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News

Outwitting the pandemic - in search of digital applications for health education and information

EventLogoSofia, Montana, Yambol, December 2020

Despite the restrictions imposed by the measures against Covid 19, in recent months the planned activities in the second year of the project "My body, my rights", supported by the socially responsible business program "MSD for mothers", continue in three locations - Sofia, Montana and Yambol. The coordinators of the project by places - Fakulteta district in Sofia - Valentin Blagoev, Kosharnik quarter and Ogosta quarter in Montana - Petar Tsvetanov and the whole Tundzha municipality in Yambol (the villages of Veselinovo, Kukorevo, Tenevo, Zavoy) - Kina Assenova, hold meetings of self-help groups - though in  more limited numbers due to precautionary measures, conduct training events for young people - outdoors, through specialized stands for distribution of printed materials for the project itself and for the SRH in general, and most importantly - support marginalized members of communities with hygiene materials, essential goods and medicines and specialized information for prevention from Covid, along with the usual topics - prevention of unwanted pregnancy, prevention of STIs, maternal and child health and many others, through selfless and exhausting walking from the neck of door due to the impossibility to organize large information sessions.

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Break the Silence: Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Violence of Children Could Happen Everywhere

Campaign posterSofia, November 18, 2020

Break the Silence: November 18 is the European Day on protection of children against sexual exploitation and sexual violence.
The first thing that comes to mind when we hear ‘sexual exploitation’ is usually connected with red lanterns, streets or roads with women (and men) sex workers, trafficking of human beings. Sexual exploitation of children could have also other faces – sex services in exchange of expensive things such as smart phone or modern accessory or at the cost of a lunch, sweets or instead of rent for parents’ accommodation. It can happen via internet and to affect minors before they become teenagers. That’s why it is needed to break the silence and to ask for zero tolerance concerning this ugly phenomenon. Statistics show that one of five children becomes victim of violence, including sexual. As parents we can prevent this: we can teach them for instance on the Rule of the Bathing Suit. It says that no one has the right to touch their body, especially where the body is covered by a swimming bathing suit. Medical examinations and manipulations as well don’t have to be allowed without their informed consent. The rule helps children to understand that their bodies are their own, that there is good and bad touching, as well es personal borders and social ethnic norms.

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Six Small Projects in the Frame of LAP Supported

OAK logoSofia, October 2020

The second competition for small projects for organizations of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place in June and July 2020. In the defined for collecting proposals deadline five proposals were presented, among which with the help of a special selected committee, as well of organizations members of LAP, for supporting were approved three:
ReAct logoProject ‘ACT>Re-Act>ImpACT! – innovative approach for advocacy of HGO concerning sexual exploitation of children’ of Re-Act Association has the ambition to develop innovative business oriented approach for effective advocacy of NGO with the help of professionals in marketing sphere.
Logo RoditeliProject ‘Can You See Me? – the hidden vulnerability of children from sexual exploitation and violence’ of ‘Parents’ Association will contribute for improving and effective applying of ‘Mechanism for reaction against harassment and violence in the institutions in the system of preschool and school education’ as exploring the gaps concerning prevention and its effective applying in cases of risk and/or cases of sexual exploitation and violence against children, including online.
SAPI logoProject ‘Individual Protection – advocating for changes in the legislation for individual assessment of children victims of sexual exploitation’ of Social Activities and Practices Institute (SAPI) is aiming to improve the policy and the law on individual assessment of children, victims of crimes, incl. sexual exploitation within the meaning of a directive 29/2012/ЕС.

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Two round tables at the second year end of the project “My body, my rights”

ParticipantsMSD logoYambol, September 24, 2020
Montana, September 28, 2020

At the end of the second year of BFPA’s project “My body, my rights”, supported by the initiative for socially responsible business “MSD for mothers”, the association organized round tables on the need and benefits of family planning with a focus on vulnerable communities in two of the project locations. During the meetings a recap of the activities up to now was made and future ones were discussed for the third year. Both events were attended by  municipal representatives, Regional health inspectorate, Regional health insurance fund, health mediators, health specialists, representatives of local NGOs, Community support centers, social workers and most importantly – members of the target communities in which activities are implemented.
A special accent was BFPA’s new short animated products - “Family planning” and “Pregnancy with a smile”. The discussion was on the activities until now and their effect on improving the level of information in the target groups, the need for such activities in general, the best working communication channels in the Roma community, the role of the self help groups and the health mediators, the difficulties caused by COVID-19 and other problems, i.e. the duplication and decentralization of social activities from different institutions. A recapitulation of what has been done until now in Montana was made by Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Executive Director of BFPA and Petar Tzvetanov, local Project Coordinator, and for Yambol – Tzveta Petkova, member of NNHM’s Board and Kina Asenova, local Project Coordinator.

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

MSD logoParticipantsDolna 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.

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July 2021: Reviewing the Strategic Plan and Preparing for LAP Informational Campaign

Dolna Banya, 20-23 July 2021

Two events of main importance for the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place in July 2021 in Dolna Banya. In the beginning of the month was reviewed the Strategic Plan for Action of the network in the context of the dynamic changing political environment. The sociologist Asen Blagoev presented actual data on the social map of the country. One of the important recommendations given to LAP is health education and information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) to be wider and regularly presented subject in school curriculum. Prevention of sexual violence and exploitation is a part of the topics, covered in the health and sexuality education wide topic. Up to the moment the knowledge for improving SRH are without stable financing from structural funds via the national budget. In this sense the efforts on advocacy for enlarging SRH in the curriculum of the middle and upper grade remain important for LAP.

 
Communication skills, messaging and PR strategy of BFPA

Dolna Banya, June 28-30, 2021

From June 28 to June 30, 2021 тhe team and the management board of BFPA together with key partners of the organization gathered for a second training under the project "Capacity building for advocacy for SRHR", supported by the EEA Financial Mechanism.
Prior to the training, the participants filled out a detailed questionnaire about how they see the organization and its work so far, what are the challenges of the external environment, which audience and which public groups should be introduced to our work.
The emphasis in the training program was upon the development of PR and communication strategy of the organization. Participants discussed the challenges for civil society organizations to speak in a language understood by their target audiences. Appropriate messages from BFPA aimed at different audiences were developed in working groups.

 
Launch of the Project ‘Awareness raising of local communities in areas with significant share of Roma population on asylum and migration issues’
June 22, 2021, Sofia
‘Our neighborhood is separated from the town, it has no name. The young people insist on continuing studying. Many of them are abroad. Those who came back are with obviously changed habits’, shares Kadrie from Provadia. 
On June 22, 2021 in the inspiring environment of the University Botanic Garden in Sofia was launched the project ’Awareness raising of local communities in areas with significant share of Roma population on asylum and migration issues’. The project is implemented by the International Organization of Migration (IOM) in partnership with a Consortium of three organizations - National Network of Health Mediators, Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association and ‘Ethnic Minorities Health Problems Foundation. The three organizations act from decades as one enlarged team and have considerable success in the fields of health prevention and advocacy. Health mediators from Filipovtsi, Breznik, Tran, Provadia and Harmanly, where field project research is held, together with representatives of NGOs, state institutions and embassies took part at the event. The meeting was moderated by Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, Executive Director of BFPA, who was also host of a kick-off online project meeting on May 20. 
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