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LYRA - Launching Young Roma Advocates

SUPPORTED BY THE OPEN SOCIETY FOUNDATIONS

The LYRA project (Launching Young Roma Advocates, July 2021 – June 2024) aims to overcome inequalities in marginalized  Roma communities, especially in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), by empowering Roma young leaders and “exporting” knowledge about Roma in the mainstream majority and vice-versa. The initiative is supported by the Berlin regional office of OSI and gives focus on often underestimated and not stimulated great potential Roma youth have and on insufficient implementation of the universal health coverage of Roma minors, insufficient recognition of adolescent and teenage age children in national preventive programs in the field of maternal and child health.

The activities strive to initiate a long-term processes of formation of new generation of Roma youth advocates that could contribute to sustainable positive changes both in Roma communities and in the Bulgarian society as a whole, nationally and internationally. 

The project will address SRHR needs of Roma youth and will combat stereotypes and negligence of the Roma issues in Bulgaria, especially in the health, education and social sector.

The initiative is to include not only the youth themselves, but to collaborate with their parents. Project activities focus on creating a cohort of 24 young Roma age 16-25, from three different locations for problem solving inside and outside the marginalized communities.

The project will map the lack of implementation of the universal health access principle among the most excluded Roma minors, it will highlight gaps of existing national health program in addressing the health issues of adolescent/ teenage age children, which most significantly impact Roma minors of Bulgaria and will identify gaps of involving Roma children voices in relevant policy discussions that directly impact children life and health in the light of the UN convention on the Rights of the child.

 

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Latest news

Presentation of the results of a regional study and recommendations for SRH services in the European Parliament - project "Youth Voices, Youth Choices"

Brussels, October 26, 2022

In the last months of 2022 the partners of the YVYC project, together with experts and young people, developed recommendations for regional policy recommendations for improvement of health and social systems and SRHR services for young people after the Covid 19 pandemic.
The recommendations are targeting decision-makers at international and national institutions.  They were presented in the European Parliament on October 26, 2022 by young advocates and experts, with the support of MEP Fred Matic. Three BFPA representatives - Victoria Nikolova, Venelin Stoychev and Pavlina Filipova participated in the EP meeting.

 
Training within the framework of the youth-led campaign in the city of Dupnitsa - "Check in advance, don't trust!" The truth stories from the Roma neighborhood"

Dupnitsa, October 15-16, 2022

On October 15th  and 16th 2022 a training "Check in advance, don't trust!" was held on topics how to identify fake news. Participants, including Roma youth (14 and 18 years old),  enriched their knowledge about media and the impact of false information on health services. The training included also photovoice method and  interesting photography techniques. Young people will practice those skills in the upcoming campaign activities.

 
Youth-led campaign "Health Alarm Clock" in Breznik

Breznik, October 11, 2022

On October 11, 2022, the first of a series of health education information meetings was held with 35 students from 11th and 12th grades of "Vasil Levski" school in Breznik. The event is part of the campaign "Health Alarm Clock" under the "YOUTH VOICES, YOUTH CHOICES" project of BFPA, financed by the” MSD for Mothers” program and organized by the Regional Youth Raise Center with the partnership of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA), Breznik Municipality and the Local Commission for Combating Anti-Social Behavior of Minors.

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