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Most significant change: Documenting stories

MSD LogoParticipantsDolna Banya, January 24-26, 2020

On January 26-28 BFPA organized a meeting of the teams working on the project „My body, my rights” from Sofia, Yambol and Montana. Representatives of the three locations shared their experiences from the implemented field activities. We discussed problems which health mediators, self-help group members and their partners face and paid special attention on possible ways and strategies for solving. Participants put accent on good practices that had been identified up to the moment. It was the perfect time to watch and discuss several videos, showing the fieldwork as well as image “memes” with messages, which show benefits of family planning.
Participants gave feedback also for the freshly prepared Manual for self-support groups and for the Health application for mobile devices, which will be useful in the future work on the project and after its ending. Divided into groups by locations the participants from Sofia, Yambol and Montana worked on possible ways of documenting stories for the most significant change of people’s lives as result of the work of project teams and health specialists.

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Start of the second edition of the Sofia Health Education Academy

Trainers and traineesSofia, December 16, 2019

After a successful and intense first year during which the first batch of alumni peer educators of the Sofia Health Education Academy got skills and knowledge which they are already sharing with their peers, we started the second academic year. In this process the BFPA team works with valuable partners – the PIST Directorate of Sofia Municipality, the National Centre for Public Health and Analyses with MoH (NCPHA) and the Bulgarian Red Cross Youth (BRCY)
During the academic 2018-2019 teams of young people from 1st High school, 144th, 119th schools, 1st ELS and the Professional School of Textile and Fashion Design, supported by their school psychologists underwent an intensive training program and at the end of the education received certificates and demonstrated their abilities in front of schoolmates, parents and teachers.

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Zero Tolerance towards Sexual Exploitation of Children

OAK LogoParticipantsSofia, November 13, 2019

Another meeting of the Learning Action Partnership (LAP) took place on November 13, 2019 in Sofia. This is, at the same time, the first LAP meting under the project “The Ability to Change”, that builds upon a previous project “The art to inform”. The members of the group discussed opportunities to unite efforts of different organizations and institutions for advocating in area of working on prevention and on cases, connected with sexual exploitation of children. One of the main goals of LAP during the next years is to have significant contribution towards zero tolerance in the society concerning sexual exploitation of children. Numerous initiatives are to come, such as capacity building trainings as well as development and implementation of pilot small projects and field initiatives.
The work of the Partnership is supported by the OAK Foundation.

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First coordination meeting for the “I want to know” project

Positive actionViiv Logo

 

 

 

Sofia, November 8-9, 2019Materials

On November 8 in Sofia coordinators and service providers  from  BFPA branches in the country  gathered for an initial training about the activities of the two-year “I want to Know” project, financed by Viiv Heakthcare. The discussions included the project activities, the time schedule, target groups and access to them, specificities of working with marginalized groups, identifying the locations for each voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) action. Each coordinator made a prediction of the project activities they could do until the end of 2019 and all received the necessary informational printed materials. Individual risk assessment of the vulnerable communities and optimizing the work of BFPA  in-country were the main discussion topic during the second day of the meeting.

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Bulgaria and North Macedonia together to support and develop the Health Mediators program

Group photoBlagoevgrad, October 7-9, 2019

Study visit of health mediators, NGO representatives and state institutions from the Republic of North Macedonia took place in October 7-9 in Blagoevgrad. The Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) with the support of the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) hosted the three days visit and gave an opportunity for the representatives of HERA – Health Education and Research Association, health mediators from Skopje and Prilep and the Ministry of Health of our neighbor country to understand in details how in years was institutionalized and functions the system of health mediation in Bulgaria. Field visit to the Roma neighborhood Predel Mahala was included in the programme and the guests could see how the work of health mediators Antoaneta Eftimova and Katya Kirilova is going on everyday basis – with institutions, as well with people who need and receive their support.

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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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