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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents
Adolescents and young people

IstanbulAdolescents and young people

Health and education of young people are among the main priorities of BFPA from the very beginning. The main directions of work connected with adolescents include health and sexuality education, peer education, health prevention and planning and organizing of special youth events. Healthy life style, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), drug abuse and addictions, trafficking for sexual exploitation, contraception, hygiene and puberty are only part of the topics on which young people receive information and can discuss with our team. BFPA’s approach to working with young people includes equal participation and youth-adult partnership. 
In the last years youth groups of BFPA in Stara Zagora, Ruse, Pleven, Plovdiv and Sofia are working actively in the field of peer education, promotional special events and elaboration of youth friendly info and video materials. The principles of youth-adult partnership are respected and followed by all BFPA staff and volunteers and young people have wide autonomy – decisions about conducting different events and funds usage are made within the group, which pays off with their increased level of effectiveness and creativity.

UN New YorkYoung people at risk

In 2000 BFPA started working on a project financed by the PHARE-ACCESS programme of EU in six Juvenile Detention Centers (JDC) and seven Social Pedagogical Centers (SPC). The project activities included the organizing and holding of a series of educational modules in the area of sexual and reproductive health for adolescents in these institutions. Coming up with adequate information materials for the target auditorium was also an important part of the activities.This project lasted for 2 years (until 2002) but due to the needs of the adolescents in these institutions BFPA applied for funding for the next two years through the International Planned Parenthood Federation. In 2005, from the state budget of the Republic of Bulgaria, BFPA received the opportunity to work with the teachers and staff at the JDCs and SPCs by training them for mentors on the topics of sexual and reproductive health, as the Association provided suitable information materials. In 2006-2008 BFPA ensured funding for medical screenings in six SPCs their focus being sexually transmitted diseases. Starting at the end of 2008 and all through 2009 the BFPA worked with SPC staff for providing the young people with suitable medical services. Nowadays in the period 2013-2018 as part of the project “The art to inform” funded by the OAK foundation BFPA is restoring the work with the remaining 4 JDCs and 2 SPCs in the process of deinstitutionalization with main goal prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse towards young people there.
Another group with which BFPA has experience in working on projects in the area of sexual and reproductive health are the of hearing and visually impaired young people. The first project in this field was realized with the support of Cooperating Netherlands Foundations for Central and Eastern Europe and included the training of trainers among the target groups. As part of this project BFPA published the first of its kind informational material in Braille (for visually impaired or blind adolescents) containing information about contraception, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. In 2014 as part of the project KEEP ME SAFE the association conducted national-wide a series of interactive trainings for specialists working with YPLD (young people with learning disabilities) in the field of health education and prevention of sexual abuse. Under another project funded by the Rutgers foundation, BFPA conducted a series of interactive trainings for specialists working with young people with physical disabilities and chronic diseases.    
In 2011 BFPA joined a team funded and led by UNICEF - Bulgaria and started the implementation of a big project on prevention of abandonment of cгildren in Shumen region. Other partners in the project were Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation (EMHPF), ohter key Bulgarian NGOs and the municipalities of Shumen, Varbitza, Veliki Preslav and Novi Pazar. The component that is under the direct reponsibility of BFPA  is connected with SRH services programme and with multiple trainings in the field of health and sexuality education, training of trainers, health prevention, counselling and working in multiethnic environment. Activities under this project were carried out throughout the period 2011 - 2014.
Two of BFPA's main projects for 2016-2017  with a focus on youth still are "Mission possible"  - provision of SRH services for young people from vulnerable communities in 14 populated areas, and "Acessible health services" - improving maternal and child health in Roma communities in Sofia. At the same time key partnership with organizations focusing their activities towards young people as our partners form the platform Loveguide.bg, Red Cross youth and the Re-act association is actively ongoing
For 2019 BFPA continues its work with the youth groups in the five locations where are functioning the branches of the organization, will revive the work of the youth group in Varna and will strengthen additionally its partnership with the Medical Students Associations. We will continue our work with vulnerable young people in various types of institutions – boarding schools, foster care units as well as with young Roma that have difficult access to health care and education. We count on the active participation of our young volunteers and we hope 2019 will be a good year for health education from legislative point of view, as well as for the institutionalizing of the preparation of health and sexuality education high school teachers. 2019 was the year in which we trained in Tot for health and sexuality education the young volunteers of Red Cross Youth and the Natioanl Commission against Trafficking.
Below are enumerated the brand new accents in our work:
- Start, in partnership with Sofia municipality, MoH amd Red Cross a Sofia Academy for peer educators in the field of CSE with the idea first peers to certified at th end of the scholar year in June 2019 and this to become an annual activity for schools in the capital city.
- Finalize a new, modern vision of our website
- Mapping of the youth groups and young volunteerswe work with national-wide
- Online counseling of parents on how to communicate with their children on sensitive topics related with puberty and growing up with tsrting point the finalized at the end of 2018 short animated video on puberty.






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Latest news

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.

 
The health mediators from Montana, Zaichar and Pirot share their experience

Zaechar – Pirot, March 20-21, 2019 

On March 20th and 21st 2019 the health mediators from Montana participated in working meetings with their colleagues in Zaichar and Pirot. The meetings are organized by BFPA and  take place within the final phase of the ZOV (HEA) programme (Health and Education for All), supported by the Bulgarian – Swiss Cooperation Programme. Besides the members of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) from Montana, in the study trip were included health specialists working with vulnerable communities in the field, representatives of the Regional Health Inspectorate and of the local municipality. Their colleagues were expecting them in Serbia: representatives of local authorities, local NGOs in Zaichar and Pirot, health specialists, volunteers from the vulnerable local communities.
The key topics on which Bulgarian and Serbian colleagues worked together were exchange of ideas, presenting good practices related to improving the access to health services, education and social services for marginalized groups. The health mediators from Montana were selected to share their experience due to the good results they achieved in their work on the ZOV Programme.

 
First field activities under the Project “My Body, My Rights”

Sofia, Montana, Yambol, February 18-28, 2019

 Partners in the project ‘My Body, my Rights’ (2018–2021) gathered in Sofia on February 25 and 26, 2019 to exchange experience and information. The initiative for health care, information and services for vulnerable people from marginalized families is implemented in Sofia, Yambol and Montana. The meeting gathered the team of BFPA, local project coordinators and health mediators form the three locations, as well as municipalities representatives.
So far, the project team conducted 24 focus groups in the three project locations Montana, Sofia and Yambol - 6 in each one. Participants in the focus groups were girls and boys aged 12-15, 16-25 and over 25 years old. The aim is to explore the attitudes of young people in the communities (especially marginalized groups) towards the family planning services offered and whether they can take independent decisions about their reproductive health.

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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents