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News

Learning Action Partnership with its Next Steps

OAK logoFebruary 20 2018, Sofia

The next and first for this year gathering of the members of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place at February 20th. The working meeting was also the first after the last years’ conference with international participation on topic „The Prevention of Sexual Violence and Sexual Exploitation of Children is Possible”.
Members of National Network for Children, Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association, Know How Center for Alternative Care of Children of NBU, Applied Research and Communication Foundation, UNICEF, Tulip Foundation, National Network of Health Mediators, Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ministry of Health, Medicins du Monde, PULSE Foundation, Re-Act Association OAK Foundation, Institute for Social Activities and Practices participated.

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How we celebrate the day of love and wine

Pleven medical studentsSofia-Pleven, February 14, 2018

BFPA traditionally supports different events which mark Feb 14 – the day of people in love and of wine. This is a good day also to talk about prevention, especially with the mood of forthcoming spring and rejuvenation. Valentine gifts go traditionally well with a condom and a health-related message. That is why on Valentine’s day in Pleven our partners – the young people from the Association of medical students held a campaign in the city centre and the shopping malls. They presented a selection of BFPA’s informational materials together with Sexwell condoms as a part of our Condom with a cause/Use your head campaign. Everyone had the opportunity to take a photo in a special big Valentine photo-frame.  
Along with such traditional, yet joyful events at different locations all over the country, BFPA proudly presents the second article from the series, elaborated in cooperation with the “Hope against AIDS” foundation in the AIDS Press blog. The first article came out on an important date for prevention of HIV prevalence – December 1st. It’s logical to continue with the second article on another important date. The subject is more than fundamental – the narrative concerns the 37-year-long history of AIDS in Bulgaria and is about the communication deficiencies and how they affect the correct understanding and dissemination of information which leads to misunderstanding and problems.

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For the civil society

Позиция
на
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.

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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. 

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

BFPA teamSofia, 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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Social and health messages in Roma neighbourhoods through theatre

Sofia, July 31, 2019

On the last day of July the Roma neighbourhood Fakulteta in Sofia was visited by William Shakespeare and Miguel de Servantes. We started with the best – Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. The Roma actress Natalia Tzekova staged a funny and educational performance with the participation of talented children and youth from the neighborhood in which the art was intertwined with social and health related messages. Romeo and Juliet demonstrated the benefits of family planning, contraception and health education and spoke in verse about the harm of school dropout, early marriages and children having children. The participants performed short sketches which contained the same messages, debunked myths and demonstrated how powerful personal example is. Don Quixote explained some of the community specificities which started a short discussion on stage who should take example from whom about health and health prevention. In between sketches and play scenes the participants shared their own personal stories about health and family planning. At the end of the play as a recap of what was presented they raised a few banners with messages on the same topic”: “I have dreams and goals”, “I am not an incubator for babies”, “Ask – someone will tell you”. The audience appreciated the messages and the element of humor in the sketches and play scenes.

 
The alumni of the first Health Education Academy graduated successfully

Sofia, June 17, 2019

Monday, June 17th. Our first alumni class of the Sofia Health Education Academy demonstrated their skills and knowledge in front of classmates, teachers, school directors, school psychologists, parents and supporting institutions. The solemn event took place in the Events Hall at 1st High school, Sofia. The young people from 1st, 144th, 119th schools, 1st ELS and the Professional School of Textile and Fashion Design split into three teams after “drawing straws” and presented the topics “Transformations During Puberty”, “Contraception and STIs” and “Prevention of addictions”. We are very glad that our video on puberty was part of the “fun”. Otherwise the presentations pushed the audience to participate actively. The culmination was a surprise for all – we were visited by the TV show “Masters of the air” who enhanced the effect of the challenge.

 
BFPA gathered the teams from Sofia, Yambol and Montana on a work meeting

Varshetz, May 10-12, 2019

From May 10th trough 12th in Varshetz, BFPA held a working meeting under the “My Body, my rights” project, funded as a part of the global “MSD for Mothers” programme. Hosts and speakers at the meeting were Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Ventzislav Kirkov and Boyan Mladenov form the BFPA team in Sofia, and the participants were the local project coordinators, health mediators and social workers from the project locations: Yambol – the villages of Kukorevo, Hadjidimitrovo, Veselinovo and Zavoy; Montana – Ogosta and Kosharnik districts; Sofia –Fakulteta and Filipovci districts. During the working meeting were discussed theoretical and real practice cases from field work with representatives of marginalized groups on topics like hygiene, health messages and campaigns, STI prevention, family planning and contraception. The people working in the project locations shared their experience from this and preceding projects about field work with marginalized groups, they discussed what are the challenges and the most successful approaches for achieving the best results. Peter Tzvetanov, coordinator of project activities in Montana, presented a memorable educational session on self-help groups and his colleagues from Montana and Yambol re-enacted some interesting practical cases. Their colleagues from Sofia put up for discussion theoretical situations that may arise during work.

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