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Peer educators from BFPA represented Bulgaria on a conference organized by EU institutions

Peer educatorsBrussels, June 27-29, 2017

Ellie Svetoslavova and Maggie Vasilovska, two of the peer educators of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA), represented our country in the institutions of the European Union in Brussels, where EU Fundamental Right Agency (FRA) together with the Maltese Presidency of the EU and the nongovernmental organization Eurochild presented the FRA’s Annual Report 2017.
17 children and young people from different European countries participated in the meeting, discussing and questioning topics such as child poverty, social exclusion, migration and child and youth participation. Along with them, as their mentor and supporting person, was Dr. Krasimir Romanov – the coordinator of the BFPA’s branch in Pleven.
For the first time children from 9 different countries had the opportunity to participate in that kind of event and to meet and discuss together with MEPs, ministers from different national governments, ombudsmen, members of European Council and international institutions for human rights.

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Annual Meeting of BFPA

IPPF_logoGroup photoVarshetz, June 16-18, 2017

The Annual Meeting of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual OAK LogoHealth Association (BFPA), the country branches of the organization, its partners, members of the Board and volunteers took place at June 16-18, 2017 in Varshetz. The agenda included review of what has been done, successes and challenges of each one of the participants in his/her work connected with BFPA during the last year. Current and future potential partnerships, perspectives for development and strategies to plan future activities, as well as new developments of current projects and sources of financing.

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The Shared Knowledge. Peer to Peer Training of Trainers, part three

OAK LogoGroup photoVarshetz, June 15-16, 2017

Third, last part of the peer education for this scholar year. One of the exercises made was via brainstorming the participants to give examples for social norms – one good and one bad or outlived its time. The young people concluded that the social norms actually have a mutual root with our prejudices. „Run away from here, shorty” – said the pharmacist when teenagers want to buy condoms; when you have older sister or brother and you have to listen to her/him just because they are older, when you say to boys “Do not behave like a girl, it is male stuff” – are a small part of the given as examples of bad social norms. The handshake of athletes at the end of the match; reading in public places when you are alone, to smile while saying Hi, to collect your dog’s poo - are part of the examples of good standards.

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About health education and development policies

OAK LogoPresentationSliven, May 18-20, 2017
Lovech, May 31 - June 2, 2017

Sliven, “Sava Dobroplodni” city library – May 18-20 2017, Lovech, “Presidium” Hotel – May 31 – June 2, 2017. A joint effort of  BFPA, BPID – the Bulgarian Platform for International Development, Centre for Inclusive Education (CIE), UN Youth Club, Gender Education, Research and Technologies Foundation (GERT) and Global Libraries. We educate the librarians from libraries and community centres (chitalishta) first from North, then from South Bulgaria in the field of global education, in the context of UN’s sustainable development goals. Our part – BFPA’s task, is mainly in the field of health education, interactive teaching techniques, equal opportunities.

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Final Conference of the Project Mission Possible

Project logoProject logo

Sofia, April 20, 2017

- How can I advocate or help your advocacy efforts to have the salaries of health mediators increased?
- How could we promote more successfully the information about activities we are doing?
- What should we do to help teachers who want to get mor info on health and sexuality education?
These and many other questions were asked by participants at the final conference under the  project Mission Possible of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) implemented in partnership with the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM).
The event took place in Sofia on April 20, 2017 and presented summarized results of the health services, educational activities, products and deliverables, including difficulties and specificities of fieldwork in marginalized communities.
Health specialists, health mediators directly engaged in projects’ activities in all 14 locations, representatives of municipalities and partnering organizations of BFPA and NNHM participated.
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Българска асоциация по семейно планиране и сексуално здраве

До всички български граждани

Уважаеми дами и господа,

Настоящата позиция на Българска асоциация по семейно планиране и сексуално здраве (БАСП) не е непременно и единствено свързана с фанатичните и фантасмагорични изказвания и публикации от началото на годината насам около понятието „джендър”. БАСП е организация, която работи основно в областта на здравето – превенция, тестване, лечение и пренасочване за редица сексуално и кръвно преносими инфекции, включително ХИВ, повишаване на информираността сред населението по теми, свързани със сексуална експлоатация, превенция на трафик и насилие. Разбира се, особено съществена част от нашата работа е свързана с въпросите на семейното планиране - дейностите ни са насочени основно към общности със затруднен достъп до здравни грижи, необхванати от здравноосигурителната система, като дейността ни е свързана с гинекологични прегледи, контрацептивно осигуряване, превенция на рака на маточната шийка и рака на гърдата, както и общи консултации, проследяване на бременности и насочване към допълнителни услуги в областта на асистираната репродукция и превенцията на стерилитета.

