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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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BFPA is part of the “Ambassador for a day” campaign

Campaign logoSofia, December 18, 2018

BFPA is one of the organization’s that takes part in the initiative of the British Embassy "Ambassador for a day". We expect great essays to help us select the best girls to join the campaign.
Female Ambassadors and female leaders of civil society organisations in Bulgaria have united in honour of International Women’s Day 2019, and are giving girls the chance to be an ‘Ambassador for a Day’ for a second year in a row. The theme for next year’s competition is the power of the individual to make a positive change in society.

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Seventh “Valya Krushkina – Journalism for the people” awards

WinnersSofia, December 4, 2018

At an official ceremony on the evening of December 4th at the “Peroto” literary club for the seventh time were given the “Valya Krushkina – Journalism for the people” media awards. The awards are part of the activities of the “Valya Krushkina” fund with the Workshop for Civic Initiatives Foundation. BFPA supports the awards as well as the “Journalists in school” campaign from their very creation in 2012. The awarded received the “Glass pear” – a symbol of the competition, a diploma and a financial prize, ensured by donors.
Six journalists were awarded in the different categories of the competition. The award for Young journalist was given to Vladislava Trichkova (Nova TV) for her material “Last chance to live”. Polina Paunova is the winner in the Önline media category for the material in Mediapool “BAFS seized and illegally euthanized 100 exotic birds”. “Russian choice” was the material which brought an award for Ivan Filchev (BTV) in the Video-photo journalist category. Eleonora Tahova (Radio Blagoevgrad) won the award in the Radio category for the material “Social entrepreneurship – second chance for the “rejected”. In the Television category the winner is Desislava Rizova for the material “Rural style elections”. The grand prize in the seventh consecutive edition of the competition went to Genka Shikerova (Nova TV) for her investigation into the distribution of the funds donated for the restoration of Hitrino. Traditionally, diplomas also received the two other nominees in each category.

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Health is Bliss! Annual meeting of health mediators

OpeningSofia, November 21, 2018

As usual for this time of year, at the Parliament took place the 12th annual national meeting of the health mediators. It was opened by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Health Commission Dr. Daniela Daritkova. The achievements and activities of the mediators during the last year were presented at four informational stands in the lobby of the Parliament. Vaccine prophylaxis, hygiene, family planning, maternal and chlid health, informational campaigns, educational initiatives, partnerships with different organizations, field work - just a fraction of the activities, in which the mediators are actively supporting health specialists and institutions in their work with vulnerable communities.
Very few initiatives have demonstrated such sustainability over time and transformed from an NGO project into state policy. NNHM exists for 11 years and through its work synergistically combines the effort of state, private and NGO sectors for improving the cooperation between general practitioners, health mediators and regional health inspectorates with the support of parliamentarians, government institutions, medical community and NGO sector.

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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.

 
The Learning action partnership was introduced to Safenet’s Cyber Scout Programme

Sofia, August 24, 2020

“I’m a 15-year old boy, in the ninth grade. Recently I met a girl in the social networks. After chatting a few days in Skype, we turned on cameras, send saucy pictures…. Now it transpires the girl is not a girl at all, I was recorded and being blackmailed, for money, for more pictures, otherwise the recordings will be made widely public. What do I do to get out of this situation?”
Another case:
“I’m in the sixth grade. A classmate who is a Facebook friend of our history teacher downloaded her picture and made her a professional profile in a porn site. What do I do, how do I react?”
The two cases are just a small part of the one-day training on the Cyber Scout programme for internet safety and online security for the members of the Learning action partnership (LAP). We talked about online bullying, online sexual exploitation, about the ways we should react, what rules apply, what is allowed and effective… We review different cases – from a threat from a pedophile regarding the security of a child to an innocent at first exchange between friends which escalates to online harassment that can have serious and long-term consequences for the victim’s life and mentality.

 
Capacity building in the fields of communication and advocacy

Dolna Banya, August 20-22, 2020

For three days – from August 20 to 22, 2020 BFPA’s team and Board together with representatives of key partners of the Association gathered at a outside-the-box work meeting in Dolna Banya. The public relations and civic law spepcialists Diana Damyanova and Ivana Murdjeva shared with the participants important accents of their professional expertise which are significant for better understanding the public environment as well as for communicating our messages.
The goal of the event was to analyze the needs of our target groups and of the environment we work in, bearing in mind the challenges for the NGO sector and the specificities in communicating with different audiences in order to be more successful when working in ”our” niche – health prevention, family planning, sexual and reproductive health. A short historical overview of the legislative environment and key normative documents was made.

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