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Lessons for Students and Methodology for Working with Children, Parents and Teachers were Presented at the last for 2018 LAP Meeting

LAP membersSofia, December 5, 2018

The following ant the last for this year meeting of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on December 5, 2018 in the office of BFPA. Colleagues from Social Inclusion Directorate in MLSP, BFPA, ARC Foundation, Know-How Center for Alternative Care of Children in NBU, Reflective Learning Bulgaria Association, GERT Foundation, NCFTP, Association Animus Foundation were present.
After a short presentation of everyone in the meeting the ideas for lessons for students in the age group 10-14 on trafficking prevention, developed by Know-How Center for Alternative Care on Svetulka project of SOS Children Villages were shared, as well as methodology for working with children, parents and teachers on topics connected with the social competences and prevention of violence, developed by a team – FICE Bulgaria (INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF EDUCATIVE COMMUNITIES), GERT Foundation and Therapeutic Communities , Bulgaria.

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BFPA’s activities on World’s AIDS Day

Durex logoETW logoSofia, November 23 – December 3 2018

Between November 23rd and 30th for a sixth consecutive year took place the European testing week, in which BFPA has participated from the very first year. The aim of the campaign is as much people as possible to be encouraged to know their HIV, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C status and respectively either start therapy and/or to be informed about the risks of infection and how to avoid them. This year besides HIV and Hepatitis B and C, BFPA also implemented testing for syphilis as well as dissemination of free condoms, donated to the association by Durex Bulgaria. At BFPA’s medical center were performed a total of 75 tests - 29 for HIV, 15 for Hepatitis B, 15 for Hepatitis C and 16 for syphilis. 749 national and multinational organizations from all over Europe participated in the testing week this year, 16 of which from Bulgaria. 
On December 1st, the global day for battling HIV/AIDS, BFPA traditionally implements and supports different AIDS-prevention related activities and campaigns. Since the day itself falls on a weekend, some activities and campaigns were held during the weekend, some - on November 30th and on December 3rd.

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Voice it 2018 – Let’s listen to the voice of children

Info standSofia, November 20, 2018

On November 20th, 29 years ago, the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was accepted – a fundamental internationally recognized document which helps to create and develop adequate modern policies for improving the children’s well-being. To honour its ratification every year the members of the National Network for Children (NNC) organize public events to support child participation and help for the opinion of the young people to be heard. The name of the event announces it – it’s called Voice It. This year the topic of the event was chosen by the adolescents themselves and it concerns health and sexuality education. Location: the Largo in the heart of Sofia. Here are part of the musts and discussion topics: The need for health and sexuality education to be part of the school curriculum. When and where should the subject be presented, who should present it and not least – Why it is important for young people to have knowledge on all topics related to reproductive health? The topic was chosen by young people from Megaphone that were part of the panel and answered questions in connection with the forum topic, including prevention of trafficking, prevention of internet bullying, youth volunteering.

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Premiere of BFPA’s short video on puberty at a peer ToT training

Plovdiv, October 29-30, 2018

Lidl LogoBreakOne of the main modules of the two-day training of young peer educators in Plovdiv was on puberty and growing up, during which for the first time  was presented BFPA’s short film on puberty, made as a part of the project “The Challenges of Growing Up”, funded in the frame of Lidl WCIF LogoBulgaria’s “You and Lidl for a Better Life” initiative. After watching it, the young participants in the training who were from three Plovdiv and three Sofia schools, plus the young volunteers of Red Cross Youth in Plovdiv, Haskovo and Pazardjik shared their impressions and BDF Logorecommendations, as part of an open discussion and filling a prepared in advance questionnaire. Among the main recommendation was the film to also be shown to parents and to start showing with younger children around 5th grade. They see the video as a good starting point for an educational discussion and thus will be good for a start. The rest of the training modules included contraception, hygiene, STI and HIV prevention, family planning, communicational skills and team-building, and there were a lot of questions, comments and discussions. The BYRC volunteers who attended the training supported with up-to-date statistical data about hygiene, HIV statistics in Bulgaria, health messages and campaigns.

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LISTENING AND STORYTELLING TRAINING FOR CREATING CHANGE

Two men talkingSofia, October 16-18, 2018

How to exit from our comfort zone and the coziness of the circle of people we are working with and know well; how to learn ourselves to patience; how to overcome obstacles that everyone of us is having, when listening someone...
Paul Browde, psychiatrist, storyteller and couples’ guide, graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and Murray Nossel, clinical psychologist, Academy Award® nominated for documentary, founder and director of Narativ – both teaching narrative medicine in Columbian University – were facilitators of a listening and storytelling training for creating change, organized by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Health specialists and health mediators, psychologists, professionals working on the field with vulnerable communities (Roma, PLHIV, young people with learning disabilities and at risk etc.) from Blagoevgrad, Kazanlak, Lovech, Montana, Pleven, Pernik, Plovdiv, Ruse, Sliven, Sofia, and Sungurlare took part.

