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Capacity building in the fields of communication and advocacy

LogoSessionDolna Banya, August 20-22, 2020

For three days – from August 20 to 22, 2020 BFPA’s team and Board together with representatives of key partners of the Association gathered at a outside-the-box work meeting in Dolna Banya. The public relations and civic law spepcialists Diana Damyanova and Ivana Murdjeva shared with the participants important accents of their professional expertise which are significant for better understanding the public environment as well as for communicating our messages.
The goal of the event was to analyze the needs of our target groups and of the environment we work in, bearing in mind the challenges for the NGO sector and the specificities in communicating with different audiences in order to be more successful when working in ”our” niche – health prevention, family planning, sexual and reproductive health. A short historical overview of the legislative environment and key normative documents was made.

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Strategic planning exercise of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP)

OAK LogoGroup photoDolna banya, July 23-25, 2020

Strategic planning exercise of the  Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on July 23-25, 2020 in Dolna Banya. Representatives of different organizations from the Partnership actively took part in the development of the key document for joint future work in the next three years. The process was very well moderated by an external consultant – the psychologist Yordan Tankovski.
During the three day meeting a short review of the done up to the moment by LAP was done, as well revision of the mission and vision of the coalition. The dynamic changes in the external environment in the last several years were reviewed concerning policies and attitudes in society towards zero tolerance for sexual exploitation and sexual violence against children in Bulgarian society. Covid19 was also part of the discussions, and the workshop itself was held outside in connection with the pandemic.

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12 people were awarded with BFPA’s sign of honor at the Annual General Meeting

Honorary signSofia, 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..

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

Sofia, 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.

 
Six Small Projects in the Frame of LAP Supported

Sofia, 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:
Project ‘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.
Project ‘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.
Project ‘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.

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

Yambol, 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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