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LYRA - Launching Young Roma Advocates

SUPPORTED BY THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS

The LYRA project (Launching Young Roma Advocates, 2020 – 2022) aims to overcome inequalities in marginalized  Roma communities, especially in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), by empowering Roma young leaders and “exporting” knowledge about Roma in the mainstream majority and vice-versa. The initiative is supported by the Berlin regional office of OSI and gives focus on often underestimated and not stimulated great potential Roma youth have and on insufficient implementation of the universal health coverage of Roma minors, insufficient recognition of adolescent and teenage age children in national preventive programs in the field of maternal and child health.

The activities strive to initiate a long-term processes of formation of new generation of Roma youth advocates that could contribute to sustainable positive changes both in Roma communities and in the Bulgarian society as a whole, nationally and internationally. 

The project will address SRHR needs of Roma youth and will combat stereotypes and negligence of the Roma issues in Bulgaria, especially in the health, education and social sector.

The initiative is to include not only the youth themselves, but to collaborate with their parents. Project activities focus on creating a cohort of 24 young Roma age 16-25, from three different locations for problem solving inside and outside the marginalized communities.

The project will map the lack of implementation of the universal health access principle among the most excluded Roma minors, it will highlight gaps of existing national health program in addressing the health issues of adolescent/ teenage age children, which most significantly impact Roma minors of Bulgaria and will identify gaps of involving Roma children voices in relevant policy discussions that directly impact children life and health in the light of the UN convention on the Rights of the child.

 

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Latest news

12 people were awarded with BFPA’s sign of honor at the Annual General Meeting

Sofia, June 26, 2020

On June 26th BFPA held its Annual General Meeting at which traditionally the members of the organization approved the report for the past year and discussed future plans and perspectives. The Meeting also approved the Code of Conduct, adopted by the Management Board of the Association.
The pinnacle event was at the end of the General meeting on the pleasant Friday afternoon – handing out Signs of Honor to twelve people who through the years were part of the Management Board and long term volunteers of the Association. They are (in alphabetical order): Dr. Dora Mircheva, Elena Poptodorova, Dr. Ivan Dikov, Dr. Kalina Piperkova, Prof. Kuncho Chamov, Maria Kaloyanova, Prof. Milko Sirakov, Dr. Mugurdich Karakashyan, Prof. Radka Argirova, Dr. Raina Gurdeva, Dr. Sofia Stoimenova, Prof. Yuliana Marinova..

 
Parents Need Support to Improve their Digital Competencies

Sofia, May 27, 2020

The first online (due to the Covid19 pandemic) meeting of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on May 27, 2020. Representatives of BFPA, Loveguide, Tulip Foundation, BYRC, WHO – Bulgaria, Know How Center for Alternative Care of Children of NBU, MLSP, NCCTHB, NCPHA, UNICEF, IOM, GERT Foundation, ARC Foundation, SAPI, PULSE Foundation, Roditeli Association Re-Act Association, WCIF.
The agenda included review of what has been done from the latest meeting of the Partnership up to the moment, sharing the experience of members’ activities in the Covid19 pandemic, discussion for coordinating efforts of the group and maximum using the different resources. The work on developing new web resource platform up to the moment and the ‘small projects’ initiative in the frame of the project ‘The Ability to Change’ were presented. The projects in priority area ‘Changing community attitudes and ‘zero’ tolerance to sexual exploitation of children’ are to start in September.

 
‘My Body, My Rights’: Health Mediators form Yambol Municipality about their work in State of Emergency Conditions

Yambol, May 2020

The parents are unemployed. Several days ago one of the brothers has come from abroad, unfortunately with no money. All the family does not have the right to go out of home. They all are quarantined. One day while she is working in her cabinet Kina Asenova is hearing a kid crying on the street. She is going out to see what is happening and sees the family’s six-year old child shaking on the ground and screaming. She finds out that the boy wants a snack very much and the family cannot afford that kind of expense... She goes to the shop, buys a box of the snacks and gives it them. ‘The next day we started distributing food. We gave it away without judging people’s race. We give as well for mentally disabled and people with different diseases’.
Kina is health mediator from 2008, but she works with people on different projects from the 2000s. People trust her. Her colleagues – Atanaska Mutafova, Asen Stoyanov, Atanas Atanasov, Ivan Ivanov and the mediators from Tundja Municipality daily do work in the villages Kukorevo, Kozarevo, Veselinovo, Drazhevo, Hadjidimovo. They work all day long, even on weekends. ‘Since Bulgaria declared state of emergency because of the Covid pandemic we are every day on the field, we give information on the infection, explain them why it’s important to stay at home. We are tracking people who came back from abroad and we make sure that they follow the quarantine guidelines. We have such people in almost every village.’

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