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‘My Body, My Rights’: Health Mediators form Yambol Municipality about their work in State of Emergency Conditions

Yambol, May 2020

The parents are unemployed. Several days ago one of the brothers has come from abroad, unfortunately with no money. All the family does not have the right to go out of home. They all are quarantined. One day while she is working in her cabinet Kina Asenova is hearing a kid crying on the street. She is going out to see what is happening and sees the family’s six-year old child shaking on the ground and screaming. She finds out that the boy wants a snack very much and the family cannot afford that kind of expense... She goes to the shop, buys a box of the snacks and gives it them. ‘The next day we started distributing food. We gave it away without judging people’s race. We give as well for mentally disabled and people with different diseases’.
Kina is health mediator from 2008, but she works with people on different projects from the 2000s. People trust her. Her colleagues – Atanaska Mutafova, Asen Stoyanov, Atanas Atanasov, Ivan Ivanov and the mediators from Tundja Municipality daily do work in the villages Kukorevo, Kozarevo, Veselinovo, Drazhevo, Hadjidimovo. They work all day long, even on weekends. ‘Since Bulgaria declared state of emergency because of the Covid pandemic we are every day on the field, we give information on the infection, explain them why it’s important to stay at home. We are tracking people who came back from abroad and we make sure that they follow the quarantine guidelines. We have such people in almost every village.’

 
‘My Body, My Rights’ – Successes and Challenges

Health mediators from Montana, Bulgaria, and their work in state of emergency
Montana, March-May 2020

Peter Cvetanov, Sonya Rumenova and Valya Alexandrova are health mediators in Montana Municipality. The three of them as a team are implementing activities part of the project of Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) – ‘My Body, My Rights’ (2018–2021). In addition to their municipality, pilot work is being done in two other locations in Bulgaria: Yambol and Sofia. The project is implemented in partnership with organizations from Serbia and Romania, with the coordinating role of International Planned Parenthood Federation and is supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD via their campaign ‘MSD for Mothers’. Main goal of the initiative is to improve the conditions for ensuring quality of family planning services for vulnerable communities and to build capacity and civil responsibility within the communities.
Sonya in a health mediator from 2013. She graduated economics, married with two children: a boy and a girl: ‘Several years ago Roma women from the neighborhood didn’t see doctors for prophylactics. Part of them were not insured, others simply were living with their prejudices and fears. We had two obstetrics-gynecologists as part of the Bulgarian-swiss cooperation program ZOV. They were visiting the health center in the neighborhood according to schedule. Then we decided to form local women’s group for self support, where initially timidly, but afterwards more confidently we started talking about examinations, contraception, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infections... The women from the group started little by little to shake off their fears.’ They just made progress and the activities on project ended. Only  mediators remained in the health center. And then for them new opportunity arose via the project ‘My Body, My Rights’. ‘It gave us the opportunity to continue just on time. The group for self support is developing; the health center in the neighborhood is alive again.’ Sonya succeeded to motivate a poor mother of nine children for IUD insertion. Before that she tried many times, but without any success. ‘I think that she was mostly afraid of being damaged by IUD. Now I know for sure that my long-term working with this woman was not in vain.”

 
Learning Action Partnership: Efforts for Guaranteed Sustainability

Sofia, February 12, 2020

The first for 2020 meeting of the Learning Action Partnership took place in Sofia on February 12, 2020. The agenda included review of activities done on project up to the moment, fixing of concrete future activities and defining small working groups for the different strategic directions.
Representatives of organizations and institutions who participated shared their working plans and the possibility of inclusion of other LAP members in joint activities. Part of the feedback was connected with the increase of fake news, including on priorities of the Partnership. The atmosphere of the event was businesslike, but with extremely well expressed solidarity and good collaboration feeling. In the debates during the meeting important actual topics were covered, such as increasing media and digital literacy of children and challenges, which we are meeting in our work with teachers with long practice on certain age and with burnout. Forming network of children and young people with innovative model of managing was discussed, which will aim decreasing the aggression of children under residential care. How to focus our work so that the efforts put to have guaranteed sustainability; science and research approach and regional and national level partnerships; the need to work together to change the environment – were among topics discussed during the event.

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