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BFPA volunteer awarded in an international competition for social and youth cinema

AwardsBerlin, October 17, 2021

The volunteer of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association Viktoria Nikolova returned on October 17, 2021 after participating in a youth exchange in Berlin. Her visit there is part of her award for participation in the international competition Youth.DanubeSalon - Shoot By Youth for social and youth cinema. A seven-member jury with representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Croatia, Romania and Serbia awarded the short film, dedicated to the need for health and sexuality education, made by her and a small team of three other young adults based on a script entirely constructed by them. The participants in the competition had to present a problem within a few minutes and to propose its solution. Coordinators on the Bulgarian side of the international initiative are colleagues from the Re-Act Association.

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Roma are Seeking Jobs Abroad to Support their Families and to Have their Children Better Educated

NFM logoModeratorsSofia, September 30, 2021

The official presentation of the results analysis of the research realized among Roma communities on topics, connected with migration took place on September 30, 2021 in Sofia in person IOM logoand online. The initiative is a part of the project "Raising the awareness of local communities in areas with significant presence of Roma population on asylum and migration issues", funded under the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 through the program of the Ministry of Interior with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) as a predefined partner. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) together with the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) and the Minority Health Problems Foundation (EMHPF) is a part of the NNHM-BFPA-EMHPF Consortium, which in April this year started working on the project.
The field research, implemented with the key role of health mediators, covered nearly 400 people and was conducted in the period May 30 - June 30, 2021 in the towns Breznik, Provadia, Trun and Harmanli and in Filipovtsi neighbourhood of Sofia.

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Podcast ‘Of Rights and People… Because Free People Have Rights

NFM logoAugust, 2021, Sofia

The implemented by BFPA project ‘Increasing the capacity of the team, partners and supporters of BFPA in the field of advocacy for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) ended in August 2021. It was funded by the Active Citizens Fund of Bulgaria under the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area.
In the frame of the project trainings and discussion meetings took place during which the team of BFPA, together with key partners and supporters, worked for enlarging the knowledge and practical skills to formulate and communicate messages, targeting different publics, and tried different ways of conducting effective dialog in public space. In parallel with this the trainings contributed for the development of analytical skills of the participants in the area of national and international legislation concerning human rights in general and with special focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights. PR and Communicative strategy for popularizing messages, connected with the implementation of the main strategies of the association was developed.

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BFPA team in training of trainers in healthy lifestyle project for PLHIV

Group photoTimisoara, August 27-28, 2021

EU logoProject logoRepresentatives of seven organizations from six European countries (Bulgaria, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Slovenia, Romania) gathered for a training of trainers in Timisoara on 27 and 28 August 2021. The training is part of the ARIE project, funded by the Erasmus+ of EU, and project main goal is to promote a healthy lifestyle for people living with HIV (PLHIV) in accordance with EU directives and guidelines, which includes healthy nutrition and physical exercises. The Directives mean that PLHIV must be taught how to perform a set of exercises tailored to their condition, whether they’re on antiretroviral therapy or not. The training in Timisoara covered all aspects - approach, physical condition, psychological attitude, the role of coaches, even first aid for the most typical fitness-related injuries.

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BFPA study among young people: what to improve in the provision of health services in a pandemic

YVYC logoFocus group SofiaKyustendil-Pernik-Radomir-Sofia, July-August, 2021

During the period July-August 2021, 42 young people from Kyustendil, Pernik, Radomir and Sofia took part in 6 focus groups in a study on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the provision of services and care in the field of sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Different groups of young people, young mothers and pregnant women were involved. Some of the groups were with participants from the Roma community.
The aim was to examine the needs, challenges and difficulties faced by young people during the pandemic and to give them the opportunity to propose ideas for improving various health services.

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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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