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BFPA's health education this spring: animation, Instagram, youth participation

Sofia, April 2021

The Internet is full of recipes for a healthy lifestyle. We can learn how to lose weight for hours, how to get rid of the ugly carbuncle and about that miraculous drug that ‘treats everything’... But today, after hundreds of years of technical revolution, in the boom of nanotechnology and the rise of genetics, we still can’t order our health online. That’s why it is life-determining to Advantages Health educationhave access to health information. Health education, health literacy.
During the last month we presented two short videos, with the help of which we are focusing the attention of curious people on topics, connected with health education. It gives knowledge, opportunities and it is responsibility. It brings up and forms proactive attitude towards personal health, stimulates self confidence and is a part of literacy, as well helps us to think critically.
Our team developed the animation ‘About the Advantages of Health Education’ on project ‘My Body – My Rights’, supported by the programme for social responsible business of the company MSD ‘ MSD for Mothers’.

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BFPA starts working on a new project – ARIE - supported by the ERASMUS+ program

ActivitiesProject logoSofia, March 2021

The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) is a partner in the first European project that encourages People Living with HIV (PLHIV) to implement regularly a system of aerobic exercises. The project was supposed to start in the beginning of 2020 but the Covid-19 pandemic postponed the start with one year. So ARIE will be implemented in 2021 and 2022, coordinated by ANLAIDS Lombardia  - an organization that was a partner of the Association under other projects  - for HIV  prevention, for creating an online informational system for Hepatitis B and C and for cervical cancer prevention. We are partners from  6 countries (Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Lithuania, Romania and Slovenia), 7 organizations and over 30 experts. ARIE is an ambitious project to encourage participation in sports and physical activity of people living with the HIV infection and are on therapy, in line with EU recommendations and guidelines on physical activity.
The project intends to promote physical activity in the form of personalized paths, among people aged between 18 and 50 who live with HIV infection and who are under treatment, offering an innovative fitness protocol, and in order to involve them in moderate physical activity. Therefore, the project through the development of the protocol aims to promote voluntary activities in sport, together with awareness of the importance of physical activity for the benefit of health through greater participation in sport for all.
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Online Meeting of LAP in Seeking Different Approaches to Work with Young People

OAK logoOnline meetSofia, February 24, 2021

Another online meeting of Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on February 24th, 2021. The participants – guest colleagues from Center for Study of Democracy (CSD); representatives of BFPA, Know How Center for Alternative Care of NBU, BYRC, SAPI, Re-Act Association, ASC Foundation, NNHM and IOM – reviewed the progress of implementation of the so called ‘small projects’ in the frame of LAP. The short video representing the work of LAP was discussed and approved for use.
The special guests of the online meeting presented the campaign ‘Find Another Way’, directed against radical messages and actions of young people in internet. Safe Internet Center and Center for Study of Democracy, worked on the initiative for three years, presented results and conclusions from their online communicational campaign.
The main target groups of the project were young people 14-19 in Bulgaria. Their main goal – prevention of violence, connected with the extreme-right messages and reducing the vulnerability of young people towards extreme-right messages and propaganda. From CSD strived to work for reducing anti-minority attitudes and messages and violence against minority groups, they tried to present other, different points of view and to involve young people in constructive alternative causes via narratives for stimulating critical thinking and identifying fake messages.

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A new project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” of the Bulgarian Association for Family Planning and Sexual Health has been launched

Project logoMSD LogoSofia, February 8-10, 2021

The first online meeting of the project “Youth Voices, Youth Choices” was held on February 8-10, 2021. The project "Youth Voices, Youth Choices" (2021-2023) is a 30-month international project implemented in Bulgaria by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Partner organizations from Albania, BiH, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia will implement similar initiatives in their countries. The project is implemented with the coordinative role of the International Planned Parenthood Federation with the support of the programme for socially responsible business of the company MSD and aims to create more accessible and youth-friendly SRH services and information, paying special attention to the most vulnerable groups.

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Public Communications – Challenges and Opportunities

OAK logoPresentationSofia, January 26, 2021

Public communications, fake news, trustful and propaganda websites for news, internet trolls, influencers, how to write attractively in social media were among the topics of online discussion for LAP members that took place on January 26, 2021. The journalist Vesislava Tancheva made an in-dept review of the topics and analyzed the possible reasons for that contemporary phenomena that are shaping the informational flow context in new online media. It was discussed how this context is being shaped by the politicians and how it reflects on everyday decisions and the life of everyone, as well on the changing policies in every area of our life and especially in healthcare and education spheres.

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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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