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News

Young Volunteers of BFPA for Safe Internet

StoryPleven, July 30 2018

Focus group on topics, connected with safety and protection of children from sexual exploitation and sexual abuse online conducted a team of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) in Pleven on July 30, 2018. Special focus when working was put on informational and communication technologies. The work with children is an addition to answers of the countries of Council of Europe according to the Convention of Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse, which requires criminalizing of every kind of sexual crime against children. It shows that the countries in and out of Europe have to adopt concrete legislation trough measures for preventing the sexual violence, protecting children-victims, as well to implement criminal prosecution of perpetrations.

„Not everybody had the chance to get good education, we have to do our best to understand everyone,” – says one of the participants, thinking on the question if she knows whether there are some punishments for children who share pictures with provocative content in the network”.
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BFPA Annual Retreat Meeting 2018 – The New coming 25

MeetingPanagyurishte, July 13-15, 2018

Besides the pleasure of meeting, discussing and having fun together with our branch managers, some of our most prominent and active volunteers, representatives of BFPA’s Board and key partners of the Association, at the 2018 Annual retreat meeting we put the start of a lot of activities for the present and upcoming programmatic period and also shared  outcomes of successfully implemented and finalized activities. We called the meeting “The New coming 25” – it is the first year after our 25th anniversary. BFPA’s Executive Director Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova reported the activities for 2018 until now and outlined the forthcoming ones, the perspectives from the viewpoint of the volunteers, the Board and partners were discussed, we tried to foresee the challenges in connection with our future activities in 2018-2019 and their eventual success, which usually brings on more work, and we still find it is good news.

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IN MEMORIAM

Todor ChernevTodor Chernev, 1945-2018

For the Management board, staff, volunteers and supporters of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) it is a great sadness to share that the first (and only so far) Honorary President of BFPA Professor Todor Chernev passed away on June 4 2018  the age of 72. He was one of the most outstanding gynecologists in the country, with many awards and achievements, including the national “Golden Hands” award. Besides all his different duties and important causes he was supporting, the Professor , as we called him was one of the founders of BFPA and was President of its Management Board for more than a decade. Professor Chernev remained a reproductive health consultant of our clinic in Sofia for almost 25 years and was active in the work for providing access to health services for underserved and vulnerable groups. He will be missed a lot by his wife, two sons, granddaughter, relatives and friends. The short video below reflects just part of his initiatives and successes. RIP! You will be remembered.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              

             

 

 

 

Training of Trainers on Health Education

OAK logoGroup photoSofia, May 18-19, 2018

The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) conducted on May 18-19, 2018 the first for this year training of trainers on health and sexuality education „About the Shared Knowledge”. High school students from 8th to 11th grade from Sofia, Pleven, Plovdiv, Ruse, Stara Zagora, Troyan and Gorna Oryahovitza were introduced to topics connected with prevention of reproductive health and effective ways for delivering health messages to their peers.
The participants were from schools with different profile – entrepreneurship, math, natural science, informatics, humanities…,  and what united them was the expectation to gain new knowledge and make new friends. „How can one understand that he/she is suffering from Syphilis?”, „Which of the sources of information are credible?” and „Is it possible an person living with HIV to have life expectancy as long as an uninfected one?” – were  some of the questions during the sessions.

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BFPA presents its newest edition: a leaflet on Fake news

LeafletsSofia, May 17 2018

A new edition with relevant information to recognize fake news was published by the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA). Author of the text is the journalist Polina Paunova and of the drawings – the artist Kremena Koeva. The leaflet has a focus to health, but treats fake news and disinformation as a whole. It is targeting young people, but is useful and appropriate for all age groups.
„Fake News draw attention. They are scandalous. Shocking. Spicy. They are often about sex. Or about money. Or about death. Or about the three of the above together. Fake news are “grandiose”, “shocking” and reveal “a secret”. They are presented in a way that make you feel lost or shake your understanding of the world, on politics, medicine, authorities and celebrities.
... they discredit people, sometimes even entire countries. They do not have authors, but use names. They do not use factology, but simulate authenticity…“

You can find here the whole text (in BG)

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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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