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BFPA_25_YEARSBulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA)
28 years of expertise and innovations with care for the future


  
The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1992, registered in public benefit. Its activities are oriented towards several main areas of work – access to health care services, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), health and sexuality education, advocacy for underserved groups, trafficking of human beings, sustainable development policies and prevention HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. The target groups of the organization are various and include mainstream young people, women in reproductive age, state, municipality and school authorities, health professionals, NGO and community leaders, teachers, journalists. BFPA puts special focus on marginalized and socially deprived groups – Roma, other ethnic minorities, blind and deaf children, young people with disabilities, rural women, children in institutions, young people with criminal record.
   In the statues of the Association it is clearly and unequivocally stated that “BFPA is non-politically-affiliated organization, which works for improvement of sexual and reproductive health of everyone – regardless of gender, ethnicity, creed or age.” The main goal of the organization is to create conditions for realization of the right of family planning and sexual health of Bulgarian citizens, as well as for promotion and popularization of reproductive health and health prevention ideas in Bulgaria.
The BFPA members that build up its staff, Management Board and the volunteer resources of the organization, have different professional backgrounds: medical doctors, midwifes, nurses, lawyers, journalists, teachers, psychologists, economists, social workers, health mediators, young people and representatives of the target groups of BFPA’s projects. This diversity of professional and social expertise has helped the organization to implement successfully over 75 projects, supported by over 50 different donors and donor programs. These projects were implemented along with our ongoing health, social and educational activities in Sofia and our branches in the country.
   BFPA is at the same time expert and also innovator and introduced for the first time in the country the concept of peer education, youth friendly services and medical and service delivery standards elaborated by WHO and IPPF. The conducted interventions include implementing of national-wide media campaigns, optimizing health services and screenings, wide range of trainings; conducting of researches, peer education etc.
   BFPA works to:
• Optimize communication channels for providing health info for a wide auditorium of adolescents and young people
• Mobilize and improve participation of young people in each stage of governance process.
• Reduce vulnerability to STI/HIV/AIDS for all with special emphasis on young people, including those with disabilities, in penitentiaries and other institutions and underserved groups such as Roma
• Improve the access to voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services and treatment national-wide
• Combat the stigma and discrimination attitudes towards affected with AIDS
• Promote high quality and affordable health services with special emphasis on young people, women and underserved groups
• Improve and increase access to high quality and systematic info on SRHR by using innovative tools
• Improve the quality and diversify the SRHR services especially for vulnerable, marginalized and underserved groups.  
• Increase the availability of SRHR services and supplies including contraceptives
• Empower women and equal opportunities 
• Provide mobile SRHR services in rural areas and works on the SRH component of trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation
• Increase influence on policies and legislation on SRHR on local and national level
• Sustain and enlarge networks and partnerships with relevant NGOs, governmental structures and international agencies working on health promotion, prevention and SRHR
   During these 28 years in Bulgaria the Association has reached over 120 000 satisfied clients of its reproductive health related medical services and has conducted over 320 000 gynaecological and contraceptive consultations. More than 36 000 consultations and tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, syphilis and other STIs were done. On its own and in various networks and different partnerships, BFPA has initiated and implemented very important national campaigns on topics related to awareness raising, prevention of HIV and STIs, promoting health and improving access to healthcare for vulnerable communities. Over 20 000 young people, students, representatives of marginalized communities, teachers, health specialists, NGO experts, municipality experts, representatives of the government administration and social workers have undergone the organization’s trainings. Trained by BFPA, the educators and peer educators alone have reached over a million and five hundred thousand young people, vulnerable groups, students, specialists and ordinary people. And this is just a modest approximate figure – the real number of people we reach is substantially bigger and the effect multiplies permanently.
   BFPA is also a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and several other international and national NGO networks and since 1995 has shared its expertise many times in countries as Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia.

 

 

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Latest news

Six Small Projects in the Frame of LAP Supported

Sofia, October 2020

The second competition for small projects for organizations of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place in June and July 2020. In the defined for collecting proposals deadline five proposals were presented, among which with the help of a special selected committee, as well of organizations members of LAP, for supporting were approved three:
Project ‘ACT>Re-Act>ImpACT! – innovative approach for advocacy of HGO concerning sexual exploitation of children’ of Re-Act Association has the ambition to develop innovative business oriented approach for effective advocacy of NGO with the help of professionals in marketing sphere.
Project ‘Can You See Me? – the hidden vulnerability of children from sexual exploitation and violence’ of ‘Parents’ Association will contribute for improving and effective applying of ‘Mechanism for reaction against harassment and violence in the institutions in the system of preschool and school education’ as exploring the gaps concerning prevention and its effective applying in cases of risk and/or cases of sexual exploitation and violence against children, including online.
Project ‘Individual Protection – advocating for changes in the legislation for individual assessment of children victims of sexual exploitation’ of Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI) is aiming to improve the policy and the law on individual assessment of children, victims of crimes, incl. sexual exploitation within the meaning of a directive 29/2012/ЕС.

 
Two round tables at the second year end of the project “My body, my rights”

Yambol, September 24, 2020
Montana, September 28, 2020

At the end of the second year of BFPA’s project “My body, my rights”, supported by the initiative for socially responsible business “MSD for mothers”, the association organized round tables on the need and benefits of family planning with a focus on vulnerable communities in two of the project locations. During the meetings a recap of the activities up to now was made and future ones were discussed for the third year. Both events were attended by  municipal representatives, Regional health inspectorate, Regional health insurance fund, health mediators, health specialists, representatives of local NGOs, Community support centers, social workers and most importantly – members of the target communities in which activities are implemented.
A special accent was BFPA’s new short animated products - “Family planning” and “Pregnancy with a smile”. The discussion was on the activities until now and their effect on improving the level of information in the target groups, the need for such activities in general, the best working communication channels in the Roma community, the role of the self help groups and the health mediators, the difficulties caused by COVID-19 and other problems, i.e. the duplication and decentralization of social activities from different institutions. A recapitulation of what has been done until now in Montana was made by Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Executive Director of BFPA and Petar Tzvetanov, local Project Coordinator, and for Yambol – Tzveta Petkova, member of NNHM’s Board and Kina Asenova, local Project Coordinator.

 
My Body, My Rights: Meeting of the Teams from Montana, Sofia and Yambol

Dolna Banya, September 2-4, 2020

Meeting of the teams on the project ‘My Body, My Rights’, supported by the prohgamme for socially responsible business “MSD for Mothers” took place in Dolna Banya on September 2-4, 2020. Special guests during the event were the Executive Director of ‘St. Sofia’ First OB Hospital Dr. Gergana Kolarova and the coordinator of BFPA in Pleven Dr. Krasimir Romanov. The priceless opportunity to have a direct dialog with Dr. Kolarova was highly appreciated by the team in Sofia and gave them the possibility to adjust the field efforts and optimize the collaboration with the hospital in the field of family planning.
Topics of the discussions during the three-day meeting were: what examinations to be done during the pregnancy and what is doing the gynecologist in the different stages; what are the benefits from health insurances; how much does it cost and how to recover health insurance rights; the benefits of visualization for understanding the information. Short educational films, developed to help the work at local level, were presented.
The work during the three days with health mediators and other colleagues working on the field from Montana, Sofia and Yambol included discussing the progress currently made and future activities trill the project end.
In the crisis months from the beginning of the year two tenth graders from Yambol were close to drop out from school due to the death of their parents, but the project team supported them and the boys will finish their secondary education. Two of the girls, trained on the project this year will be studying pedagogy in Veliko Tarnovo University.

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