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Events :: Достъп :: Global Symposium Reveals New Possibility For Positive Change Through Social Connectedness

Global Symposium Reveals New Possibility For Positive Change Through Social Connectedness

Group photoMontreal, October 25-27 2016

Over a hundred leading thinkers, activists and community leaders among which Tim Shriver, chair of Special Olympics and NBA super star Dikembe Mutongo gathered from over 23 countries at McGill University on October 25-27, 2016 to further develop a shared perspective on the importance of social connectedness in community-driven change and development. 
From remote regions of Nunavut, to the Masaai homelands, to urban centers across North America and Europe, participants came together in a remarkable opportunity to build understanding and build community.  Through a dynamic facilitated process, every participant joined as both teacher and learner and had the opportunity to share insights, experience and strategies. Bulgaria and Central and Eastern Europe was represented by BFPA Executive Director, Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova.

TopicsThrough a collaborative dialogue which drew together lived experience, traditional knowledge, research and practice, several points of commonality emerged. Social isolation emerges as a critical dimension to key challenges relating to poverty, health and community resilience, either causing or reinforcing some of the most pervasive aspects of development challenges.
Participants shared the reality of a complex relationship with education, knowledge and learning. A common point of understanding acknowledged the isolating impact violence, colonialism and power structures have had on entire communities and groups.  Education is both an essential aspect to overcoming isolation but also one requiring particular focus, care and respect for cultural affirmation, community capacity and enabling self-determination.
The Symposium also helped reveal the commonality between Indigenous worldview and values and the best of emerging development practice and social policy.  Through an appreciation and understanding of the inter-connectedness of all peoples and the natural world and ensuring the central role of the community, strategies embedded in listening, awareness and solidarity emerge as the most effective, sustainable and successful strategies to tackle our shared global goals such as those expressed through the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Finally, participants confirmed that movement building to respond to challenges and build social connectedness occurs on many levels.  Participants concluded the Global Symposium affirming their partnership within the movement and connection to the community of practice building social connectedness across the Globe.

Read more about the symposium here 

 

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First coordination meeting for the “I want to know” project

 

 

 

Sofia, November 8-9, 2019

On November 8 in Sofia coordinators and service providers  from  BFPA branches in the country  gathered for an initial training about the activities of the two-year “I want to Know” project, financed by Viiv Heakthcare. The discussions included the project activities, the time schedule, target groups and access to them, specificities of working with marginalized groups, identifying the locations for each voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) action. Each coordinator made a prediction of the project activities they could do until the end of 2019 and all received the necessary informational printed materials. Individual risk assessment of the vulnerable communities and optimizing the work of BFPA  in-country were the main discussion topic during the second day of the meeting.

 
Bulgaria and North Macedonia together to support and develop the Health Mediators program

Blagoevgrad, October 7-9, 2019

Study visit of health mediators, NGO representatives and state institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia took place in October 7-9 in Blagoevgrad. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the support of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) hosted the three days visit and gave an opportunity for the representatives of HERA – Health Education and Research Association, health mediators from Skopje and Prilep and the Ministry of Health of our neighbor country to understand in details how in years was institutionalized and functions the system of health mediation in Bulgaria. Field visit to the Roma neighborhood Predel Mahala was included in the programme and the guests could see how the work of health mediators Antoaneta Eftimova and Katya Kirilova is going on everyday basis – with institutions, as well with people who need and receive their support.

 
Romeo and Juliet from Kosharnik district

Montana, September 12, 2019

The Shakespeare and Servantes tour around the Roma neighborhoods of Bulgaria went to the Kosharnik district of Montana. Talented and enthusiastic local children, selected by the Roma actress Natalia Tzekova presented fragments of the drama “Romeo and Juliet” from a newer angle and with adequate health messages. The aim of the social theatre is with the means of art to inform the public in a comprehensible manner about the harm of early marriages and early school drop outs, the benefits of contraception, the importance of prevention of sexually transmitted infections. The messages target young people as well as their parents, some of which joined the scenes to demonstrate their support for what their children are saying. With his monologue about the Roma Don Quixote Valeri Lekov, also part of the production team, explained some of the community specificities. Between the sketches there were “real life” scenes – a woman from the community visits a doctor who explains the benefits of contraception and debunks some “fake news” about contraceptive methods – all this with a lot of humour and highly appreciated by the audience.

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Events :: Достъп :: Global Symposium Reveals New Possibility For Positive Change Through Social Connectedness