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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 2021 BFPA continues its work with the youth groups in the four locations where are functioning the branches of the organization, will revive the work of the youth groups in Plovdiv and 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 2021 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 in 2021:
-The Covid -19 pandemic is not giving the opportunity to hold live trainings and gatherings in the cold months. So, the Sofia Academy for peer educators in the field of CSE, active in the last two years was upgraded to Academy for Visionaries - BFPA team in partnership with the Sport and Youth Directorate of Sofia Municipality is mentoring young people in the division “Civic and Health Education. Media Litteracy”
- New, modern vision of our website and ongoing info ungrade
- 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
- orienting part of BFPA youth related activities towards audiovisual materials elaboration – short animated educational videos on different topics, related with health and sexuality education and health literacy, uploaded to BFPA You Tube channel
- stimulating youth creativity and implementing youth ideas for public participation and health campaigns
- Youth led Instagram profile of BFPA in Instagram







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Podcast ‘Of Rights and People… Because Free People Have Rights

August, 2021, Sofia

The implemented by BFPA project ‘Increasing the capacity of the team, partners and supporters of BFPA in the field of advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) ended in August 2021. It was funded by the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.
In the frame of the project trainings and discussion meetings took place during which the team of BFPA, together with key partners and supporters, worked for enlarging the knowledge and practical skills to formulate and communicate messages, targeting different publics, and tried different ways of conducting effective dialog in public space. In parallel with this the trainings contributed for the development of analytical skills of the participants in the area of national and international legislation concerning human rights in general and with special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. PR and Communicative strategy for popularizing messages, connected with the implementation of the main strategies of the association was developed.

 
BFPA team in training of trainers in healthy lifestyle project for PLHIV

Timisoara, August 27-28, 2021

Representatives of seven organizations from six European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania) gathered for a training of trainers in Timisoara on 27 and 28 August 2021. The training is part of the ARIE project, funded by the Erasmus+ of EU, and project main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in accordance with EU directives and guidelines, which includes healthy nutrition and physical exercises. The Directives mean that PLHIV must be taught how to perform a set of exercises tailored to their condition, whether they’re on antiretroviral therapy or not. The training in Timisoara covered all aspects - approach, physical condition, psychological attitude, the role of coaches, even first aid for the most typical fitness-related injuries.

 
BFPA study among young people: what to improve in the provision of health services in a pandemic

Kyustendil-Pernik-Radomir-Sofia, July-August, 2021

During the period July-August 2021, 42 young people from Kyustendil, Pernik, Radomir and Sofia took part in 6 focus groups in a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of services and care in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Different groups of young people, young mothers and pregnant women were involved. Some of the groups were with participants from the Roma community.
The aim was to examine the needs, challenges and difficulties faced by young people during the pandemic and to give them the opportunity to propose ideas for improving various health services.

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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents