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Events
Events

Good Practices Exchange

ParticipantsSofia, October 30-31, 2019

Ralitza Zgalevska from the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) team participated in two interesting events at the very end of October. Good practices shared enrich our resources and contribute for more complete realizing of our networking activities in the Learning Action Partnership, as well as on topics connected with young people with learning disabilities.
An American innovative practice for developing skills for independence of people with learning disabilities was presented by Maria’s World Foundation on October 30. The model is developed by YAI/National Institute for People with Disabilities Network (USA) and applied in Worlds Day Center activity. The project is realized with the financial support of Social Innovations Programme, founded in 2018 by Sofia Municipality. How to conduct conversations, how to be a good listener, nonverbal communication, hygiene, safe walking, the outside world are just part of the topics in the manual with educational materials in which advices for leading interactive trainings are given. Young people with learning disabilities were at the presentation, some of them shared how the work on the model of this practice is useful for them.

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“Pass it on!” – BFPA supports BRCY’s Volunteer Academy

ParticipantsKamchia, September 2-9, 2019

As every year, in the first week of September the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth (BRCY) holds its Volunteer Academy. For a third consecutive year BFPA is a part of the training team of the Academy. “Pass it on!” is the motto for 2019. During a full and intense week – from Sep 2nd  to 9th , 74 volunteers from all over the country worked on the topics “Leadership and youth empowerment”, “BRCY’s health program”, “Social support  activities” and “Life skills”.
The health program this year for the first time incorporates the three main strategic health directions: 1. Sexual and reproductive health and prevention of HIV and STIs; 2. Prevention of addictions; 3. Healthy lifestyle. The session about fake news in healthcare, conducted by Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova from BFPA and also the discussion on partnership and networking, moderated by her attracted a lot of interest. The highlight of one of the evenings was the traditional REDx event, where the motivational speakers were Dr. Stamenkova and Nicoletta Gabrovska from “Single step”.

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The “Valya Kruskina” Fund “Journalists in School” campaign reached thousands of students and their teachers all over the country

Genka ShikerovaSofia and the country, May-July 2019

The campaign against fake news, organized within this year’s edition of the “Journalists in school” initiative of the Valya Kruskina Fund, which BFPA has supported actively since its founding, has reached more the 11 000 from all over the country. The campaigns took place in 24 schools in 20 different locations in Bulgaria. The initiative for the campaign comes from students who want to protect their peers from fake news attacks. Here is a summary of the campaign:
- 1010 high school students who organized the campaigns
- 24 schools hosting the campaigns
- 30 teachers mentoring the student campaigns
- 20 locations included in the initiative
- 11000 in total reached by the campaigns
- 12 prominent journalists actively engaged with the cause
The campaigns had different formats and duration – student competitions, during which the participants are separated in teams and have to guess which news is fake and which isn’t; informational banners and seminars; fabrication and gossiping of fake news in the school community. The students were mentored during the implementation of the campaigns by 30 teachers from different schools.
For example – the closing event of the campaign against fake news for the students from the Professional Tourism High School “Dr. Peter Beron” in Veliko Turnovo had the motto “The title that sells”. Students and mentoring journalists from local media were randomly separated into teams. All teams received the same text they had to put a title on.

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Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova from BFPA received a “Golden apple” for overall contribution

AwardsSofia, June 1, 2019

The National Network for Children (NNC) organized the “Golden apple” awards for a ninth consecutive year. The awards are a sign of acknowledgment for the effort that different people, organizations and institutions put into improving the life and well-being of children in Bulgaria. The awards were officially handed out on the eve of June 1st - World Children’s Day at Bulgaria Chamber Hall. 
The event was attended by the Minister of Education and Science and the Minister of Labour and Social Policy as well as the Chairman of the State Agency for Child Protection. “Very often the people working with children are silent and invisible and their work remains unappreciated. That’s why they absolutely deserve these awards since all of us count on these people in the educational system to take care of our children and surround them with love and understanding”, commented Minister Vulchev.
The awards are in eight categories – “Children’s hero”, “School”, “Hospital”, “Municipality”, “Journalist”, “Benefactor”, “Award for overall contribution to the Network for Children” and a “Special award”. In the “Children’s hero” category the nominations come from the general public on the “Golden apple” initiative’s website
. The selection of the winner is done by public vote. The nominations in the rest of the categories are made by the 152 member organizations of the Network for Children from all over the country.

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BPID received an award at the annual meeting of the NGO Portal

PresentationSofia, May 16, 2019

On May 16 2019 in the new Cultura cinema, the Informational Portal for the Non-Governmental organizations in Bulgaria handed out its annual awards for a ninth consecutive year.
Georgi Genchev, leader of the NGO Portal team, elaborated: “The awards are a kind of transparency certificate, because the Portal gives the civil society organizations the opportunity to inform a wide audience regularly about their activities and achievements, to tell what they do, for whom it is important and what change they achieve. To state transparently their position on questions important for the society, to advocate and defend the rights of the people with and for whom they work.”
The awards of the Portal have no nominations and jury. The winners are selected among the Portal’s registered users based on site administrator statistics for each category. The total number of user publications for 2018 is over 1700.
In 2018 the Portal contains 13900 profiles of civil society organizations. An award is given to the profile of an active organization which had the most visits in 2018. The profiles contain information about which field the organization works in, who manages it, what are its activities, contact information and also the materials it posted in the Portal.
One of the most popular segments of the NGO Portal is “Work and Volunteering” in which in 2018 a total of 140 career announcements were published – for work, internships, volunteering. In the “Most read Portal announcement” is decided which organizations have attracted the biggest interest towards their announcement.

