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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy

Advocacy

AdvocacyThe goal of BFPA in the advocacy is the creation and improvement  of the conditions that guarantee the provision of information and the access to services in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. The advocacy is based on the declared values in the Chart of universal human rights as well as on the understanding that the implementation of those rights is the tool for achieving better socio-economic development and personal wellbeing. The relation between these 3 components (right – development – wellbeing) in the context of the sexual and reproductive health and rights determins the main issues of the work:

• Family Planning
• Prevention of Sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS
• Equal opportunities and women empowerment
• Improving the socio-economic status and the access to health and social services of marginalized communities

The involvement of partners and supporters in the advocacy process is important and irreversible element in the planning and implementation of concrete initiatives. Such initiatives may refer to legislative changes or to the inclusion of certain topics from the field of sexual and reproductive health in legislative documents on governmental, regional and municipality level, or to prioritize and mainstream SRHR issues in the work of other institutions and organizations. The partners of BFPA are various:

• Parliamentarians
• State institutions, representing the implementation power (Ministry of health, Ministry of labor and social policy, Ministry of foreign affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education)
• Municipalities
• Schools
• Various NGOs and other structures (including professional and faith based organizations)

In 2013 and 2014 due to the deep political crisis (4 governments in 2 years, 2 of which care-taker governments) it was not possible to realize adequate advocacy initiatives. 2015 was relatively more stable and it resulted with advocacy advancements mainly on municipality level – with including topics and initiatives in the field of SRHR in local authorities plans and programs as well as with the inclusion of health and sexuality education in the main standards of the new Law for school education. A big success of 2015 is the signed Memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and  the Bulgarian platform for international development (BPID). BFPA is the president of BPID via its Program manager Ventsislav Kirkov and hosts and provides the secretariat of the Platform in BFPA’s headquarters.
The Presidential elections in November 2016 were followed by a resignation of the government, yet again, a caretaker government and early elections in March 2017. The civil society, sensitive and active participant in the protests and reforms movement has the hope that Bulgaria will be more politically responding to advocacy efforts and the government will go on the path of reforms and adequate policies both from legislative and executive perspective. Only in 2017 there were four changes of the health minister for instance. This makes the work with institutions more difficult. In 2018 – the year of the Bulgarian Presidency of  EU BFPA and BPID took active participation in the events related in the first half of 2018 and its follow-up till the end of 2018.
In connection with this for 2020 the specific objectives of BFPA are mainly three:

1. COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION: Reaching consensus with traditional and  new partners of BFPA about the introduction of comprehensive health and sexuality education in the school curriculum, with topics and approaches adequate to the age of the students. Adoption of legislative basis for university curriculum for teachers in the field of Health and Sexuality Education.
2. FAMILY PLANNING: Adoption of the National program on sexual and reproductive health as instrument and response to the National demographic strategy. Establishment of national screening for cervical cancer prevention as part of the strategy. Special attention on vulnerable groups and young people in the strategy implementation.
3. DEVELOPMENT POLICIES: Adequate policies and procedures on place for international development and collaboration


 

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Latest news

My Body, My Rights: Meeting of the Teams from Montana, Sofia and Yambol

Dolna Banya, September 2-4, 2020

Meeting of the teams on the project ‘My Body, My Rights’, supported by the prohgamme for socially responsible business “MSD for Mothers” took place in Dolna Banya on September 2-4, 2020. Special guests during the event were the Executive Director of ‘St. Sofia’ First OB Hospital Dr. Gergana Kolarova and the coordinator of BFPA in Pleven Dr. Krasimir Romanov. The priceless opportunity to have a direct dialog with Dr. Kolarova was highly appreciated by the team in Sofia and gave them the possibility to adjust the field efforts and optimize the collaboration with the hospital in the field of family planning.
Topics of the discussions during the three-day meeting were: what examinations to be done during the pregnancy and what is doing the gynecologist in the different stages; what are the benefits from health insurances; how much does it cost and how to recover health insurance rights; the benefits of visualization for understanding the information. Short educational films, developed to help the work at local level, were presented.
The work during the three days with health mediators and other colleagues working on the field from Montana, Sofia and Yambol included discussing the progress currently made and future activities trill the project end.
In the crisis months from the beginning of the year two tenth graders from Yambol were close to drop out from school due to the death of their parents, but the project team supported them and the boys will finish their secondary education. Two of the girls, trained on the project this year will be studying pedagogy in Veliko Tarnovo University.

 
The Learning action partnership was introduced to Safenet’s Cyber Scout Programme

Sofia, August 24, 2020

“I’m a 15-year old boy, in the ninth grade. Recently I met a girl in the social networks. After chatting a few days in Skype, we turned on cameras, send saucy pictures…. Now it transpires the girl is not a girl at all, I was recorded and being blackmailed, for money, for more pictures, otherwise the recordings will be made widely public. What do I do to get out of this situation?”
Another case:
“I’m in the sixth grade. A classmate who is a Facebook friend of our history teacher downloaded her picture and made her a professional profile in a porn site. What do I do, how do I react?”
The two cases are just a small part of the one-day training on the Cyber Scout programme for internet safety and online security for the members of the Learning action partnership (LAP). We talked about online bullying, online sexual exploitation, about the ways we should react, what rules apply, what is allowed and effective… We review different cases – from a threat from a pedophile regarding the security of a child to an innocent at first exchange between friends which escalates to online harassment that can have serious and long-term consequences for the victim’s life and mentality.

 
Capacity building in the fields of communication and advocacy

Dolna Banya, August 20-22, 2020

For three days – from August 20 to 22, 2020 BFPA’s team and Board together with representatives of key partners of the Association gathered at a outside-the-box work meeting in Dolna Banya. The public relations and civic law spepcialists Diana Damyanova and Ivana Murdjeva shared with the participants important accents of their professional expertise which are significant for better understanding the public environment as well as for communicating our messages.
The goal of the event was to analyze the needs of our target groups and of the environment we work in, bearing in mind the challenges for the NGO sector and the specificities in communicating with different audiences in order to be more successful when working in ”our” niche – health prevention, family planning, sexual and reproductive health. A short historical overview of the legislative environment and key normative documents was made.

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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy