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About us

20 yrs BFPA

Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA)
25 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, and at the end of 2017 will celebrate its 25-th anniversary. 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, gender issues, trafficking of human beings, sustainable development in terms of linkage between SRHR and poverty as well as towards prevention measures of HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. The target groups of the organization are various and include mainstream young people, women in reproductive age, state, local 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 ideas in Bulgaria.

The BFPA members that build up its staff team, the 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 60 macroprojects, financed 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 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
• 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 25 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 35 000 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 15 000 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 two 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 the first in Europe officially accredited member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). IPPF is among the largest NGOs in the world operating in the sphere of health promotion with member associations in over 170 countries worldwide. BFPA is also a member of 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 and Romania.
  

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The Shared Knowledge. Peer to Peer Training of Trainers, part three

Varshetz, 15-16 June, 2017

Third, last part of the peer education for this scholar year. One of the exercises made was via brainstorming the participants to give examples for social norms – one good and one bad or outlived its time. The young people concluded that the social norms actually have a mutual root with our prejudices. „Run away from here, shorty” – said the pharmacist when teenagers want to buy condoms; when you have older sister or brother and you have to listen to her/him just because they are older, when you say to boys “Do not behave like a girl, it is male stuff” – are a small part of the given as examples of bad social norms. The handshake of athletes at the end of the match; reading in public places when you are alone, to smile while saying Hi, to collect your dog’s poo - are part of the examples of good standards.

 
About health education and development policies

Sliven, May 18-20 2017
Lovech, May 31 - June 2 2017

Sliven, “Sava Dobroplodni” city library – May 18-20 2017, Lovech, “Presidium” Hotel – May 31 – June 2, 2017. A joint effort of  BFPA, BPID – the Bulgarian Platform for International Development, Centre for Inclusive Education (CIE), UN Youth Club, Gender Education, Research and Technologies Foundation (GERT) and Global Libraries. We educate the librarians from libraries and community centres (chitalishta) first from North, then from South Bulgaria in the field of global education, in the context of UN’s sustainable development goals. Our part – BFPA’s task, is mainly in the field of health education, interactive teaching techniques, equal opportunities.

 
Final Conference of the Project Mission Possible

Sofia, April 20, 2017

- How can I advocate or help your advocacy efforts to have the salaries of health mediators increased?
- How could we promote more successfully the information about activities we are doing?
- What should we do to help teachers who want to get mor info on health and sexuality education?
These and many other questions were asked by participants at the final conference under the  project Mission Possible of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) implemented in partnership with the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM).
The event took place in Sofia on April 20, 2017 and presented summarized results of the health services, educational activities, products and deliverables, including difficulties and specificities of fieldwork in marginalized communities.
Health specialists, health mediators directly engaged in projects’ activities in all 14 locations, representatives of municipalities and partnering organizations of BFPA and NNHM participated.
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