Youth, Horse Risk Lives to Aid Snowed-in Villagers in Bulgaria

Society | February 28, 2012, Tuesday // 11:24
Bulgaria: Youth, Horse Risk Lives to Aid Snowed-in Villagers in Bulgaria photo by

A young man, helped by his horse, waded miles in deep snow to bring supplies to fellow villagers in a remote region of southwestern Bulgaria during the February harsh winter spell.

22-year-old Lyuben Kastrev embarked on life-saving missions multiple times over the month, reports the Bulgarian News Agency, quoting local mayor Krasimira Mutafchiyska.

Mutafchiyska is mayor of the Tsarvishte and Frolosh villages, located in a mountainous section of Kocherinovo Municipality, in Bulgaria's Kyustendil Region, along the border with Macedonia.

"This was the only way. If it were not for Lyuben and his horse, those people could have not lasted the winter," said Mutafchiyska.

She recalled how one evening she received a disaster call from one of the remote villages she mayors, and upon calling 112 she was told that there is no way the village can be accessed.

She assembled fellow villagers and they asked Lyuben to volunteer going with his horse and the mayor.

Lyuben went alone with the horse in the evening, carrying food and medicines through snow drifts 1 m deep.

The next weeks brought in more snow in the harsh winter spell that caught most of Europe and North Africa, and the young man serviced the spread-out houses of the nearby villages.

He was chosen just because he was best fit for the task, and there was no forthcoming help from authorities.

Every day Lyuben and his horse, risking their lives, had to wade drifts of some 2 m of snow in hazardous conditions to bring food and other supplies to villagers, most of them elderly people.

"They asked me, there was no other way the job could be done, so we tackled it with my horse. Now people are happy," simply commented the youth.

He was not formally hired by the mayor, as the village mayor could pay him no money, and performed the rescues as a volunteer.

Regularly, the young man works as a worker for the mayor, getting little over EUR 20 per month for 14 half working days.

Lyuben told the Bulgarian News Agency that although life in his area is hard, he likes the place and its people.

"In cities no one helps anyone," reflected the youth.

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Tags: macedonia, Kyustendil, horse, snow, winter, cold, villages

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