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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 2019, the year of MEP elections as well as local elections 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

BFPA kicks off a new two-year project “I Want to Know”

Sofia, August 23, 2019

With an official green light on August 23, as of Sep 1st BFPA starts activities on a new project – “I Want to Know: User friendly access to counselling and testing for Roma youth”, supported by ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action Programme via CAF (Charities Aid Foundation) UK. The project’s duration is 2 years, during which BFPA will provide voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) with a focus on young Roma men (but not excluding women as well) from poor and marginalized districts through its coordinators in the five BFPA branches in Bulgaria - Pleven, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Russe and Sofia. Activities will begin with a kick-off meeting and VCT training for the service providers, in parallel with informing and awareness raising by elaboration of info materials, disseminated in the targeted communities by one of the closest and dearest BFPA partners – Health Mediators.

 
Social and health messages in Roma neighbourhoods through theatre

Sofia, July 31, 2019

On the last day of July the Roma neighbourhood Fakulteta in Sofia was visited by William Shakespeare and Miguel de Servantes. We started with the best – Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. The Roma actress Natalia Tzekova staged a funny and educational performance with the participation of talented children and youth from the neighborhood in which the art was intertwined with social and health related messages. Romeo and Juliet demonstrated the benefits of family planning, contraception and health education and spoke in verse about the harm of school dropout, early marriages and children having children. The participants performed short sketches which contained the same messages, debunked myths and demonstrated how powerful personal example is. Don Quixote explained some of the community specificities which started a short discussion on stage who should take example from whom about health and health prevention. In between sketches and play scenes the participants shared their own personal stories about health and family planning. At the end of the play as a recap of what was presented they raised a few banners with messages on the same topic”: “I have dreams and goals”, “I am not an incubator for babies”, “Ask – someone will tell you”. The audience appreciated the messages and the element of humor in the sketches and play scenes.

 
The alumni of the first Health Education Academy graduated successfully

Sofia, June 17, 2019

Monday, June 17th. Our first alumni class of the Sofia Health Education Academy demonstrated their skills and knowledge in front of classmates, teachers, school directors, school psychologists, parents and supporting institutions. The solemn event took place in the Events Hall at 1st High school, Sofia. The young people from 1st, 144th, 119th schools, 1st ELS and the Professional School of Textile and Fashion Design split into three teams after “drawing straws” and presented the topics “Transformations During Puberty”, “Contraception and STIs” and “Prevention of addictions”. We are very glad that our video on puberty was part of the “fun”. Otherwise the presentations pushed the audience to participate actively. The culmination was a surprise for all – we were visited by the TV show “Masters of the air” who enhanced the effect of the challenge.

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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy