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Общи :: How we celebrate the day of love and wine

How we celebrate the day of love and wine

Pleven medical studentsSofia-Pleven, February 14, 2018

BFPA traditionally supports different events which mark Feb 14 – the day of people in love and of wine. This is a good day also to talk about prevention, especially with the mood of forthcoming spring and rejuvenation. Valentine gifts go traditionally well with a condom and a health-related message. That is why on Valentine’s day in Pleven our partners – the young people from the Association of medical students held a campaign in the city centre and the shopping malls. They presented a selection of BFPA’s informational materials together with Sexwell condoms as a part of our Condom with a cause/Use your head campaign. Everyone had the opportunity to take a photo in a special big Valentine photo-frame.  
Along with such traditional, yet joyful events at different locations all over the country, BFPA proudly presents the second article from the series, elaborated in cooperation with the “Hope against AIDS” foundation in the AIDS Press blog. The first article came out on an important date for prevention of HIV prevalence – December 1st. It’s logical to continue with the second article on another important date. The subject is more than fundamental – the narrative concerns the 37-year-long history of AIDS in Bulgaria and is about the communication deficiencies and how they affect the correct understanding and dissemination of information which leads to misunderstanding and problems.

AIDS Press logoThe story began in the 80’s of the past century and has already lost a lot of its characters but that does not stop us from remembering, re-telling and mainly analyzing the successes, mistakes and problems. How do we speak or write on the topic of HIV? Which words do we use? Why? We speak of HIV and AIDS but we haven’t properly translated in Bulgarian the name of the virus. When things are not called by their proper names, mistakes and misunderstandings occur. We lack a “legitimate” name for the virus which causes AIDS. Supposedly, at the first encounter with the virus it ought to have been properly named so that people and institutions understand and accept the name. Should it have been the Bulgarian equivalent of VIH (Virus of Immunodeficiency in Humans) or the Bulgarian equivalent of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)? It does not matter anymore….
We hope we attracted your attention with the beginning of the story. It gets more and more interesting. You can follow it here in Bulgarian.

 

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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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Общи :: How we celebrate the day of love and wine