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Unconditional Love: The Storytellers

CoverSofia, March 23, 2022

This year we turn 30! Another content by us: the book Unconditional Love. We presented it on March 23, 2022 online. The authors of the stories took part as well as the inspiration of this exciting e experience – the unbelievable Dr Paul Browde, psychiatrist actor and family therapist, and Dr Murray Nossel, psuchologist, Oscar nominee and director of the ‘Narativ Inc’ company.
The book is unusual with the fact that the texts present from first person the life stories of grandfathers and grandmothers of the participants in the three-day training on changing the narrative. By evaluation of all the involved the book is highly emotionally influential. During the meeting the participants felt again the way they are connected with one another via the life stories of their ancestors.

You can read the stories here

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Important knowledge about sexual health on Valentine Day

Animation screenSofia, February 14, 2022

We celebrated February 14 - the day of wine and love, with the premiere of the latest animated film of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) - "Family Planning: Hormonal Contraception". The 7-minute film provides the most important information about the types of hormonal contraception and the mechanism by which it works. Pills, emergency contraception, patches, silicone rings, injectables, hormonal IUDs and implants are presented in an user friendly way. You can watch the video on our YouTube channel.
During the whole St. Valentinе’s day in our medical centre at 67 Dondukov Blvd., our doors were open for free and anonymous HIV counseling and testing. We elaborated and implemented this activity in coordination with the Association of Medical Students from Sofia University. This date is always one more special occasion to talk even more about sexual health, which we place in the broad context of health education.

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"… and thank you for the fish!"

SvetlanaSofia, January 31, 2022

When asked "How do you measure the effectiveness of health and sexuality education programs?" we honestly answer that we will know if we have achieved real and complete success when today's teenagers - peer educators and participants in our educational sessions, grow up and become in turn sucessful adults, good parents who approach their own teenagers with understanding and respect. And as BFPA turns 30 this year, we have promised that 2022 will be marked by 30 inspiring  products. After three new episodes of the podcast " Of Rights and People", we are pleased to present the project "… and thank you for the fish!" It’s obviously inspired by the third book from the Douglas Adams series “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy”. We really wanted to answer the question "What happens to our young volunteers when they grow up and become young adults? How do they progress? Has what we have been doing left a mark on their lives? ”And because social media connects people, regardless of distance and busyness, we keep in touch with many of them.

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End inequality. End AIDS

LogoCampaign logoBulgaria, December 1, 2021

For yet another year, the international community celebrates December 1 - World AIDS Day. This year it is entitled "End inequality. End AIDS"
On December 1, 2021, the WHO calls upon world leaders and citizens to unite against inequalities and reach out to people who do not currently receive basic HIV services. Forty years after the first cases were reported, HIV still threatens the world. Separation, inequality and disregard for human rights have allowed HIV to become and remain a global health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates inequalities and difficulties in health care delivery, a challenge for many people living with HIV.
According to the WHO, nearly 38 million people worldwide live with HIV/AIDS, with the number of newly infected people in 2020 being 1.5 million and the number of deaths being 680,000. Globally, in 2020, nearly 73% of those infected receive antiretroviral therapy. In Bulgaria, a total of 1,936 people with HIV are being followed up in the HIV / AIDS treatment sectors, and 1,910 (99%) of them are receiving antiretroviral therapy. In our country treatment is free for all people in need, regardless of their health insurance status. The therapy prolongs and improve quality of the of PLHIV and improves their quality of life. Bulgaria remains a country with low HIV prevalence - the frequency of newly registered cases of HIV infection per 100 thousand population for Bulgaria is 2.9 in 2020, and for comparison - the average for EU countries is 3.3.

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Autumn fragments from BFPA’s Work

Young volunteersOctober – November 2021

BFPA launched another short animation ‘What are the Ways of Infections’ on its project ‘My Body, My Rights’ on October 1, 2021. The video gives an idea on the main ways of infecting the human body, on the work of the immune system and on the factors of which its proper functioning depends.
On process of working on the same project but this time in November, are another two films – a short animation on the methods of hormonal contraception; and one documentary on the benefits and challenges on the activities in the three projects locations: Sofia, Yambol and Montana with special focus on the work of field self-help groups. Both products will be finalized by the end of this year.

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Youth Аdvocacy Тeams for Better Access to Health Services and Information

Banya, August 22-24, 2022

Together with 14 young people from Blagoevgrad, Dupnitsa and Sofia, we worked on implementation of  two campaigns - in Blagoevgrad and Dupnitsa - to support vulnerable communities and improve young people's access to SRH  information and services. The main topics of the training focused on advocacy skills, organizing and conducting local campaigns and how to use “photovoice” method. Examples of already developed campaigns from the previous training in Dolna Banya were also presented.  The idea was to involve new participants in various activities in different locations, as well as to connect young people to help and learn from each other in the process of preparing and implementing advocacy campaigns.
The young people with the help of the health mediators, defined as a problem the poor access to information and health services, ensuring a healthy and fulfilling way of life for the young people from the Roma community in Blagoevgrad. They have the ambition to contribute for raising the public awareness towards these problems in Blagoevgrad, and also to draw the attention of the institutions to the problem.

 
Young People Working to Support Local Communities

Dolna Banya, July, 11-13, 2022

Talks, questions, sharing about the huge gap between how young people define health care problems and how adults see them; about the lack of trust in the institutions regarding their reaction in cases of violence, even for registered ones! We discussed that deep in our national psychologyit is stated that talking about mental health and "shameful" illnesses is not good, when it happens at all it is hidden, superficial and stigmatizing, and thus leads to dramatic complications for people in personal plan. We also talked about the nuances of "advocacy" and "lobbying."
We from the BFPA team think that we are really lucky for working with a group of wonderful young people - from the youth clubs in Pernik and Breznik and from the American University in Blagoevgrad (AUBG). The workshop was held July 11-13, 2022, in Dolna Banya. Our work topics are advocacy and campaigning.

 
How Health Knowledge to Get to Roma Communities

Dolna Banya, July 5-7, 2022

After two days fulfilling work on leadership and advocacy with unbelievable roma young people from Lom, Dupnitsa and Byala Slatina problems in respective communities were identified. Discussions in searching the best decisions were led; image of the target groups and stakeholders was created and the needed communication skills on leading a successful campaign were discussed. Role plays, practical cases and individual video presentations with messages were commented.
The health mediators Tanya Kirilova from Lom, Daniela Ljubenova from Dupnitza and Mirena Bocheva from Byala Slatina are real mentors for the young people from the communities they work for. The three of them, together with Dr. Rada Stamenkova, Pavlina Filipova and Ralitsa Zgalevska from BFPA team actively contributed to support the motivated and well-prepared young people, enthusiastic to advocate for better health of people from their communities. In the coming months the team will continue to work on building their capacity as leaders and to help them with expertise and guidelines.

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