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The “Golden Apple” awards awarded people who contributed to the wellbeing of children

AwardsSofia, May 31, 2018

On the eve of the international day of the Child the National Network for Children gave for an eighth consecutive year the “Golden Apple” awards to persons, organizations and institutions for contributing to children’s wellbeing in Bulgaria. The ceremony took place before 350 guests, friends and upholders of the cause at the Training Theatre of the NATFA “Krustyo Sarafov”.
The awards were in eight categories – “Children’s Hero”, “School”, “Hospital”, “Municipality”, “Journalist”, “Benefactor”, “Award for overall contribution to the Network for Children” and a Special Award.
All 66 nominations for the different categories can be seen at the site of the “Golden Apple”awards 

The nominations for the Awards, with the exception of the “Children’s Hero” category, come from the 150 organizations, members of the Network from all over Bulgaria working for children and families and the winners are nominated from a special jury, comprised of experts and professionals in the field.
In the “Children’s Hero” category, which this year gathered the record 39 nominations, the nominations come from the public via the site of the “Golden Apple” initiative. The winner is selected by the popular vote from the public by online voting. This year all nominees in this category gathered almost 3000 votes.
In the eight edition of the “Golden Apple” awards for “Children’s Heroes” were elected Dr. Tanya Andreeva and Dariya Mukova, creators of the HealthyKid platform. At the expense of their free time and effort, the two elaborate the application which refers parents to suitable doctors and health facilities in cases of necessity. Bulgaria is the only EU country without a specialized children hospital and that is why the pediatrician Dr. Tanya Andreeva is part of the initiative for creating a Children’s Health Park in which all medical specialties for children are gathered in one place, making it easier for parents to find the necessary services when they need urgent medical care for their children. “The application is a sort of virtual hospital” said Dr. Andreeva upon receiving the award, “but I hope next year the award will go to the de facto founder of the National Children’s Hospital”.

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NNC presented Report Card 2018

Group photoSofia, April 26, 2018

„There is a simulation by the institutions that they think on children related issues. ... 2017 was relatively calm from economical and political points of view and if there was a will  politicians could work more successfully on this priority – improving the well-being of children“, said in its outgiving Georgi Apostolov – the Chairman of the Board of National Network for Children (NNC).
The ‘Report Card: What is the average government score in childcare?’, prepared for the seventh consecutive year, was presented in nine towns in the country at one and the same time. The overall score which the institutions received during this year for their work and the policies concerning children, is the lowest comparing with the previous years – 2,88. The scores for the five main areas, which the Report Card reviewed, are as follows: „General principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child“: 2.60; „Family environment and alternative care“: 2.55; „Health care“: 3,19; „Education“: 3,02; „Justice“: 2,79.

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34 new health mediators completed successfully their training in Sofia Medical University

CertificatesSofia, April 1, 2018

Just before the beginning of the astronomic spring, on March 19, 2018 the new scholar year for the newest generation of Roma Health Mediators was officially opened in the University Hospital “Tsaritsa Joanna”. The training is held for a seventh consecutive year from the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) in partnership with the Public Health Faculty of Sofia Medical University. The Class of 2018 consists of 34 Health Mediators, selected based on a concourse with strict procedure and rules, conducted in the municipalities of Sandanski, Pertich, Varna, Veliko Turnovo, Elena, Zlataritsa, Hayredin, Kjustendil,Lukovit, Radomir, Iskar, Karlovo, Plovdiv, Zavet, Nova Zagora, Sofia, Botevgrad, Maglizh, Radnevo, Popovo, Dimitrovgrad, Svilengrad, Hikola Kozlevo, Varbitza, Toundja, Boliarovo, Kurdzhali and Montana. The intensive training going with not a single free day in which experts from the BFPA team take part from the very beginning of the program, ended with an exam, successfully passed by all future mediators on March 31.

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Preventing Together Violence against Women

Campaign launchSofia, March 27, 2018

The campaign "You are not alone! Together against Violence " is addressing the government with five main goals. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is supporting the campaign as one of the non-governmental organizations and several independent media united against domestic violence for the first time as a Bulgarian civil society. The campaign has five basic change goals and insists on specific government commitments to ensure the prevention and successful fight in violence against women:
• Incriminating the domestic violence - all forms of violence against women: domestic violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, persecution, systemic psychological violence, and all other serious forms of violence to be included explicitly in the Penal Code and to be treated and punished as crimes.

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Against encouraging children and young people to gamble

No gabmlingSofia, February 26, 2018

NGOs, members of the National Network for Children, sent an open letter to responsible institutions in order to alarm them about the risk of encouraging children and young people towards gambling by the advertisement from “Chocolate Ticket by the National Lottery – 7777.bg”. BFPA is not only a part of the initiative, but also as an organization working in the field of health prevention and health education finds it’s especially important to work for dependency prevention, including gambling addiction and also for preventing eating disorders in adolescent girls, who are very susceptible to anorexia, for example. The advertisement disseminates messages, unsuitable for children and young people in those two senses – that chocolate shouldn’t be eaten, “we only smell it”, and that scratch cards are an essential part of everyday life and the main way to prosperity. Here are some parts of the letter to the institutions:

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BFPA together with other NGOs supports the Convention of the Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence

MarchSofia, January 5, 2018

In connection with the heated debate and the campaign against the ratification of CE’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention) we, a group of organizations and experts in the field of domestic violence and child protection, state our firm support for the ratification of the Convention and our firm position against all false statements and suggestions in connection with it, based on lack of knowledge on the subject or deliberate manipulation of the public opinion. Shifting of the public debate in the wrong direction is the same as refusing to take decisive measures against the violence towards women and children.
For thousands women and children in Bulgaria violence is an everyday occurrence. According to the latest data 1 million out of 4 million Bulgarian women are victims of violence at home. For 54% of Bulgarians sexual violence is an extremely serious problem. According to a survey among students between 13 and 16 old, 70% know personally victims of domestic violence. Child Protection services, who according to Bulgarian legislation are authorized to take measures for protecting children at risk and work with them and their families, in 2015 have worked on 1839 cases in total.

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Bill on the Regulation of the Fundamentals of Volunteering

VolunteersSofia, December 14, 2017

A bill on volunteering is submitted by a group of MPs on December 14, 2017 for consideration and voting in the National Assembly. The initiative was launched by the Public Council of Citizens of the Commission for Interaction with NGOs and Complaints of Citizens to the Parliament.
In the motives the law is submitted it is shown that the fundamentals of the volunteering activities are regulated within it. Definitions of ‘voluntary organization’, ‘voluntary activities’ and ‘volunteer’ are given. Appropriate prerequisites to provide the participation of volunteers are introduced. The necessary conditions for determining their legal status are established. The relations concerning training and qualification of volunteers are also regulated. Reimbursement of the costs made by the volunteer during or in connection with various activities is foreseen.

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Zero Tolerance towards Sexual Exploitation of Children

Sofia, November 13, 2019

Another meeting of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on November 13, 2019 in Sofia. This is, at the same time, the first LAP meting under the project “The Ability to Change”, that builds upon a previous project “The art to inform”. The members of the group discussed opportunities to unite efforts of different organizations and institutions for advocating in area of working on prevention and on cases, connected with sexual exploitation of children. One of the main goals of LAP during the next years is to have significant contribution towards zero tolerance in the society concerning sexual exploitation of children. Numerous initiatives are to come, such as capacity building trainings as well as development and implementation of pilot small projects and field initiatives.
The work of the Partnership is supported by the OAK Foundation.

 
First coordination meeting for the “I want to know” project

 

 

 

Sofia, November 8-9, 2019

On November 8 in Sofia coordinators and service providers  from  BFPA branches in the country  gathered for an initial training about the activities of the two-year “I want to Know” project, financed by Viiv Heakthcare. The discussions included the project activities, the time schedule, target groups and access to them, specificities of working with marginalized groups, identifying the locations for each voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) action. Each coordinator made a prediction of the project activities they could do until the end of 2019 and all received the necessary informational printed materials. Individual risk assessment of the vulnerable communities and optimizing the work of BFPA  in-country were the main discussion topic during the second day of the meeting.

 
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.

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