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Общи :: Women Deliver

Women Deliver

WD LogoKuala Lumpur May 28-30th
The world forum on women’s reproductive health and women’s rights through the eyes of Maya Kumanova, chair of IPPF’s youth network – YSAFE

Between 28 and 30th May in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the third Women Deliver conference was held. Women MAYA KUMANOVADeliver is a global advocacy organization which aims to gain political and financial support in its struggle for improving women’s rights and reproductive health and in particular, to put into effect the fifth article of the present Millennium Development Goals which concerns improvement of mothers’ health through universal access to reproductive health and services.


As a long-term BFPA and IPPF’s European youth network - YSAFE volunteer, I was fortunate to receive a grant to participate in Women Deliver and be included among the top 100 young leaders of the conference. The grant also included a two-month long course on the subject. The online course, based on the Schoology platform, contained weekly topics, discussions and tasks and serves as a good example how social networks and contemporary technology can be used for comprehensive and accessible education. This is a method, well-known to BFPA and was used in the H-CUBE project and the construction of a digital e-learning platform for health educators and in particular for educating teachers, health specialists and health mediators on issues concerning HIV, hepatitis B and C.


Sex is politicsWomen Deliver is an event at which over 5000 activists for a wide range of causes gathered to discuss women’s rights and different aspects of reproductive health. The extensive agenda gave me an opportunity to observe and participate in a large number of discussions and learn from the experience of a multitude of projects and organizations. The schedule included sessions with the participation of Tarya Halonen  (Finland’s first female president), the Norwegian princess Mette-Marie, Melinda Gates, Hans Rosling, Chelsea Clinton, as well as the director general of IPPF Tewodros Mellese.


IPPF boothAs one of the founders of the YSAFE project “I Heart Being a Girl”, in which BFPA also took an active part, I was proud to participate in a panel on how social networks can help and advocate and stand for sexual and reproductive health and rights, especially for youth and young girls. Within the panel we discussed the influence of the social networks with young Y-PEER activists, the American Family Planning Association and also with representatives of different media and Internet-based organizations. But BFPA’s and IPPF’s success story does not stop there. Together with IPPF, Astra and the European parliamentary forum we took part in a panel, focused on Eastern European and Central Asian development. Among the presented topics was the study on practices and attitudes in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which in Bulgaria was conducted by BFPA.


Solar briefcaseOne of the inspiring stories I heard was shared by Laura Stachel. After working as an obstetrician in Nigeria and witnessing the devastating effects of the lack of electricity and light at the local hospitals, Laura “teams up” with her husband and together they create a briefcase, containing a mobile mini-electrical system powered by solar panels which gives light and electricity for the basic functions at hospitals, thus saving many lives. After the successful implementation and a growing demand for this system Laura founded the “We Solar” foundation and to this moment it has provided over 300 “solar” briefcases in 25 countries.


The conference was extremely colorful, inspiring and impressive and I really hope we can put the acquired knowledge and the lessons learned to a good practical use.

 Girl Effect tree
Left: The “Girl Effect” tree – Contains 250 wooden “leaves”, on which young girls between 10 and 19 years of age have written down their dreams. The leaves also contain an audio recording which allows the visitors to hear the voice and the wishes of the girls in their native language. Source: Women Deliver

 

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‘My Body, My Rights’: Health Mediators form Yambol Municipality about their work in State of Emergency Conditions

Yambol, May 2020

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‘My Body, My Rights’ – Successes and Challenges

Health mediators from Montana, Bulgaria, and their work in state of emergency
Montana, March-May 2020

Peter Cvetanov, Sonya Rumenova and Valya Alexandrova are health mediators in Montana Municipality. The three of them as a team are implementing activities part of the project of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) – ‘My Body, My Rights’ (2018–2021). In addition to their municipality, pilot work is being done in two other locations in Bulgaria: Yambol and Sofia. The project is implemented in partnership with organizations from Serbia and Romania, with the coordinating role of International Planned Parenthood Federation and is supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD via their campaign ‘MSD for Mothers’. Main goal of the initiative is to improve the conditions for ensuring quality of family planning services for vulnerable communities and to build capacity and civil responsibility within the communities.
Sonya in a health mediator from 2013. She graduated economics, married with two children: a boy and a girl: ‘Several years ago Roma women from the neighborhood didn’t see doctors for prophylactics. Part of them were not insured, others simply were living with their prejudices and fears. We had two obstetrics-gynecologists as part of the Bulgarian-swiss cooperation program ZOV. They were visiting the health center in the neighborhood according to schedule. Then we decided to form local women’s group for self support, where initially timidly, but afterwards more confidently we started talking about examinations, contraception, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infections... The women from the group started little by little to shake off their fears.’ They just made progress and the activities on project ended. Only  mediators remained in the health center. And then for them new opportunity arose via the project ‘My Body, My Rights’. ‘It gave us the opportunity to continue just on time. The group for self support is developing; the health center in the neighborhood is alive again.’ Sonya succeeded to motivate a poor mother of nine children for IUD insertion. Before that she tried many times, but without any success. ‘I think that she was mostly afraid of being damaged by IUD. Now I know for sure that my long-term working with this woman was not in vain.”

 
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Representatives of organizations and institutions who participated shared their working plans and the possibility of inclusion of other LAP members in joint activities. Part of the feedback was connected with the increase of fake news, including on priorities of the Partnership. The atmosphere of the event was businesslike, but with extremely well expressed solidarity and good collaboration feeling. In the debates during the meeting important actual topics were covered, such as increasing media and digital literacy of children and challenges, which we are meeting in our work with teachers with long practice on certain age and with burnout. Forming network of children and young people with innovative model of managing was discussed, which will aim decreasing the aggression of children under residential care. How to focus our work so that the efforts put to have guaranteed sustainability; science and research approach and regional and national level partnerships; the need to work together to change the environment – were among topics discussed during the event.

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Общи :: Women Deliver