Нашите наблюдения и проучвания, опитът ни на терен от 25 години насам, свързани със семейното планиране и с изграгждането на общностен капацитет, недвусмислено показват, че България е в тежка демографска криза. Тази криза е свързана с огромен брой емигранти в репродуктивна възраст, както и със засилените темпове на урбанизация. В същото време преработвателните предприятия, особено в селските райони, не са достатъчно като брой, нито пък получават съществена помощ за развиването на други външни пазари. В резултат се наблюдават процеси, особено сред уязвимите общности, на връщане към предмодерни отношения, които често са в разрез с общоприетите ценности на българското общество.

Това включва практики, които са далеч от идеята за отговорно родителство, като отпадане от училище, ранни бракове, нарушаващи правата на детето, както и включването на децата в различни форми на експлоатация. Тези явления нарушават идеала за хармоничност на семейните отношения, достойство и взаимно уважение между мъжете и жените. Засилват се тенденциите за неравенство на първо място в семейството, а след това в отделни групи от населението. Това отношение между мъжете и жените прави непълноценни междуличностните отношения и ограничава обществената изява, задълбочавайки допълнително процесите на бедност.

Историческата традиция на страната ни показва, че начините за преодоляване на тези негативни тенденции са свързани както със заетост, така и с образование, основано на ценността на равноправието. Всъщност образованието в такива ценности е истинска инвестиция в бъдещето, създава условия за свобода на избора и реализация. Такава политика е основана на здравия разум, но е и национално отговорна.

 
A lot has been said about the Convention, and nothing about the women and children, victims of violence

Sofia, January 19, 2018 

Nearly 200 NGO’s, supported by academics and citizens, unite in support of the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul convention) with an open letter:
It would be funny if it wasn’t so cruel. That is how we console each other – we, the people who are not indifferent to day-to-day abuse and who for over twenty years support women, brutally beaten by their husbands and partners, help children who have suffered unthinkable forms of violence, work on legislature changes and improvements so we can save human lives. Because for us every person saved from a life of violence is a huge victory. That is our cause.
A lot of quite outrageous things have been said about the Istanbul convention, but no one mentioned the purpose of the document – namely, the women and children who are victims of violence. No political party or organization mentioned the woman from Okorsh, beaten with a hot plate. The woman from Haskovo, beaten to death. The stabbed woman from Sofia. We did not discuss the babies and children whose mothers live in constant fear for their own lives. Etc, etc….. The political and power confrontation is at the expense of the already dead women. At the expense of Elena and Viola.  At the expense of the children who will live their lives without a mother and with the nightmares of abuse and terror. At the expense of each 1 out of 3 women in Bulgaria, victim of domestic violence whose story does not reach anyone, let alone the media.  At the expense of women seeking help and it is refused to them because “it’s their own fault”. At the expense of those 70% of students between the ages of 13 and 16 who know personally a victim of domestic violence.
The situation benefits the perpetrators. It benefits those who think they have the right of ownership over their wife and children. It benefits those who beat, violate, abuse, isolate, stalk and finally kill their wife or partner. 

 
BFPA at 25: Prevention, Education, Health Services, Information and Advocacy

Sofia, December 13, 2017

Colleagues, young people, volunteers, friends and partners gathered at December 13, 2017 to celebrate together the 25th Anniversary of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA).
”People are our most valuable and precious resource”, shared Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, BFPA Executive Director. “During the years of our existence we have realized more than 70 macro projects; over 1 million and 500 thousands people received by us health services, informational materials or had been included in trainings and reached by campaigns. During our work we were the first that introduced the interactive methods of training – highly effective for working with different target groups, including in multiethnic environment. Also we introduced in our country the criteria of quality of services and the concept of youth friendly services. We have piloted and we currently use the peer education model, applied also by many other partnering institutions and organizations working with teenagers and vulnerable communities. The concept of mobile services provision in the area of sexual and reproductive health in regions with difficult access is also our achievement.”
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