria Foundation, among others  – has been on to since 2013: training young people, mainly highschool pupils, how to properly hold debates in English.

Its latest event, held in the seaside city of Burgas in February, gathered 305 pupils from 24 high schools across eastern Bulgaria. Their debates in areas ranging from prose and poetry to original oratory were assessed by 75 judges. The event took place over two days. In the end, those who excelled with their rhetoric skills were awarded medals and trophies.

The BEST Foundation believes in the immense power held by words. It is dedicated to fostering an educational landscape where pupils are actively immersed in a tapestry of diverse viewpoints. Their ultimate vision is to encourage engaged students to become instrumental in forging the well-being and advancement of societies at large.

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