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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 the period 2019 – 2021 the efforts of BFPA and partners in the last decade for introducing the figure of health mediator (HM) as state policy were finalized with two very important last steps: inclusion of HM in the Health Law in 2019 and Ordinance for HM as a regulatory act under the Health Law in 2020. 
In connection with this for 2022 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

How Health Knowledge to Get to Roma Communities

Dolna Banya, July 5-7, 2022

After two days fulfilling work on leadership and advocacy with unbelievable roma young people from Lom, Dupnitsa and Byala Slatina problems in respective communities were identified. Discussions in searching the best decisions were led; image of the target groups and stakeholders was created and the needed communication skills on leading a successful campaign were discussed. Role plays, practical cases and individual video presentations with messages were commented.
The health mediators Tanya Kirilova from Lom, Daniela Ljubenova from Dupnitza and Mirena Bocheva from Byala Slatina are real mentors for the young people from the communities they work for. The three of them, together with Dr. Rada Stamenkova, Pavlina Filipova and Ralitsa Zgalevska from BFPA team actively contributed to support the motivated and well-prepared young people, enthusiastic to advocate for better health of people from their communities. In the coming months the team will continue to work on building their capacity as leaders and to help them with expertise and guidelines.

 
ARIE project coordination meeting

Ljubljana, June 24, 2022

On June 24, a reporting and coordination meeting on the ARIE project, supported by the ERASMUS+ program of the EU was held in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Project coordinators, from the 6 organizations from the participating countries - the project leader Italy, Lithuania, Greece, Bulgaria (BFPA is the Bulgarian project partner), Romania and the host of the meeting Slovenia. The previous activities carried out in individual countries were discussed: dissemination of the methodology and pilot training of end users – people living with HIV (PLHIV). The representatives of the individual countries talked about the difficulties and obstacles in the implementation of the activities, and then shared their successes, passing on valuable experience to the other participants. Future actions on the project and deadlines for their implementation were identified.

 
BFPA supports parents' and teachers’ communities in Pasarel in their search for the right communication channels with children and adolescents

Pasarel, June 11, 2022

The primary school in the village of Pasarel hosted a meeting between parents, teachers and representatives of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) Dr. Rada Stamenkova and Ralitsa Zgalevska on Saturday, June 11, 2022. The director Ivaylo Kiskinov and the school psychologist Nadezhda Dedova, on whose initiative the event took place, were also at the vivid discussion, planned as a two-hour but prolonged three-hours without break - there were many questions, long answers, shared opinions, personal stories, observations and experience exchanged. It was about how to talk with children for growing up before they reach puberty, how to prepare them for the changes ahead, how to stay calm and confident as they go through the challenges of this specific and difficult age; how to stay in touch with them without avoiding awkward questions and at the same time not manipulating the information they receive, together with enhancing the ability to identify fake news on Internet.

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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy