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Ongoing projects :: The ability to change

THE ABILITY TO CHANGE

OAK logoThe project “The Ability to Change” (2019-2021) is a two-year project implemented by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the financial support of the OAK Foundation.

It is a logical extension of a previous project of BFPA “The Art to Inform” – 2013 - 2018. 
The project aims to contribute for eradication of all forms of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents in a moment when Bulgaria is with the highest perceived prevalence of all forms of such exploitation among the countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The project strives to change public attitudes and understanding and to attribute to “zero” tolerance in cases of child sexual exploitation. Additionally, it promotes pro-active, well-coordinated partnership approaches between different stakeholders and sectors in order to improve the implementation of the existing policy and legislative framework. The expected outcomes include strengthening the capacity of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) and its members (LAP is an interdisciplinary network, consisted of governmental institutions, NGOs and academia, created under “The Art to Inform” project) and extending the functioning of the LAP as a resource “hub” and coordination unit of the efforts of the state institutions and the civil society sector to combat sexual exploitation of children and youth in Bulgaria. The project will use innovative approaches (e.g. story telling) to broaden understanding of the causes for the sexual exploitation of children and youth and to change societal norms and behavior in the Bulgarian society that increase the risks.  Specific attention will be given to topics like violence and addressing harmful norms and stereotypes.
By mobilizing all relevant supporters, such as NGOs working with children, youth organizations, parent’s organizations, state institutions and agencies, education institutions and authorities, business organizations and media, the project will try to decrease the vulnerability of the environment for all children in the country. Special focus of all activities will be given to most vulnerable groups: those from poor and marginalized communities, children with disabilities, migrant children, etc.

 

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Latest news

Break the Silence: Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence of Children Could Happen Everywhere

Sofia, November 18, 2020

Break the Silence: November 18 is the European Day on protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual violence.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear ‘sexual exploitation’ is usually connected with red lanterns, streets or roads with women (and men) sex workers, trafficking of human beings. Sexual exploitation of children could have also other faces – sex services in exchange of expensive things such as smart phone or modern accessory or at the cost of a lunch, sweets or instead of rent for parents’ accommodation. It can happen via internet and to affect minors before they become teenagers. That’s why it is needed to break the silence and to ask for zero tolerance concerning this ugly phenomenon. Statistics show that one of five children becomes victim of violence, including sexual. As parents we can prevent this: we can teach them for instance on the Rule of the Bathing Suit. It says that no one has the right to touch their body, especially where the body is covered by a swimming bathing suit. Medical examinations and manipulations as well don’t have to be allowed without their informed consent. The rule helps children to understand that their bodies are their own, that there is good and bad touching, as well es personal borders and social ethnic norms.

 
Six Small Projects in the Frame of LAP Supported

Sofia, October 2020

The second competition for small projects for organizations of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place in June and July 2020. In the defined for collecting proposals deadline five proposals were presented, among which with the help of a special selected committee, as well of organizations members of LAP, for supporting were approved three:
Project ‘ACT>Re-Act>ImpACT! – innovative approach for advocacy of HGO concerning sexual exploitation of children’ of Re-Act Association has the ambition to develop innovative business oriented approach for effective advocacy of NGO with the help of professionals in marketing sphere.
Project ‘Can You See Me? – the hidden vulnerability of children from sexual exploitation and violence’ of ‘Parents’ Association will contribute for improving and effective applying of ‘Mechanism for reaction against harassment and violence in the institutions in the system of preschool and school education’ as exploring the gaps concerning prevention and its effective applying in cases of risk and/or cases of sexual exploitation and violence against children, including online.
Project ‘Individual Protection – advocating for changes in the legislation for individual assessment of children victims of sexual exploitation’ of Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI) is aiming to improve the policy and the law on individual assessment of children, victims of crimes, incl. sexual exploitation within the meaning of a directive 29/2012/ЕС.

 
Two round tables at the second year end of the project “My body, my rights”

Yambol, September 24, 2020
Montana, September 28, 2020

At the end of the second year of BFPA’s project “My body, my rights”, supported by the initiative for socially responsible business “MSD for mothers”, the association organized round tables on the need and benefits of family planning with a focus on vulnerable communities in two of the project locations. During the meetings a recap of the activities up to now was made and future ones were discussed for the third year. Both events were attended by  municipal representatives, Regional health inspectorate, Regional health insurance fund, health mediators, health specialists, representatives of local NGOs, Community support centers, social workers and most importantly – members of the target communities in which activities are implemented.
A special accent was BFPA’s new short animated products - “Family planning” and “Pregnancy with a smile”. The discussion was on the activities until now and their effect on improving the level of information in the target groups, the need for such activities in general, the best working communication channels in the Roma community, the role of the self help groups and the health mediators, the difficulties caused by COVID-19 and other problems, i.e. the duplication and decentralization of social activities from different institutions. A recapitulation of what has been done until now in Montana was made by Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Executive Director of BFPA and Petar Tzvetanov, local Project Coordinator, and for Yambol – Tzveta Petkova, member of NNHM’s Board and Kina Asenova, local Project Coordinator.

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Ongoing projects :: The ability to change