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News

Volunteers of BFPA: Online Youth Meeting

ZOOM, Q&AJune 18, 2020

Online national meeting-discussion ‘Health and Sexuality Education from the Point of View of Peer to Peer Trainers’ was organized and held by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) on 18th June 2020 at the platform for active communication Zoom. Over 35 BFPA peer educators from Sofia, Ruse, Stara Zagora, Pernik and Pleven participated at the meeting and discussed how the conditions of the COVID-19 crisis influenced the ToT process and the delivery of educational sessions and how to continue working on the important topics of health and sexuality education. Reliable information about puberty and growing up, reproductive health, preventing unwanted pregnancies and STDs is valuable and interesting for young people who do not stop looking for materials (mainly online) in order to get additional knowledge.Besides these “evergreens” young people are interested in other topics: mental health, suicides, alimentaion disorders, violence prevention.

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Parents Need Support to Improve their Digital Competencies

OAK LogoOnlineSofia, 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.

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

MSD LogoYAMBOL 1 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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‘My Body, My Rights’ – Successes and Challenges

MSD LogoMontana 1Health mediators from Montana, Bulgaria, and their work in state of emergency
Montana, March-May 2020

Peter Cvetanov, Sonya Rumenova and Valya Alexandrova are health mediators in Montana Municipality. The three of them as a team are implementing activities part of the project of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) – ‘My Body, My Rights’ (2018–2021). In addition to their municipality, pilot work is being done in two other locations in Bulgaria: Yambol and Sofia. The project is implemented in partnership with organizations from Serbia and Romania, with the coordinating role of International Planned Parenthood Federation and is supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD via their campaign ‘MSD for Mothers’. Main goal of the initiative is to improve the conditions for ensuring quality of family planning services for vulnerable communities and to build capacity and civil responsibility within the communities.
Sonya in a health mediator from 2013. She graduated economics, married with two children: a boy and a girl: ‘Several years ago Roma women from the neighborhood didn’t see doctors for prophylactics. Part of them were not insured, others simply were living with their prejudices and fears. We had two obstetrics-gynecologists as part of the Bulgarian-swiss cooperation program ZOV. They were visiting the health center in the neighborhood according to schedule. Then we decided to form local women’s group for self support, where initially timidly, but afterwards more confidently we started talking about examinations, contraception, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infections... The women from the group started little by little to shake off their fears.’ They just made progress and the activities on project ended. Only  mediators remained in the health center. And then for them new opportunity arose via the project ‘My Body, My Rights’. ‘It gave us the opportunity to continue just on time. The group for self support is developing; the health center in the neighborhood is alive again.’ Sonya succeeded to motivate a poor mother of nine children for IUD insertion. Before that she tried many times, but without any success. ‘I think that she was mostly afraid of being damaged by IUD. Now I know for sure that my long-term working with this woman was not in vain.”

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Learning Action Partnership: Efforts for Guaranteed Sustainability

OAK LogoParticipantsSofia, February 12, 2020

The first for 2020 meeting of the Learning Action Partnership took place in Sofia on February 12, 2020. The agenda included review of activities done on project up to the moment, fixing of concrete future activities and defining small working groups for the different strategic directions.
Representatives of organizations and institutions who participated shared their working plans and the possibility of inclusion of other LAP members in joint activities. Part of the feedback was connected with the increase of fake news, including on priorities of the Partnership. The atmosphere of the event was businesslike, but with extremely well expressed solidarity and good collaboration feeling. In the debates during the meeting important actual topics were covered, such as increasing media and digital literacy of children and challenges, which we are meeting in our work with teachers with long practice on certain age and with burnout. Forming network of children and young people with innovative model of managing was discussed, which will aim decreasing the aggression of children under residential care. How to focus our work so that the efforts put to have guaranteed sustainability; science and research approach and regional and national level partnerships; the need to work together to change the environment – were among topics discussed during the event.

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BFPA's health education this spring: animation, Instagram, youth participation

Sofia, April 2021

The Internet is full of recipes for a healthy lifestyle. We can learn how to lose weight for hours, how to get rid of the ugly carbuncle and about that miraculous drug that ‘treats everything’... But today, after hundreds of years of technical revolution, in the boom of nanotechnology and the rise of genetics, we still can’t order our health online. That’s why it is life-determining to have access to health information. Health education, health literacy.
During the last month we presented two short videos, with the help of which we are focusing the attention of curious people on topics, connected with health education. It gives knowledge, opportunities and it is responsibility. It brings up and forms proactive attitude towards personal health, stimulates self confidence and is a part of literacy, as well helps us to think critically.
Our team developed the animation ‘About the Advantages of Health Education’ on project ‘My Body – My Rights’, supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD ‘ MSD for Mothers’.

 
BFPA starts working on a new project – ARIE - supported by the ERASMUS+ program

Sofia, March 2021

The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is a partner in the first European project that encourages People Living with HIV (PLHIV) to implement regularly a system of aerobic exercises. The project was supposed to start in the beginning of 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the start with one year. So ARIE will be implemented in 2021 and 2022, coordinated by ANLAIDS Lombardia  - an organization that was a partner of the Association under other projects  - for HIV  prevention, for creating an online informational system for Hepatitis B and C and for cervical cancer prevention. We are partners from  6 countries (Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia), 7 organizations and over 30 experts. ARIE is an ambitious project to encourage participation in sports and physical activity of people living with the HIV infection and are on therapy, in line with EU recommendations and guidelines on physical activity.
The project intends to promote physical activity in the form of personalized paths, among people aged between 18 and 50 who live with HIV infection and who are under treatment, offering an innovative fitness protocol, and in order to involve them in moderate physical activity. Therefore, the project through the development of the protocol aims to promote voluntary activities in sport, together with awareness of the importance of physical activity for the benefit of health through greater participation in sport for all.
 
Online Meeting of LAP in Seeking Different Approaches to Work with Young People

Sofia, February 24, 2021

Another online meeting of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on February 24th, 2021. The participants – guest colleagues from Center for Study of Democracy (CSD); representatives of BFPA, Know How Center for Alternative Care of NBU, BYRC, SAPI, Re-Act Association, ASC Foundation, NNHM and IOM – reviewed the progress of implementation of the so called ‘small projects’ in the frame of LAP. The short video representing the work of LAP was discussed and approved for use.
The special guests of the online meeting presented the campaign ‘Find Another Way’, directed against radical messages and actions of young people in internet. Safe Internet Center and Center for Study of Democracy, worked on the initiative for three years, presented results and conclusions from their online communicational campaign.
The main target groups of the project were young people 14-19 in Bulgaria. Their main goal – prevention of violence, connected with the extreme-right messages and reducing the vulnerability of young people towards extreme-right messages and propaganda. From CSD strived to work for reducing anti-minority attitudes and messages and violence against minority groups, they tried to present other, different points of view and to involve young people in constructive alternative causes via narratives for stimulating critical thinking and identifying fake messages.

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