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Health mediators from Class of 2019 – team-spirited and motivated

CertificatesSofia, April 7, 2019

On April 7, on International Health Day – “Doctor’s Day”, at UMPHAT “Tzaritza Yoanna – ISUL”, the new 29 health mediators from Class of 2019 received their certificates after intensive educational sessions and a successfully passed exam. They were trained by teams from the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) and the Bulgarian Family Planning Association (BFPA) as well as from tutors from the Public Health Faculty of the Medical University in Sofia. Guest-lecturers were representatives from UNICEF and the National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings. The training for acquiring the professional qualification of “Health Mediator” is being organized for a seventh consecutive year by the NNHM and the BFPA team takes part in the training as well as in the selection process for mediator candidates since the founding of NNHM itself a while ago.
Certificates were handed out by Prof. Ivailo Turnev, President of the Board of the “Minority Health Problems” Foundation and a member of the NNHM Board, and also by Antoaneta Eftimova, President of the Board of NNHM. The mediators were welcomed warmly by all the memers of the Examination Committee. The new additions to the health mediators this year again were selected after concourses held in the corresponding municipalities. The basic criteria for their selection are – high school diploma, part of the community they will work in and knowledge of the language community speaks; understanding the problems of the community. The municipalities in which in 2019 there will be mediators working for the first time are: Bansko, Boichinovtzi, Brusartzi, Byala, Gulyantzi, Ivailovgrad, Krumovgrad, Polski Trumbesh, Sadovo, Svishtov, Silistra, Stambolovo, Tzenovo, Cherven bryag. Thus the number of municipalities with working health mediators increases to 131.

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BFPA actively participated in the “Ambassador for a day” campaign

Group photoSofia, March 7, 2019

February 1 and 2, Plovdiv, regional meeting of the health mediators. There were the usual topics with a new addition – Evelina Dimitrova is a part of the meeting. She is a young Roma girl from the village of Galiche, a student in the 11th grade and one of the 12 finalists in the essay competition of the “Ambassador for a day” campaign, initiated for a second year by the British Embassy in Sofia. Participating in the campaign are 12 women ambassadors of their respective countries, accredited  to Bulgaria, 12 women - NGO leaders and the 12 finalists who in February play the role of an Ambassador and a leader of an NGO. Even just for a few days Evelina viewed the world from the perspective of the Swiss Ambassador H.E. Muriel Berset Kohen and the Executive Director of BFPA Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova. Evelina’s dream is to study International relations at Sofia University. Her meeting with the health mediators and the field activities in Stolipinovo gave her extra motivation. The next step followed ten days later – a visit to the Kosharnik Roma neighbourhood of Montana under the ZOV programme of the Swiss government and afterwards at the Swiss embassy and BFPA’s office in Sofia.
The closing event of the campaign gathered all participants, partners and a lot of media representatives and guests on March 7th, a day before International Women’s Day, under the patronnage of Bulgaria’s Vice-President Iliyana Yotova who also had a young deputy – a Vice-President for a day.

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Bulgaria and North Macedonia together to support and develop the Health Mediators program

Blagoevgrad, October 7-9, 2019

Study visit of health mediators, NGO representatives and state institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia took place in October 7-9 in Blagoevgrad. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the support of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) hosted the three days visit and gave an opportunity for the representatives of HERA – Health Education and Research Association, health mediators from Skopje and Prilep and the Ministry of Health of our neighbor country to understand in details how in years was institutionalized and functions the system of health mediation in Bulgaria. Field visit to the Roma neighborhood Predel Mahala was included in the programme and the guests could see how the work of health mediators Antoaneta Eftimova and Katya Kirilova is going on everyday basis – with institutions, as well with people who need and receive their support.

 
Romeo and Juliet from Kosharnik district

Montana, September 12, 2019

The Shakespeare and Servantes tour around the Roma neighborhoods of Bulgaria went to the Kosharnik district of Montana. Talented and enthusiastic local children, selected by the Roma actress Natalia Tzekova presented fragments of the drama “Romeo and Juliet” from a newer angle and with adequate health messages. The aim of the social theatre is with the means of art to inform the public in a comprehensible manner about the harm of early marriages and early school drop outs, the benefits of contraception, the importance of prevention of sexually transmitted infections. The messages target young people as well as their parents, some of which joined the scenes to demonstrate their support for what their children are saying. With his monologue about the Roma Don Quixote Valeri Lekov, also part of the production team, explained some of the community specificities. Between the sketches there were “real life” scenes – a woman from the community visits a doctor who explains the benefits of contraception and debunks some “fake news” about contraceptive methods – all this with a lot of humour and highly appreciated by the audience.

 
BFPA kicks off a new two-year project “I Want to Know”

Sofia, August 23, 2019

With an official green light on August 23, as of Sep 1st BFPA starts activities on a new project – “I WANT TO KNOW – User friendly access to HIV and STI counseling and testing for Roma youth from vulnerable communities”, supported by ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Programme via CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) UK. The project’s duration is 2 years, during which BFPA will provide voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) with a focus on young Roma men (but not excluding women as well) from poor and marginalized districts through its coordinators in the five BFPA branches in Bulgaria - Pleven, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Russe and Sofia. Activities will begin with a kick-off meeting and VCT training for the service providers, in parallel with informing and awareness raising by elaboration of info materials, disseminated in the targeted communities by one of the closest and dearest BFPA partners – Health Mediators.

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Events