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Ongoing projects :: Advocacy

Advocacy

AdvocacyThe goal of BFPA in the advocacy is the creation and improvement  of the conditions that guarantee the provision of information and the access to services in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. The advocacy is based on the declared values in the Chart of universal human rights as well as on the understanding that the implementation of those rights is the tool for achieving better socio-economic development and personal wellbeing. The relation between these 3 components (right – development – wellbeing) in the context of the sexual and reproductive health and rights determins the main issues of the work:

• Family Planning
• Prevention of Sexually transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS
• Equal opportunities and women empowerment
• Improving the socio-economic status and the access to health and social services of marginalized communities

The involvement of partners and supporters in the advocacy process is important and irreversible element in the planning and implementation of concrete initiatives. Such initiatives may refer to legislative changes or to the inclusion of certain topics from the field of sexual and reproductive health in legislative documents on governmental, regional and municipality level, or to prioritize and mainstream SRHR issues in the work of other institutions and organizations. The partners of BFPA are various:

• Parliamentarians
• State institutions, representing the implementation power (Ministry of health, Ministry of labor and social policy, Ministry of foreign affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Education)
• Municipalities
• Schools
• Various NGOs and other structures (including professional and faith based organizations)

In 2013 and 2014 due to the deep political crisis (4 governments in 2 years, 2 of which care-taker governments) it was not possible to realize adequate advocacy initiatives. 2015 was relatively more stable and it resulted with advocacy advancements mainly on municipality level – with including topics and initiatives in the field of SRHR in local authorities plans and programs as well as with the inclusion of health and sexuality education in the main standards of the new Law for school education. A big success of 2015 is the signed Memorandum of understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and  the Bulgarian platform for international development (BPID). BFPA is the president of BPID via its Program manager Ventsislav Kirkov and hosts and provides the secretariat of the Platform in BFPA’s headquarters.
The Presidential elections in November 2016 were followed by a resignation of the government, yet again, a caretaker government and early elections in March 2017. The civil society, sensitive and active participant in the protests and reforms movement has the hope that Bulgaria will be more politically responding to advocacy efforts and the government will go on the path of reforms and adequate policies both from legislative and executive perspective. Only in 2017 there were four changes of the health minister for instance. This makes the work with institutions more difficult. In 2018 – the year of the Bulgarian Presidency of  EU BFPA and BPID took active participation in the events related in the first half of 2018 and its follow-up till the end of 2018.

In the period 2019 – 2021 the efforts of BFPA and partners in the last decade for introducing the figure of health mediator (HM) as state policy were finalized with two very important last steps: inclusion of HM in the Health Law in 2019 and Ordinance for HM as a regulatory act under the Health Law in 2020. 
In connection with this for 2022 the specific objectives of BFPA are mainly three:

1. COMPREHENSIVE HEALTH AND SEXUALITY EDUCATION: Reaching consensus with traditional and  new partners of BFPA about the introduction of comprehensive health and sexuality education in the school curriculum, with topics and approaches adequate to the age of the students. Adoption of legislative basis for university curriculum for teachers in the field of Health and Sexuality Education.
2. FAMILY PLANNING: Adoption of the National program on sexual and reproductive health as instrument and response to the National demographic strategy. Establishment of national screening for cervical cancer prevention as part of the strategy. Special attention on vulnerable groups and young people in the strategy implementation.
3. DEVELOPMENT POLICIES: Adequate policies and procedures on place for international development and collaboration


 

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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 :: Advocacy