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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents
Adolescents and young people

IstanbulAdolescents and young people

Health and education of young people are among the main priorities of BFPA from the very beginning. The main directions of work connected with adolescents include health and sexuality education, peer education, health prevention and planning and organizing of special youth events. Healthy life style, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), drug abuse and addictions, trafficking for sexual exploitation, contraception, hygiene and puberty are only part of the topics on which young people receive information and can discuss with our team. BFPA’s approach to working with young people includes equal participation and youth-adult partnership. 
In the last years youth groups of BFPA in Stara Zagora, Ruse, Pleven, Plovdiv and Sofia are working actively in the field of peer education, promotional special events and elaboration of youth friendly info and video materials. The principles of youth-adult partnership are respected and followed by all BFPA staff and volunteers and young people have wide autonomy – decisions about conducting different events and funds usage are made within the group, which pays off with their increased level of effectiveness and creativity.

UN New YorkYoung people at risk

In 2000 BFPA started working on a project financed by the PHARE-ACCESS programme of EU in six Juvenile Detention Centers (JDC) and seven Social Pedagogical Centers (SPC). The project activities included the organizing and holding of a series of educational modules in the area of sexual and reproductive health for adolescents in these institutions. Coming up with adequate information materials for the target auditorium was also an important part of the activities.This project lasted for 2 years (until 2002) but due to the needs of the adolescents in these institutions BFPA applied for funding for the next two years through the International Planned Parenthood Federation. In 2005, from the state budget of the Republic of Bulgaria, BFPA received the opportunity to work with the teachers and staff at the JDCs and SPCs by training them for mentors on the topics of sexual and reproductive health, as the Association provided suitable information materials. In 2006-2008 BFPA ensured funding for medical screenings in six SPCs their focus being sexually transmitted diseases. Starting at the end of 2008 and all through 2009 the BFPA worked with SPC staff for providing the young people with suitable medical services. Nowadays in the period 2013-2018 as part of the project “The art to inform” funded by the OAK foundation BFPA is restoring the work with the remaining 4 JDCs and 2 SPCs in the process of deinstitutionalization with main goal prevention of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse towards young people there.
Another group with which BFPA has experience in working on projects in the area of sexual and reproductive health are the of hearing and visually impaired young people. The first project in this field was realized with the support of Cooperating Netherlands Foundations for Central and Eastern Europe and included the training of trainers among the target groups. As part of this project BFPA published the first of its kind informational material in Braille (for visually impaired or blind adolescents) containing information about contraception, HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. In 2014 as part of the project KEEP ME SAFE the association conducted national-wide a series of interactive trainings for specialists working with YPLD (young people with learning disabilities) in the field of health education and prevention of sexual abuse. Under another project funded by the Rutgers foundation, BFPA conducted a series of interactive trainings for specialists working with young people with physical disabilities and chronic diseases.    
In 2011 BFPA joined a team funded and led by UNICEF - Bulgaria and started the implementation of a big project on prevention of abandonment of cгildren in Shumen region. Other partners in the project were Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation (EMHPF), ohter key Bulgarian NGOs and the municipalities of Shumen, Varbitza, Veliki Preslav and Novi Pazar. The component that is under the direct reponsibility of BFPA  is connected with SRH services programme and with multiple trainings in the field of health and sexuality education, training of trainers, health prevention, counselling and working in multiethnic environment. Activities under this project were carried out throughout the period 2011 - 2014.
Two of BFPA's main projects for 2016-2017  with a focus on youth still are "Mission possible"  - provision of SRH services for young people from vulnerable communities in 14 populated areas, and "Acessible health services" - improving maternal and child health in Roma communities in Sofia. At the same time key partnership with organizations focusing their activities towards young people as our partners form the platform Loveguide.bg, Red Cross youth and the Re-act association is actively ongoing

For 2022 like in previous years BFPA continues its work with the youth groups in the four locations where are functioning the branches of the organization as well as in another locations with the support of our partner networks and the Medical Students Associations. We will continue our work with vulnerable young people in various types of institutions – boarding schools, foster care units as well as with young Roma that have difficult access to health care and education. We count on the active participation of our young volunteers and we hope 2022 will be a good year for health education from legislative point of view, as well as for the institutionalizing of the preparation of health and sexuality education high school teachers. 2019 was the year in which we trained for a third consecutive year the volunteers of Red Cross Youth in ToT for health and sexuality education. We started, in partnership with Sofia municipality, MoH and Red Cross a Sofia Academy for peer educators in the field  of CSE and  the first peers from 5 schools were certified at the end of the scholar year in June 2019. In 2020 we can proudly say that this became an annual activity for schools in the capital city.

