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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 2020 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 2020 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 for a third consecutive year the volunteers of Red Cross Youth in ToT for health and sexuality education. We started, in partnership with Sofia municipality, MoH and Red Cross a Sofia Academy for peer educators in the field  of CSE and  the first peers from 5 schools were certified at the end of the scholar year in June 2019. In 2020 we can proudly say that this became an annual activity for schools in the capital city.
Below are enumerated the brand new accents in our work:
-Class of 2020 of Sofia Academy for peer educators in the field of CSE with four new schools on board and follow-up training for Class of 2019
- Finalize a new, modern vision of our website
- Mapping of the youth groups and young volunteers we 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 starting point the finalized at the end of 2018 short animated video on puberty, as well as the other informational products of the organization
.- short video on the life and personalities of several young adults, former peer educators of BFPA
- stimulating youth creativity and implementing youth ideas for public participation and health campaigns






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Latest news

Covid-19 pandemic – analyzed and explained
Sofia, January 7, 2021
 
Online meeting with Prof. Radka Argirova, MD, leading virologist with prominent scientific and practical experience was held on January 7th, 2021. The meeting provoked interest and attracted attention of more than 80 people from all regions of the country – among them were representatives of Learning Action Partnership (LAP), BFPA staff and Management bard, NGOs, institutions, medical doctors and health mediators. The topic of the event was ‘ SARS-CoV-2 – About the Virus, Specific Diagnostics and Vaccines’ . During the more than two hours and a half lasted forum was presented a lecture including information about arising epidemics and pandemics, mechanisms of occurrence and evolution of viruses; main generally accepted facts, diagnosis and development of Covid 19. Review of the types of tests for Covid 19 was made, qualities of antigen test and types of PCR tests were discussed, as special attention was drawn to cases with false negative results, asymptomatic patients, and symptomatic patients with negative results. Special attention was also given to the different vaccines elaborated to combat the virus. Participants took the opportunity to ask additional questions after the lecture. You can listren to them in Bulgarian here
 
Outwitting the pandemic - in search of digital applications for health education and information

Sofia, Montana, Yambol, December 2020

Despite the restrictions imposed by the measures against Covid 19, in recent months the planned activities in the second year of the project "My body, my rights", supported by the socially responsible business program "MSD for mothers", continue in three locations - Sofia, Montana and Yambol. The coordinators of the project by places - Fakulteta district in Sofia - Valentin Blagoev, Kosharnik quarter and Ogosta quarter in Montana - Petar Tsvetanov and the whole Tundzha municipality in Yambol (the villages of Veselinovo, Kukorevo, Tenevo, Zavoy) - Kina Assenova, hold meetings of self-help groups - though in  more limited numbers due to precautionary measures, conduct training events for young people - outdoors, through specialized stands for distribution of printed materials for the project itself and for the SRH in general, and most importantly - support marginalized members of communities with hygiene materials, essential goods and medicines and specialized information for prevention from Covid, along with the usual topics - prevention of unwanted pregnancy, prevention of STIs, maternal and child health and many others, through selfless and exhausting walking from the neck of door due to the impossibility to organize large information sessions.

 
Break the Silence: Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence of Children Could Happen Everywhere

Sofia, November 18, 2020

Break the Silence: November 18 is the European Day on protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual violence.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear ‘sexual exploitation’ is usually connected with red lanterns, streets or roads with women (and men) sex workers, trafficking of human beings. Sexual exploitation of children could have also other faces – sex services in exchange of expensive things such as smart phone or modern accessory or at the cost of a lunch, sweets or instead of rent for parents’ accommodation. It can happen via internet and to affect minors before they become teenagers. That’s why it is needed to break the silence and to ask for zero tolerance concerning this ugly phenomenon. Statistics show that one of five children becomes victim of violence, including sexual. As parents we can prevent this: we can teach them for instance on the Rule of the Bathing Suit. It says that no one has the right to touch their body, especially where the body is covered by a swimming bathing suit. Medical examinations and manipulations as well don’t have to be allowed without their informed consent. The rule helps children to understand that their bodies are their own, that there is good and bad touching, as well es personal borders and social ethnic norms.

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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents