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Events
Events

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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BFPA’s participation in the European HIV and Hepatitis testing week

ETW LogoSofia, November 17–24, 2017

In the period between November 17 and 24 BFPA was one of the 15 Bulgarian organizations who took part in the European HIV and Hepatitis testing week. The campaign was held for a fifth consecutive year, BFPA being part of it from the very beginning, as for the last three years Hepatitis B and C testing is included in the testing options. The aim is to increase the number of informed individuals about the dangers of infection as well as encourage them to find out their HIV and Hepatitis status. The campaign is pan-European, 679 organizations from the whole of Europe and Israel signed up for participation, as a certain part of them are multinational. The organizations from Bulgaria, who took place in the campaign, focus on prevention of HIV infection, prevention of prevalence of Hepatitis B and C and also organizations who focus on prevention of STI as a whole.

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BFPA happily joined the celebrations marking NNHM’s 10th anniversary

NNHM LogoParliamentSofia, November 15-16, 2017

On November 15th the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) held a General Assembly Meeting of the organization – at the beginning of the meeting were presented the activities of the organization from 2011 to 2017 and the Management Board reported on its activities. The election part included voting for a new Management Board, Chairperson, Deputy – Chaiperson, Ethical Committee and Secretary.
The General Assembly elected for members of the Management Board of the network prof. Ivailo Turnev, Dilyana Dilkova, Tzveta Petkova, Petar Tzvetanov, Antoaneta Eftimova, Natasha Todorova, Nargis Mihailova, Jeman Hassan and Zahari Atanassov. The current NNHM Chairperson Pater Tzvetanov received enormous support from the assembly attendees but announced his decision to make room for a new face and announced his support for Antoaneta Eftimova, health mediator in Blagoevgrad municipality. Antoaneta’s application was strongly supported by the General Assembly  and she became the new Chairperson of NNHM. Petar Tzvetanov was elected as her Deputy. In the afternoon hours of November 15th were cast the votes for the candidates for members of the Ethical Committee and Kina Assenova, health mediator in Tundja Municipality was elected as Chairperson. The General Assembly was chared by Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Executive Director of  BFPA and a member of NNHM.

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Read between the lines!

PosterSofia, October 20, 2017

„Read between the lines” is an unconventional and attention-catching campaign of the National Commission to combat Trafficking of Human beings which was launched at an international forum in connection with October 18th - the EU Anti Trafficking Day. Participants in the meeting were the UK Ambassador H.E. Emma Hopkins, the deputy foreign minister Yurii Shterk, representatives of state institution and NGOs working on prevention of trafficking. BFPA was represented by its Executive Director Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova.
The campaign focuses on prevention of enrolling over the internet of potential victims of labour and sexual exploitation, sexual abuse and violence of children, of different fraud or blackmailing schemes by personal information. The aim is to focus the attention on catchy work opportunities or dating ads which can be misleading and a mechanism for attracting potential victims of trafficking. The messages of this campaign will be disseminated online in dating sites, job sites as well as offline – with printed materials which attract attention. The slogan of the campaign - “THINGS ARE EXACTLY WHAT THEY DON’T SEEM” – urges us to look beyond the often misleading façade.

You can see the video messages of hte campaign here (in BG)  

 


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‘My Body, My Rights’: Health Mediators form Yambol Municipality about their work in State of Emergency Conditions

Yambol, May 2020

The parents are unemployed. Several days ago one of the brothers has come from abroad, unfortunately with no money. All the family does not have the right to go out of home. They all are quarantined. One day while she is working in her cabinet Kina Asenova is hearing a kid crying on the street. She is going out to see what is happening and sees the family’s six-year old child shaking on the ground and screaming. She finds out that the boy wants a snack very much and the family cannot afford that kind of expense... She goes to the shop, buys a box of the snacks and gives it them. ‘The next day we started distributing food. We gave it away without judging people’s race. We give as well for mentally disabled and people with different diseases’.
Kina is health mediator from 2008, but she works with people on different projects from the 2000s. People trust her. Her colleagues – Atanaska Mutafova, Asen Stoyanov, Atanas Atanasov, Ivan Ivanov and the mediators from Tundja Municipality daily do work in the villages Kukorevo, Kozarevo, Veselinovo, Drazhevo, Hadjidimovo. They work all day long, even on weekends. ‘Since Bulgaria declared state of emergency because of the Covid pandemic we are every day on the field, we give information on the infection, explain them why it’s important to stay at home. We are tracking people who came back from abroad and we make sure that they follow the quarantine guidelines. We have such people in almost every village.’

 
‘My Body, My Rights’ – Successes and Challenges

Health mediators from Montana, Bulgaria, and their work in state of emergency
Montana, March-May 2020

Peter Cvetanov, Sonya Rumenova and Valya Alexandrova are health mediators in Montana Municipality. The three of them as a team are implementing activities part of the project of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) – ‘My Body, My Rights’ (2018–2021). In addition to their municipality, pilot work is being done in two other locations in Bulgaria: Yambol and Sofia. The project is implemented in partnership with organizations from Serbia and Romania, with the coordinating role of International Planned Parenthood Federation and is supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD via their campaign ‘MSD for Mothers’. Main goal of the initiative is to improve the conditions for ensuring quality of family planning services for vulnerable communities and to build capacity and civil responsibility within the communities.
Sonya in a health mediator from 2013. She graduated economics, married with two children: a boy and a girl: ‘Several years ago Roma women from the neighborhood didn’t see doctors for prophylactics. Part of them were not insured, others simply were living with their prejudices and fears. We had two obstetrics-gynecologists as part of the Bulgarian-swiss cooperation program ZOV. They were visiting the health center in the neighborhood according to schedule. Then we decided to form local women’s group for self support, where initially timidly, but afterwards more confidently we started talking about examinations, contraception, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infections... The women from the group started little by little to shake off their fears.’ They just made progress and the activities on project ended. Only  mediators remained in the health center. And then for them new opportunity arose via the project ‘My Body, My Rights’. ‘It gave us the opportunity to continue just on time. The group for self support is developing; the health center in the neighborhood is alive again.’ Sonya succeeded to motivate a poor mother of nine children for IUD insertion. Before that she tried many times, but without any success. ‘I think that she was mostly afraid of being damaged by IUD. Now I know for sure that my long-term working with this woman was not in vain.”

 
Learning Action Partnership: Efforts for Guaranteed Sustainability

Sofia, February 12, 2020

The first for 2020 meeting of the Learning Action Partnership took place in Sofia on February 12, 2020. The agenda included review of activities done on project up to the moment, fixing of concrete future activities and defining small working groups for the different strategic directions.
Representatives of organizations and institutions who participated shared their working plans and the possibility of inclusion of other LAP members in joint activities. Part of the feedback was connected with the increase of fake news, including on priorities of the Partnership. The atmosphere of the event was businesslike, but with extremely well expressed solidarity and good collaboration feeling. In the debates during the meeting important actual topics were covered, such as increasing media and digital literacy of children and challenges, which we are meeting in our work with teachers with long practice on certain age and with burnout. Forming network of children and young people with innovative model of managing was discussed, which will aim decreasing the aggression of children under residential care. How to focus our work so that the efforts put to have guaranteed sustainability; science and research approach and regional and national level partnerships; the need to work together to change the environment – were among topics discussed during the event.

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