In 2021 BFPA produced 5 short videos “And thank you for the fish” on the life and personalities of five young adults, former volunteers and peer educators of BFPA. We oriented part of BFPA youth related activities towards audiovisual materials elaboration – short animated educational videos on different topics, related with health and sexuality education and health literacy, uploaded to BFPA You Tube channel

Below are enumerated the brand new accents in our work in 2022:

-The Covid -19 pandemic for a second year is not giving the opportunity to hold live trainings and gatherings in the cold months. So, the Sofia Academy for peer educators in the field of CSE, active in the last two years was upgraded in 2021 to Academy for Visionaries. The Academy goes on in 2022 - BFPA team in partnership with the Sport and Youth Directorate of Sofia Municipality is mentoring young people in the division “Civic and Health Education. Media Literacy”

- New, modern vision of our website and ongoing info upgrade

- Mapping of the youth groups and young volunteers we work with national-wide

- Online counseling of parents on how to communicate with their children on sensitive topics related with puberty and growing up with starting point the finalized at the end of 2018 short animated video on puberty, 2 short animations from  2021 - for the need of health education and on the ways of infections to human body, as well as the other informational products of the organization.

- stimulating youth creativity and implementing youth ideas for public participation and health campaigns

- for a second year - youth led Instagram profile of BFPA in Instagram







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Latest news

28 new health mediators from the class of 2022 received their certificates after successfully passing the exam

Sofia, April 29, 2022

On March 21, 2021, the new scholar year was opened for health mediators from all over the country. The training is organized for the eleventh consecutive year by the National Network of Health Mediators and the Faculty of Public Health at the Medical University of Sofia. As always, BFPA experts are part of the training team. This year's course includes 28 health mediators, who will start working in May in 22 municipalities in the country.
For the third consecutive academic year, the educational sessions were online due to the still significant prevalence of Covid-19. Against this background, there is a great need for trained health mediators to support the implementation of state and municipal policies for public health. For the past two years, health mediators have been among the professionals working at the forefront and helping people from vulnerable communities by explaining, informing, reassuring, supporting the poorest families, providing donations of food and basic necessities. In many places in the country, health mediators have implemented information campaigns on the benefits of vaccination against covid-19 - this activity still continues at the moment.

 
Working Conference of LAP and Starting the ‘Eyes Peeled’ Campaign

Sofia, April 18, 2022

On April 18, 2022 in Sofia the National conference of the Learning Action Partnership on zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation of children was held.
About 70 participants from different organizations from NGO sector, state institutions, UN structures, journalists, public figures, professionals working with children and young people in Sofia and the country joined the event.
Representatives of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA), UNICEF and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) presented the LAP key activities during the years, on the global and local context of the problem sexual violence and exploitation concerning political and regulatory decisions, as well on the conditions in safe zones for the unaccompanied children passing through the country.

 
Migration: risks and opportunities during labor migration in UK

Samokov, March 28, 2022

A team from the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) delivered in Samokov an information session on March 28, 2022 in the “HUB-a” coworking space. Among the participants there representatives of the local Roma community, young people form 11 and 12 grade and their teachers, representatives of the Social services and the Municipality. Pavlina Filipova and Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova talked with the gathered about the opportunities and potential dangers when starting a job in the UK. Dobryana Petkova, a professional with long year practice in prevention of trafficking people, shared with the group on some specific marks to recognize the danger of trafficking people for labor and sexual exploitation. The training team was complemented by Villy Angelova form the British Embassy in Sofia and Ralitza Zgalevska from the BFPA team.

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Ongoing projects :: Adolescents