Text: Magdalena Gigova
Throughout the region of Gotse Delchev, Ivan Skenderov is well known to everyone: since 1991, following a decision of the Municipal Council, the town’s hospital has borne his name. It is there that people from four communities in the Pirin area are treated, and patients come from Dospat and Velingrad.
Through the ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’ National Endowment Fund, in 1983, the patriot donated 3,472,399 Swiss francs for healthcare!
And the money went to the hospital in the town where he grew up.
Ivan Skenderov’s ancestors came from the village of Gorno Brody, now located in Greece but, in the past, situated within the Nevrokop district. His family moved to the town of Gotse Delchev, where relatives of his still live.
At an early age, and before the Second World War, Ivan settled in Germany, where he graduated in engineering, putting his mind, talent, and heart towards building an empire. But owing to an excessive workload, he failed to form a family of his own. So, he decided to present his homeland with quality medical aid.
He bequeathed not only over three million Swiss francs, but also equipment that was technologically advanced for the times—an echograph, as well as an extensive instrumentarium for the medics in the hospital.
Every year, the patriot also patronised the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation with 50,000 German marks and, and, in particular, its leader Vanche Mihailov, who was living in Rome at that time. This was largely for sentimental reasons as his father, Mihail Skenderov, was a famous IMRO voivode.
Despite his patriotism, Ivan Skenderov never returned to his homeland. But he never forgot it! And through NEF ‘13 Centuries of Bulgaria’, he provided the region with the best medical care.