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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

Bulgaria and North Macedonia together to support and develop the Health Mediators program

Blagoevgrad, October 7-9, 2019

Study visit of health mediators, NGO representatives and state institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia took place in October 7-9 in Blagoevgrad. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the support of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) hosted the three days visit and gave an opportunity for the representatives of HERA – Health Education and Research Association, health mediators from Skopje and Prilep and the Ministry of Health of our neighbor country to understand in details how in years was institutionalized and functions the system of health mediation in Bulgaria. Field visit to the Roma neighborhood Predel Mahala was included in the programme and the guests could see how the work of health mediators Antoaneta Eftimova and Katya Kirilova is going on everyday basis – with institutions, as well with people who need and receive their support.

 
Romeo and Juliet from Kosharnik district

Montana, September 12, 2019

The Shakespeare and Servantes tour around the Roma neighborhoods of Bulgaria went to the Kosharnik district of Montana. Talented and enthusiastic local children, selected by the Roma actress Natalia Tzekova presented fragments of the drama “Romeo and Juliet” from a newer angle and with adequate health messages. The aim of the social theatre is with the means of art to inform the public in a comprehensible manner about the harm of early marriages and early school drop outs, the benefits of contraception, the importance of prevention of sexually transmitted infections. The messages target young people as well as their parents, some of which joined the scenes to demonstrate their support for what their children are saying. With his monologue about the Roma Don Quixote Valeri Lekov, also part of the production team, explained some of the community specificities. Between the sketches there were “real life” scenes – a woman from the community visits a doctor who explains the benefits of contraception and debunks some “fake news” about contraceptive methods – all this with a lot of humour and highly appreciated by the audience.

 
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 HIV and STI counseling and testing for Roma youth from vulnerable communities”, 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.

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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy