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Events

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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BFPA Participated in Strategic Planning Meeting of NNC

Session Stara Zagora, February 21-22, 2019

Strategic planning meeting of the organizations – members of the National Network for Children (NNC) took place on February 21 – 22, 2019 in Stara Zagora. Representatives of organizations members of NNC, as well as children and adolescents actively involved in child participation programs such as Megaphone and the National Eurochild Forum were active at the event, having also their own forum prior to the “big” meeting.
Results and recommendations from the evaluation of implementing of the Strategy 2015–2020, as well conclusions from national representative research connected with the context of the work and goals of the Network were presented.

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29 people received care and support in NCCTHB facilities in 2018

NCCBTH LogoSofia, January 21, 2019
 
People often ask us about the parameteres of our partners’work. Here is aggregated data for 2018 from one of our longest-term partners – The National Comission for Combatting Trafficking in Human Beings (NCCTHB). In 2018 29 people, 7 of which children, have received support at NCCTHB’s specialized facilities for supporting victims of trafficking in the cities of Sofia, Burgas and Varna. In 2018 10 of the people in care were successfully integrated in the labour market; 2 of the victims were prepared for university application exams and are now students at the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridsky and the Burgas Free University.

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Break the Silence: Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence of Children Could Happen Everywhere

Sofia, November 18, 2020

Break the Silence: November 18 is the European Day on protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual violence.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear ‘sexual exploitation’ is usually connected with red lanterns, streets or roads with women (and men) sex workers, trafficking of human beings. Sexual exploitation of children could have also other faces – sex services in exchange of expensive things such as smart phone or modern accessory or at the cost of a lunch, sweets or instead of rent for parents’ accommodation. It can happen via internet and to affect minors before they become teenagers. That’s why it is needed to break the silence and to ask for zero tolerance concerning this ugly phenomenon. Statistics show that one of five children becomes victim of violence, including sexual. As parents we can prevent this: we can teach them for instance on the Rule of the Bathing Suit. It says that no one has the right to touch their body, especially where the body is covered by a swimming bathing suit. Medical examinations and manipulations as well don’t have to be allowed without their informed consent. The rule helps children to understand that their bodies are their own, that there is good and bad touching, as well es personal borders and social ethnic norms.

 
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.

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