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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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Second training of the peer educators from Sofia Academy for health education

Petrohan, April 12-14, 2019

In the three days between April 12 and 14 took place the second module of the preparation of peer educators from the Health and Sexuality Education Youth Academy, realized with the support of the PIST directorate of Sofia Municipality. The focus of the second stage of education was upon elaboration of communication skills, teambuilding and team work, acquiring of knowledge about the prevention of trafficking of human beings, knowledge of hygiene as a starting point to peer education, adopting healthy eating habits and preventing eating disorders, work with vulnerable groups. In addition to health knowledge, the future peer educators acquired also social and personal ones – how to define one’s personal space – useful when working with young people with disabilities, and how to plan their own free time.

 
The health mediators from Montana, Zaichar and Pirot share their experience

Zaechar – Pirot, March 20-21, 2019 

On March 20th and 21st 2019 the health mediators from Montana participated in working meetings with their colleagues in Zaichar and Pirot. The meetings are organized by BFPA and  take place within the final phase of the ZOV (HEA) programme (Health and Education for All), supported by the Bulgarian – Swiss Cooperation Programme. Besides the members of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) from Montana, in the study trip were included health specialists working with vulnerable communities in the field, representatives of the Regional Health Inspectorate and of the local municipality. Their colleagues were expecting them in Serbia: representatives of local authorities, local NGOs in Zaichar and Pirot, health specialists, volunteers from the vulnerable local communities.
The key topics on which Bulgarian and Serbian colleagues worked together were exchange of ideas, presenting good practices related to improving the access to health services, education and social services for marginalized groups. The health mediators from Montana were selected to share their experience due to the good results they achieved in their work on the ZOV Programme.

 
First field activities under the Project “My Body, My Rights”

Sofia, Montana, Yambol, February 18-28, 2019

 Partners in the project ‘My Body, my Rights’ (2018–2021) gathered in Sofia on February 25 and 26, 2019 to exchange experience and information. The initiative for health care, information and services for vulnerable people from marginalized families is implemented in Sofia, Yambol and Montana. The meeting gathered the team of BFPA, local project coordinators and health mediators form the three locations, as well as municipalities representatives.
So far, the project team conducted 24 focus groups in the three project locations Montana, Sofia and Yambol - 6 in each one. Participants in the focus groups were girls and boys aged 12-15, 16-25 and over 25 years old. The aim is to explore the attitudes of young people in the communities (especially marginalized groups) towards the family planning services offered and whether they can take independent decisions about their reproductive health.

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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy