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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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BFPA presents AIDS Press: HIV/AIDS – How do we Talk and Think, What do we Do on the Topic

AIDS PRESS LogoSofia, December 1, 2017

Nowadays more than ever there is a need to think on how we talk on HIV and AIDS, how media deliver messages and how we behave towards people, living with HIV. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) challenges everyone: let’s think about how PLHIV bear the stigmatization, still present from the previous time inertia. The science is developing and progressing in its discoveries and this happens including in the area of researches concerning HIV. The HIV-infection today is treated as a chronicle disease. But insufficient information, not fully understanding of the specifics of HIV/AIDS by everyone, even by health professionals are a barrier on the adequate attitude and understanding of the issue.

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Youth in Bulgaria: Internet Is Not „Spoiling”Children! Information on it Must Happen in the Family and at School

Official guestsSofia, November 20, 2017

The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) participated in this year’s forum Voice it 2017: Youth Opinion Matters, which was realized for a third year. The event was organized by National Network for Children and Youth Network ‘Megafon’ in partnership with UNICEF Bulgaria and celebrated 28th anniversary of the ratifying of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
BFPA, represented by Ralitsa Zgalevska and Boyan Mladenov together with two of the organizations’ youth volunteers Maggie Vasilovska and Nedko Geshev, as one of the hosts of the event gave opportunity for discussions on topics, connected with health and sexuality education. Other NGOs collected feedback of young people about the right of opinion, nondiscrimination, children and the judicial system, harassment and violence, mental health, education, internet and digital literacy.

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Prevention of Sexual Violence and Sexual Exploitation of Children is Possible

OAK LogoOfficial guestsSofia, November 17-18, 2017

The Learning Action Partnership (LAP) conducted its first conference „Prevention of sexual violence and sexual exploitation of children is possible” on November 17 and 18, 2017 and thus officially declared its existence in public space. The agenda included presentations, panel discussions with representatives of state institutions and discussion. The topic of sexual exploitation of children was presented and discussed from different aspects, as the aim of organizers and participants was together to look for ways to improve the working coordination mechanism for reaction after cases of sexual exploitation and violence, to exchange good practices, as well to unite their efforts in the name of the cause to reach as a society zero tolerance towards cases of violence and sexual exploitation of children.

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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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