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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

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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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents