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BFPA’s activities on World’s AIDS Day

Durex logoETW logoSofia, November 23 – December 3 2018

Between November 23rd and 30th for a sixth consecutive year took place the European testing week, in which BFPA has participated from the very first year. The aim of the campaign is as much people as possible to be encouraged to know their HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C status and respectively either start therapy and/or to be informed about the risks of infection and how to avoid them. This year besides HIV and Hepatitis B and C, BFPA also implemented testing for syphilis as well as dissemination of free condoms, donated to the association by Durex Bulgaria. At BFPA’s medical center were performed a total of 75 tests - 29 for HIV, 15 for Hepatitis B, 15 for Hepatitis C and 16 for syphilis. 749 national and multinational organizations from all over Europe participated in the testing week this year, 16 of which from Bulgaria. 
On December 1st, the global day for battling HIV/AIDS, BFPA traditionally implements and supports different AIDS-prevention related activities and campaigns. Since the day itself falls on a weekend, some activities and campaigns were held during the weekend, some - on November 30th and on December 3rd.

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Voice it 2018 – Let’s listen to the voice of children

Info standSofia, November 20, 2018

On November 20th, 29 years ago, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was accepted – a fundamental internationally recognized document which helps to create and develop adequate modern policies for improving the children’s well-being. To honour its ratification every year the members of the National Network for Children (NNC) organize public events to support child participation and help for the opinion of the young people to be heard. The name of the event announces it – it’s called Voice It. This year the topic of the event was chosen by the adolescents themselves and it concerns health and sexuality education. Location: the Largo in the heart of Sofia. Here are part of the musts and discussion topics: The need for health and sexuality education to be part of the school curriculum. When and where should the subject be presented, who should present it and not least – Why it is important for young people to have knowledge on all topics related to reproductive health? The topic was chosen by young people from Megaphone that were part of the panel and answered questions in connection with the forum topic, including prevention of trafficking, prevention of internet bullying, youth volunteering.

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Premiere of BFPA’s short video on puberty at a peer ToT training

Plovdiv, October 29-30, 2018

Lidl LogoBreakOne of the main modules of the two-day training of young peer educators in Plovdiv was on puberty and growing up, during which for the first time  was presented BFPA’s short film on puberty, made as a part of the project “The Challenges of Growing Up”, funded in the frame of Lidl WCIF LogoBulgaria’s “You and Lidl for a Better Life” initiative. After watching it, the young participants in the training who were from three Plovdiv and three Sofia schools, plus the young volunteers of Red Cross Youth in Plovdiv, Haskovo and Pazardjik shared their impressions and BDF Logorecommendations, as part of an open discussion and filling a prepared in advance questionnaire. Among the main recommendation was the film to also be shown to parents and to start showing with younger children around 5th grade. They see the video as a good starting point for an educational discussion and thus will be good for a start. The rest of the training modules included contraception, hygiene, STI and HIV prevention, family planning, communicational skills and team-building, and there were a lot of questions, comments and discussions. The BYRC volunteers who attended the training supported with up-to-date statistical data about hygiene, HIV statistics in Bulgaria, health messages and campaigns.

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LISTENING AND STORYTELLING TRAINING FOR CREATING CHANGE

Two men talkingSofia, October 16-18, 2018

How to exit from our comfort zone and the coziness of the circle of people we are working with and know well; how to learn ourselves to patience; how to overcome obstacles that everyone of us is having, when listening someone...
Paul Browde, psychiatrist, storyteller and couples’ guide, graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and Murray Nossel, clinical psychologist, Academy Award® nominated for documentary, founder and director of Narativ – both teaching narrative medicine in Columbian University – were facilitators of a listening and storytelling training for creating change, organized by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Health specialists and health mediators, psychologists, professionals working on the field with vulnerable communities (Roma, PLHIV, young people with learning disabilities and at risk etc.) from Blagoevgrad, Kazanlak, Lovech, Montana, Pleven, Pernik, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sliven, Sofia, and Sungurlare took part.

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The benefits of having a young intern for a week

TeamSofia, October 1-5, 2018

During the week from October 1st to October 5th Lina Fadl, a 15 year old schoolgirl from the Victor Hugo French Lycee in Sofia took her internship with us at BFPA’s Sofia office. In the photo Lina is with her back to the camera, since she doesn’t like to be photographed, but her Biology teacher, who visited us to see how things are happening, can be seen well. It was a great joy for our team to be reinforced by someone with a fresh outlook and thinking. As always in such cases, the benefits were mutual – Lina learned from us how is functioning of a non-government organization, how to elaborate project proposals,  how to budget and report them, how to go on when your project proposal isn’t approved, why a Pap-smear is important, why besides HIV testing, counseling and support for people coming in for VCT is especially important, how and why to use educational playing cards, which other organizations are working in the field of education and healthcare, what socially responsible business means, and much more.

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The alumni of the first Health Education Academy graduated successfully

Sofia, June 17, 2019

Monday, June 17th. Our first alumni class of the Sofia Health Education Academy demonstrated their skills and knowledge in front of classmates, teachers, school directors, school psychologists, parents and supporting institutions. The solemn event took place in the Events Hall at 1st High school, Sofia. The young people from 1st, 144th, 119th schools, 1st ELS and the Professional School of Textile and Fashion Design split into three teams after “drawing straws” and presented the topics “Transformations During Puberty”, “Contraception and STIs” and “Prevention of addictions”. We are very glad that our video on puberty was part of the “fun”. Otherwise the presentations pushed the audience to participate actively. The culmination was a surprise for all – we were visited by the TV show “Masters of the air” who enhanced the effect of the challenge.

 
BFPA gathered the teams from Sofia, Yambol and Montana on a work meeting

Varshetz, May 10-12, 2019

From May 10th trough 12th in Varshetz, BFPA held a working meeting under the “My Body, my rights” project, funded as a part of the global “MSD for Mothers” programme. Hosts and speakers at the meeting were Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Ventzislav Kirkov and Boyan Mladenov form the BFPA team in Sofia, and the participants were the local project coordinators, health mediators and social workers from the project locations: Yambol – the villages of Kukorevo, Hadjidimitrovo, Veselinovo and Zavoy; Montana – Ogosta and Kosharnik districts; Sofia –Fakulteta and Filipovci districts. During the working meeting were discussed theoretical and real practice cases from field work with representatives of marginalized groups on topics like hygiene, health messages and campaigns, STI prevention, family planning and contraception. The people working in the project locations shared their experience from this and preceding projects about field work with marginalized groups, they discussed what are the challenges and the most successful approaches for achieving the best results. Peter Tzvetanov, coordinator of project activities in Montana, presented a memorable educational session on self-help groups and his colleagues from Montana and Yambol re-enacted some interesting practical cases. Their colleagues from Sofia put up for discussion theoretical situations that may arise during work.

 
Second training of the peer educators from Sofia Academy for health education

Petrohan, April 12-14, 2019

In the three days between April 12 and 14 took place the second module of the preparation of peer educators from the Health and Sexuality Education Youth Academy, realized with the support of the PIST directorate of Sofia Municipality. The focus of the second stage of education was upon elaboration of communication skills, teambuilding and team work, acquiring of knowledge about the prevention of trafficking of human beings, knowledge of hygiene as a starting point to peer education, adopting healthy eating habits and preventing eating disorders, work with vulnerable groups. In addition to health knowledge, the future peer educators acquired also social and personal ones – how to define one’s personal space – useful when working with young people with disabilities, and how to plan their own free time.

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