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BFPA participated in the Annual General Meeting of the National Network for Children

Group photoPamporovo, August 28-30, 2020

Annual Meeting and General Assembly of the National Network for Children (NNC) took place on August 28-30, 2020 in Pamporovo. Ralitsa Zgalevska, Assoc.Prof. Boryana Parashkevova and the young volunteer Maria Simeonova form Stara Zagora represented BFPA at the meeting. In the frame of the thematic working group ‘Education’ Ralitza Zgalevska presented ‘ToT for  peer education’ in the field of health and sexuality education as a successful model and good practice for working with young people.
‘One of the most harmful and dangerous thoughts is: “everyone does like that’, young people quoted Tolstoy during the one of the topic panels, after that appealed: ‘Let us be brave enough to try to change things which we do not like!’
The biggest coalition of organizations working in children and families benefit conducted its Annual meeting for 15th  time in a row with participation of 150 supporters, civic activists and organizations, public figures, representatives of institutions and experts from the country who dedicated their work to care for children in the area of healthcare, education, legislation and social services.

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The Health Mediators Policy - officially published in the State Gazette

ParliamentSofia, August 25, 2020

"Today in the State Gazette the Health Mediators Policy was published by the Ministry of Health. We have come a long and difficult way to this day. Health mediators are already regulated in the Health Law and this Policy. Thanks to everyone who contributed to making this happen. The mission is possible! ” wrote Prof. Ivaylo Tarnev, member of the Management Board of the National Network of Health Mediators (NMHM). BFPA is one of the three organizations, together with EMHPF and OSI, which laid the foundations of health mediation in Bulgaria, as we have been supporting the process for almost 20 years, training mediators and working together in the field in various projects. Representatives of our organization were part of the working group at the Ministry of Health to create the Policy”
The Health Mediators Policy is a by-law arising from the renewed Health Act, where health mediators are officially mentioned. It affirms this profession and guarantees the principles of professionalism in their selection, training and overall work. The adoption of the policy creates conditions for sustainable development of the profession for the benefit of the communities and the whole society, as well as a barrier to the unprincipled appointments and arbitrary dismissals of mediators in the municipalities. It defines their tasks as supporting the activities of municipalities in implementing policies in the field of health prevention among the population and doctors in and on the occasion of the provided medical care.

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Health education in the focus of Report Card 2020

LogoSofia, June 17, 2020

On June 17th the National Network for Children NNC presented online the now traditional Government’s Report Card concerning the child-related policies in different fields. For better visualization of the needs of the adolescents the Report Card has a few attached videos on important subjects to be acted upon, created by Genka Shikerova – battling poverty, addiction prevention, the need for health education, etc. The video on the need for health and sexuality education is with the participation of some of “our” people – Dr. Rada  Stamenkova, Exec. Director of BFPA, and Rado Vasilev – peer educator from 1st High School.
Here are some more details from the ninth consecutive edition of the annual report “Report Card 2020 – What is the average government score in the field of childcare? “

Overall score – 3 (average)
The Report Card is an annual report prepared by NNC. It reviews the basic policies aimed at the wellbeing of the children. This year it was prepared by 36 experts from CSOs who work with children and families all year round. In the preparation of the Report Card also take part more than 400 children, adolescents, parents and professionals via the questionnaire “Report Card – how the children, parents, and professionals evaluate the government” as well as interviews by child reporters from the National Eurochild Forum – Bulgaria and the Megaphone Youth Network.
All of them evaluate the progress of the government on 8 key topics: Wellbeing of children, Protection from all forms of violence, Early child development, Child health, Education, Family environment and alternative care, Child Justice and Child participation.
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Start of the Academic year of Health Mediators 2020

ONLINESofia, May 7, 2020

On May 7 2020 the academic year for the new health mediators from all over the country started. The education is organized for a ninth consecutive year by the National Network of Health Mediators in partnership with the Faculty of Public Health (FPH) of the Medical University – Sofia. BFPA is an important and integral part of the educational team from the very start of the health mediator program. This year’s class consists of around 50 people from all over the country. In the difficult situation because of COVID-19 academia, municipalities and the mediators themselves faced for the first time the challenge to ensure an online education instead of the traditional form in FPH at MU-Sofia using the modern possibilities for online communication.

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BFPA supports the health mediators in their noble mission – the fight against COVID-19

KAMPANIA 1 Bulgaria, March-May 2020

Over 200 responsible and devoted health mediators are among the people of the Roma quarters and neighbourhoods daily. They inform, explain, convince, reassure, disinfect, deliver school materials to the children with no access to online education and do everything possible for people to pass through the “coronavirus challenge”. In the first lines but unprotected due to lack or shortage of personal protection equipment, they are in danger and at risk to their own or others’ health. In lots of locations the mediators are the only source of information and help and they are fighting against the lack of running water, food, disinfectants and are on the front line every day.

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Two Interesting Partner’s Events in one day

Anti-violenceSofia, March 6, 2020

Supporting Women who Suffered from Domestic Violence
Victims of domestic violence usually hide their faces – ashamed that they let that happen to them, being out of fear that they will be found and hurt again. How often do we come across them on the streets, at the grocery store, in the elevator, without suspecting what they have gone trough.
The exhibition of Yana Peneva from 6th to 8th March in Credo Bonum Gallery tries to show the chaos of thoughts and emotions of women, victims of violence, with whom specialists form PULSE Foundation work.
In the eve of International Women’s Day, 8th March, BeCause Foundation appeals for solidarity towards women suffered from domestic violence. Donate here

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Prof. Radka Argirova – a life like a movie

Book coverSofia, December 16, 2019

Besides the time of year for festivities, December is a month of books. On the evening of December 16th in the packed Comedy Club below the Satirical Theatre, Prof. Radka Argiriva presented her book “A pseudonym with a tint of diversion – A documentary book about Prof. Radka Argirova. The history of AIDS in Bulgaria”. Yulia Piskuliyska has recreated in writing the cornerstone moments of the life and career of Bulgaria’s best virologist. Another great lady  - the famous actress Tatyana Lolova – was the main agent in the presentation of the book.
The documentary novel follows the life of Prof. Argirova, and besides her personal story focuses on the cornerstone moments of her scientific career, full of triumph and peril, friendships and obstacles. All is important, but her constant scientific interest is HIV – she is the person who founded a laboratory for researching the virus that causes ADIS – the plague of the 20th century, she brought to Bulgaria the first samples for research, and the intelligence service took an interest in her work – just like in the movies.

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

Dolna 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.

 
The Learning action partnership was introduced to Safenet’s Cyber Scout Programme

Sofia, August 24, 2020

“I’m a 15-year old boy, in the ninth grade. Recently I met a girl in the social networks. After chatting a few days in Skype, we turned on cameras, send saucy pictures…. Now it transpires the girl is not a girl at all, I was recorded and being blackmailed, for money, for more pictures, otherwise the recordings will be made widely public. What do I do to get out of this situation?”
Another case:
“I’m in the sixth grade. A classmate who is a Facebook friend of our history teacher downloaded her picture and made her a professional profile in a porn site. What do I do, how do I react?”
The two cases are just a small part of the one-day training on the Cyber Scout programme for internet safety and online security for the members of the Learning action partnership (LAP). We talked about online bullying, online sexual exploitation, about the ways we should react, what rules apply, what is allowed and effective… We review different cases – from a threat from a pedophile regarding the security of a child to an innocent at first exchange between friends which escalates to online harassment that can have serious and long-term consequences for the victim’s life and mentality.

 
Capacity building in the fields of communication and advocacy

Dolna 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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