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BFPA team in training of trainers in healthy lifestyle project for PLHIV

Group photoTimisoara, August 27-28, 2021

EU logoProject logoRepresentatives of seven organizations from six European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania) gathered for a training of trainers in Timisoara on 27 and 28 August 2021. The training is part of the ARIE project, funded by the Erasmus+ of EU, and project main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in accordance with EU directives and guidelines, which includes healthy nutrition and physical exercises. The Directives mean that PLHIV must be taught how to perform a set of exercises tailored to their condition, whether they’re on antiretroviral therapy or not. The training in Timisoara covered all aspects - approach, physical condition, psychological attitude, the role of coaches, even first aid for the most typical fitness-related injuries.

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BFPA study among young people: what to improve in the provision of health services in a pandemic

YVYC logoFocus group SofiaKyustendil-Pernik-Radomir-Sofia, July-August, 2021

During the period July-August 2021, 42 young people from Kyustendil, Pernik, Radomir and Sofia took part in 6 focus groups in a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of services and care in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Different groups of young people, young mothers and pregnant women were involved. Some of the groups were with participants from the Roma community.
The aim was to examine the needs, challenges and difficulties faced by young people during the pandemic and to give them the opportunity to propose ideas for improving various health services.

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‘My Body, My Rights’: meeting of participants from Yambol, Sofia and Montana

MSD logoParticipantsSimeonovo, Yambol region, August 4-6, 2021

A meeting of the teams, working on our project ‘My Body, My Rights’ took place August 4th and 6th 2021. This time the already traditional meeting was held in the village of Simeonovo and was hosted by the local coordinator Kina Asenova and the colleagues form the Yambol team, working in the villages of Tundja municipality and in “Rayna Khjaginja” district of Yambol. Short review of the activities implemented was made and hard moments by locations, especially during the second and third Covid wave were discussed. The participants from Yambol, Montana, Sofia, working on the project, local partners and institutions as well as the teams of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) and the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) reviewed the needed foreseen activities in order to be more confident in ensuring good results and sustainability. The need for Covid vaccination campaign was underlined.

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July 2021: Reviewing the Strategic Plan and Preparing for LAP Informational Campaign

ParticipantsDolna Banya, 20-23 July, 2021

Two events of main importance for the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place in July 2021 in Dolna Banya. In the beginning of the month was reviewed the Strategic Plan for Action of the network in the context of the dynamic changing political environment. The sociologist Asen Blagoev presented actual data on the social map of the country. One of the important recommendations given to LAP is health education and information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) to be wider and regularly presented subject in school curriculum. Prevention of sexual violence and exploitation is a part of the topics, covered in the health and sexuality education wide topic. Up to the moment the knowledge for improving SRH are without stable financing from structural funds via the national budget. In this sense the efforts on advocacy for enlarging SRH in the curriculum of the middle and upper grade remain important for LAP.

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Communication skills, messaging and PR strategy of BFPA

NFM logoGroup photoDolna Banya, June 28-30, 2021

From June 28 to June 30, 2021 тhe team and the management board of BFPA together with key partners of the organization gathered for a second training under the project "Capacity building for advocacy for SRHR", supported by the EEA Financial Mechanism.
Prior to the training, the participants filled out a detailed questionnaire about how they see the organization and its work so far, what are the challenges of the external environment, which audience and which public groups should be introduced to our work.
The emphasis in the training program was upon the development of PR and communication strategy of the organization. Participants discussed the challenges for civil society organizations to speak in a language understood by their target audiences. Appropriate messages from BFPA aimed at different audiences were developed in working groups.

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End inequality. End AIDS

Bulgaria, December 1, 2021

For yet another year, the international community celebrates December 1 - World AIDS Day. This year it is entitled "End inequality. End AIDS"
On December 1, 2021, the WHO calls upon world leaders and citizens to unite against inequalities and reach out to people who do not currently receive basic HIV services. Forty years after the first cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Separation, inequality and disregard for human rights have allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates inequalities and difficulties in health care delivery, a challenge for many people living with HIV.
According to the WHO, nearly 38 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, with the number of newly infected people in 2020 being 1.5 million and the number of deaths being 680,000. Globally, in 2020, nearly 73% of those infected receive antiretroviral therapy. In Bulgaria, a total of 1,936 people with HIV are being followed up in the HIV / AIDS treatment sectors, and 1,910 (99%) of them are receiving antiretroviral therapy. In our country treatment is free for all people in need, regardless of their health insurance status. The therapy prolongs and improve quality of the of PLHIV and improves their quality of life. Bulgaria remains a country with low HIV prevalence - the frequency of newly registered cases of HIV infection per 100 thousand population for Bulgaria is 2.9 in 2020, and for comparison - the average for EU countries is 3.3.

 
Autumn fragments from BFPA’s Work

October – November 2021

BFPA launched another short animation ‘What are the Ways of Infections’ on its project ‘My Body, My Rights’ on October 1, 2021. The video gives an idea on the main ways of infecting the human body, on the work of the immune system and on the factors of which its proper functioning depends.
On process of working on the same project but this time in November, are another two films – a short animation on the methods of hormonal contraception; and one documentary on the benefits and challenges on the activities in the three projects locations: Sofia, Yambol and Montana with special focus on the work of field self-help groups. Both products will be finalized by the end of this year.

 
BFPA volunteer awarded in an international competition for social and youth cinema

Berlin, October 17, 2021

The volunteer of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association Viktoria Nikolova returned on October 17, 2021 after participating in a youth exchange in Berlin. Her visit there is part of her award for participation in the international competition Youth.DanubeSalon - Shoot By Youth for social and youth cinema. A seven-member jury with representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Serbia awarded the short film, dedicated to the need for health and sexuality education, made by her and a small team of three other young adults based on a script entirely constructed by them. The participants in the competition had to present a problem within a few minutes and to propose its solution. Coordinators on the Bulgarian side of the international initiative are colleagues from the Re-Act Association.

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