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News

Outwitting the pandemic - in search of digital applications for health education and information

EventLogoSofia, Montana, Yambol, December 2020

Despite the restrictions imposed by the measures against Covid 19, in recent months the planned activities in the second year of the project "My body, my rights", supported by the socially responsible business program "MSD for mothers", continue in three locations - Sofia, Montana and Yambol. The coordinators of the project by places - Fakulteta district in Sofia - Valentin Blagoev, Kosharnik quarter and Ogosta quarter in Montana - Petar Tsvetanov and the whole Tundzha municipality in Yambol (the villages of Veselinovo, Kukorevo, Tenevo, Zavoy) - Kina Assenova, hold meetings of self-help groups - though in  more limited numbers due to precautionary measures, conduct training events for young people - outdoors, through specialized stands for distribution of printed materials for the project itself and for the SRH in general, and most importantly - support marginalized members of communities with hygiene materials, essential goods and medicines and specialized information for prevention from Covid, along with the usual topics - prevention of unwanted pregnancy, prevention of STIs, maternal and child health and many others, through selfless and exhausting walking from the neck of door due to the impossibility to organize large information sessions.

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

Campaign posterSofia, 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.

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Six Small Projects in the Frame of LAP Supported

OAK logoSofia, 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:
ReAct logoProject ‘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.
Logo RoditeliProject ‘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.
SAPI logoProject ‘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.

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

ParticipantsMSD logoYambol, 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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My Body, My Rights: Meeting of the Teams from Montana, Sofia and Yambol

MSD logoParticipantsDolna Banya, September 2-4, 2020

Meeting of the teams on the project ‘My Body, My Rights’, supported by the prohgamme for socially responsible business “MSD for Mothers” took place in Dolna Banya on September 2-4, 2020. Special guests during the event were the Executive Director of ‘St. Sofia’ First OB Hospital Dr. Gergana Kolarova and the coordinator of BFPA in Pleven Dr. Krasimir Romanov. The priceless opportunity to have a direct dialog with Dr. Kolarova was highly appreciated by the team in Sofia and gave them the possibility to adjust the field efforts and optimize the collaboration with the hospital in the field of family planning.
Topics of the discussions during the three-day meeting were: what examinations to be done during the pregnancy and what is doing the gynecologist in the different stages; what are the benefits from health insurances; how much does it cost and how to recover health insurance rights; the benefits of visualization for understanding the information. Short educational films, developed to help the work at local level, were presented.
The work during the three days with health mediators and other colleagues working on the field from Montana, Sofia and Yambol included discussing the progress currently made and future activities trill the project end.
In the crisis months from the beginning of the year two tenth graders from Yambol were close to drop out from school due to the death of their parents, but the project team supported them and the boys will finish their secondary education. Two of the girls, trained on the project this year will be studying pedagogy in Veliko Tarnovo University.

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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.

 
A new project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” of the Bulgarian Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health has been launched

Sofia, February 8-10, 2021

The first online meeting of the project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” was held on February 8-10, 2021. The project "Youth Voices, Youth Choices" (2021-2023) is a 30-month international project implemented in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Partner organizations from Albania, BiH, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia will implement similar initiatives in their countries. The project is implemented with the coordinative role of the International Planned Parenthood Federation with the support of the programme for socially responsible business of the company MSD and aims to create more accessible and youth-friendly SRH services and information, paying special attention to the most vulnerable groups.

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