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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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BFPA and LIDL for a better life. The Challenges of Growing up

Project presentationLidl LogoSofia, October 3, 2018

The ceremony of handing over of certificates in the frame of the second edition of the corporative programme of  LIDL ‘You and LIDL for a Better Life’ took place on October 3, 2018 in BCNL LogoBetahouse. New selection of organizations with ideas of four areas, among which active life and education, got their certificates. The social responsibility initiative of the company is implementing together with Foundation for Developing Civil Initiatives and Bulgarian BDF LogoDonation Forum.
The project “The Challenges of Growing up”of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is focusing its work on the importance of understanding and supporting the young people from parents during the time of their maturation. Developing of short video on puberty and its launching in the towns Sofia, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Ruse and Plovdiv, as well among vulnerable communities in the whole country – are main directions in the work around the idea.

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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.

 
Most significant change: Documenting stories

Dolna Banya, January 24-26, 2020

On January 26-28 BFPA organized a meeting of the teams working on the project „My body, my rights” from Sofia, Yambol and Montana. Representatives of the three locations shared their experiences from the implemented field activities. We discussed problems which health mediators, self-help group members and their partners face and paid special attention on possible ways and strategies for solving. Participants put accent on good practices that had been identified up to the moment. It was the perfect time to watch and discuss several videos, showing the fieldwork as well as image “memes” with messages, which show benefits of family planning.
Participants gave feedback also for the freshly prepared Manual for self-support groups and for the Health application for mobile devices, which will be useful in the future work on the project and after its ending. Divided into groups by locations the participants from Sofia, Yambol and Montana worked on possible ways of documenting stories for the most significant change of people’s lives as result of the work of project teams and health specialists.

 
Start of the second edition of the Sofia Health Education Academy

Sofia, December 16, 2019

After a successful and intense first year during which the first batch of alumni peer educators of the Sofia Health Education Academy got skills and knowledge which they are already sharing with their peers, we started the second academic year. In this process the BFPA team works with valuable partners – the PIST Directorate of Sofia Municipality, the National Centre for Public Health and Analyses with MoH (NCPHA) and the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth (BRCY)
During the academic 2018-2019 teams of young people from 1st High school, 144th, 119th schools, 1st ELS and the Professional School of Textile and Fashion Design, supported by their school psychologists underwent an intensive training program and at the end of the education received certificates and demonstrated their abilities in front of schoolmates, parents and teachers.

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