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About us

BFPA_25_YEARSBulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA)
30 years of expertise and innovations with care for the future


  
The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is a non-governmental organization founded in 1992, registered in public benefit. Its activities are oriented towards several main areas of work – access to health care services, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), health and sexuality education, advocacy for underserved groups, trafficking of human beings, sustainable development policies and prevention HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections. The target groups of the organization are various and include mainstream young people, women in reproductive age, state, municipality and school authorities, health professionals, NGO and community leaders, teachers, journalists. BFPA puts special focus on marginalized and socially deprived groups – Roma, other ethnic minorities, blind and deaf children, young people with disabilities, rural women, children in institutions, young people with criminal record.
   In the statues of the Association it is clearly and unequivocally stated that “BFPA is non-politically-affiliated organization, which works for improvement of sexual and reproductive health of everyone – regardless of gender, ethnicity, creed or age.” The main goal of the organization is to create conditions for realization of the right of family planning and sexual health of Bulgarian citizens, as well as for promotion and popularization of reproductive health and health prevention ideas in Bulgaria.
The BFPA members that build up its staff, Management Board and the volunteer resources of the organization, have different professional backgrounds: medical doctors, midwifes, nurses, lawyers, journalists, teachers, psychologists, economists, social workers, health mediators, young people and representatives of the target groups of BFPA’s projects. This diversity of professional and social expertise has helped the organization to implement successfully over 75 projects, supported by over 50 different donors and donor programs. These projects were implemented along with our ongoing health, social and educational activities in Sofia and our branches in the country.
   BFPA is at the same time expert and also innovator and introduced for the first time in the country the concept of peer education, youth friendly services and medical and service delivery standards elaborated by WHO and IPPF. The conducted interventions include implementing of national-wide media campaigns, optimizing health services and screenings, wide range of trainings; conducting of researches, peer education etc.
   BFPA works to:
• Optimize communication channels for providing health info for a wide auditorium of adolescents and young people
• Mobilize and improve participation of young people in each stage of governance process.
• Reduce vulnerability to STI/HIV/AIDS for all with special emphasis on young people, including those with disabilities, in penitentiaries and other institutions and underserved groups such as Roma
• Improve the access to voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services and treatment national-wide
• Combat the stigma and discrimination attitudes towards affected with AIDS
• Promote high quality and affordable health services with special emphasis on young people, women and underserved groups
• Improve and increase access to high quality and systematic info on SRHR by using innovative tools
• Improve the quality and diversify the SRHR services especially for vulnerable, marginalized and underserved groups.  
• Increase the availability of SRHR services and supplies including contraceptives
• Empower women and equal opportunities 
• Provide mobile SRHR services in rural areas and works on the SRH component of trafficking of human beings for sexual exploitation
• Increase influence on policies and legislation on SRHR on local and national level
• Sustain and enlarge networks and partnerships with relevant NGOs, governmental structures and international agencies working on health promotion, prevention and SRHR
   During these 30 years in Bulgaria the Association has reached over 120 000 satisfied clients of its reproductive health related medical services and has conducted over 320 000 gynaecological and contraceptive consultations. More than 36 000 consultations and tests for HIV, hepatitis B and C, chlamydia, syphilis and other STIs were done. On its own and in various networks and different partnerships, BFPA has initiated and implemented very important national campaigns on topics related to awareness raising, prevention of HIV and STIs, promoting health and improving access to healthcare for vulnerable communities. Over 20 000 young people, students, representatives of marginalized communities, teachers, health specialists, NGO experts, municipality experts, representatives of the government administration and social workers have undergone the organization’s trainings. Trained by BFPA, the educators and peer educators alone have reached over a million and five hundred thousand young people, vulnerable groups, students, specialists and ordinary people. And this is just a modest approximate figure – the real number of people we reach is substantially bigger and the effect multiplies permanently.
   BFPA is also a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) and several other international and national NGO networks and since 1995 has shared its expertise many times in countries as Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Hungary, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Serbia.

 

 

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Latest news

Youth Аdvocacy Тeams for Better Access to Health Services and Information

Banya, August 22-24, 2022

Together with 14 young people from Blagoevgrad, Dupnitsa and Sofia, we worked on implementation of  two campaigns - in Blagoevgrad and Dupnitsa - to support vulnerable communities and improve young people's access to SRH  information and services. The main topics of the training focused on advocacy skills, organizing and conducting local campaigns and how to use “photovoice” method. Examples of already developed campaigns from the previous training in Dolna Banya were also presented.  The idea was to involve new participants in various activities in different locations, as well as to connect young people to help and learn from each other in the process of preparing and implementing advocacy campaigns.
The young people with the help of the health mediators, defined as a problem the poor access to information and health services, ensuring a healthy and fulfilling way of life for the young people from the Roma community in Blagoevgrad. They have the ambition to contribute for raising the public awareness towards these problems in Blagoevgrad, and also to draw the attention of the institutions to the problem.

 
Young People Working to Support Local Communities

Dolna Banya, July, 11-13, 2022

Talks, questions, sharing about the huge gap between how young people define health care problems and how adults see them; about the lack of trust in the institutions regarding their reaction in cases of violence, even for registered ones! We discussed that deep in our national psychologyit is stated that talking about mental health and "shameful" illnesses is not good, when it happens at all it is hidden, superficial and stigmatizing, and thus leads to dramatic complications for people in personal plan. We also talked about the nuances of "advocacy" and "lobbying."
We from the BFPA team think that we are really lucky for working with a group of wonderful young people - from the youth clubs in Pernik and Breznik and from the American University in Blagoevgrad (AUBG). The workshop was held July 11-13, 2022, in Dolna Banya. Our work topics are advocacy and campaigning.

 
How Health Knowledge to Get to Roma Communities

Dolna Banya, July 5-7, 2022

After two days fulfilling work on leadership and advocacy with unbelievable roma young people from Lom, Dupnitsa and Byala Slatina problems in respective communities were identified. Discussions in searching the best decisions were led; image of the target groups and stakeholders was created and the needed communication skills on leading a successful campaign were discussed. Role plays, practical cases and individual video presentations with messages were commented.
The health mediators Tanya Kirilova from Lom, Daniela Ljubenova from Dupnitza and Mirena Bocheva from Byala Slatina are real mentors for the young people from the communities they work for. The three of them, together with Dr. Rada Stamenkova, Pavlina Filipova and Ralitsa Zgalevska from BFPA team actively contributed to support the motivated and well-prepared young people, enthusiastic to advocate for better health of people from their communities. In the coming months the team will continue to work on building their capacity as leaders and to help them with expertise and guidelines.

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