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News

The benefits of having a young intern for a week

TeamSofia, October 1-5, 2018

During the week from October 1st to October 5th Lina Fadl, a 15 year old schoolgirl from the Victor Hugo French Lycee in Sofia took her internship with us at BFPA’s Sofia office. In the photo Lina is with her back to the camera, since she doesn’t like to be photographed, but her Biology teacher, who visited us to see how things are happening, can be seen well. It was a great joy for our team to be reinforced by someone with a fresh outlook and thinking. As always in such cases, the benefits were mutual – Lina learned from us how is functioning of a non-government organization, how to elaborate project proposals,  how to budget and report them, how to go on when your project proposal isn’t approved, why a Pap-smear is important, why besides HIV testing, counseling and support for people coming in for VCT is especially important, how and why to use educational playing cards, which other organizations are working in the field of education and healthcare, what socially responsible business means, and much more.

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BFPA and LIDL for a better life. The Challenges of Growing up

Project presentationLidl LogoSofia, October 3, 2018

The ceremony of handing over of certificates in the frame of the second edition of the corporative programme of  LIDL ‘You and LIDL for a Better Life’ took place on October 3, 2018 in BCNL LogoBetahouse. New selection of organizations with ideas of four areas, among which active life and education, got their certificates. The social responsibility initiative of the company is implementing together with Foundation for Developing Civil Initiatives and Bulgarian BDF LogoDonation Forum.
The project “The Challenges of Growing up”of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is focusing its work on the importance of understanding and supporting the young people from parents during the time of their maturation. Developing of short video on puberty and its launching in the towns Sofia, Stara Zagora, Pleven, Ruse and Plovdiv, as well among vulnerable communities in the whole country – are main directions in the work around the idea.

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BFPA supports BRCY Summer Academy “Back to the future”

ModuleKamchia, September 2-9, 2018

For a second consecutive year BFPA supports Bulgarian Red Cross Youth (BRCY) Summer Academy. This year’s Academy motto is inspired by the iconic film “Back to the future”.  Young people from all over the country – BYRC volunteers, representatives of the Red Cross organizations from other European countries, trainers from partner organizations in 8 large modules gathered in Kamchia from September 2nd to 9th.  Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova, BFPA’s Executive Director, Petar Tzintzarski, MoH consultant and BFPA Board member and Stanimir Boyadjiev, BRCY President, were mentors for the “Prevention of risky sexual behavior, HIV and STI” module. The peer educators, motivated young people from all across the country, besides receiving information and acquiring interactive teaching skills for the topics from the module, had the ambitious goal to revise the handbook, created “far back in 2002” as they say, and since then has been used by all BRCY peer educators. The week was full of good vibes, enthusiasm, competence and dedication. This brings hope for the future and additional motivation.  #Brcyacademy

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Our Learning Action Partnership – flexible and organic

OAK logoDiscussionSofia, August 30, 2018

Representatives of the National Network for Children, Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association, Applied Research and Communication Foundation, MoH, PULSE Foundation, MSLP, National Network of Health Mediators, Tulip Foundation, UNICEF, Institute for Social Activities and Practices and the initiative Brave Bakery participated in the next meeting of Learning Action Partnership (LAP).
Summary of the activities done from the last meeting from LAP members and the work in process on topics of the working group was presented. The participants were informed on the conducted by BFPA and PULSE and ARC Foundations focus groups with young people on the second monitoring ring of Lanzarote Committee „Protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse, committed trough informational and communicational technologies“. The cooperation with Canadian and other leading world universities working on the topics of sexual exploitation, violence and abuse of children and adolescents was also discussed.

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About Internet Safety and Young People

GroupStara Zagora, August 24, 2018

-Is it legal to make a photo session with semi naked pictures of children and adolescents under 18 without parental consent? If not legal, is it really prosecuted?
-To what extend and in what way a semi-naked photograph is considered to be pornography?
These were just part of the questions asked by young people who participated in a consultative group on protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual violence that took place on August 24, 2018 in Stara Zagora. The working focus with young people from the two language schools, the mathematic and the commerce high schools in the town was mainly around informational and communication technologies. We talked about the rights of the child and about the potential dangers and the required responsible behavior in social media and internet.

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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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