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The information campaign on our project "Migration - Myths and Reality" has started

NFM logoFilipovciSofia, May 20, Trun, May 25, Breznik, May 26, 2022

Friday, May 20, Filipovtsi neighborhood. The consortium of the three well-known in the public space organizations NNHM-BFPA-EMHPF. or as we call each other "our extended team" - a network of mediators, family planning and health problems of minorities, IOM logolaunched the information campaign of the project of the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The introductory event was accompanied by the exhibition "Opening the Door", which also visited the Parliament on April 8. Pavlina Filipova from the BFPA team introduced the participants to the topic of human trafficking. In addition to people from the community, the meeting was attended by representatives of the municipality of Lyulin, MLSP and other institutions. Then we continued - Wednesday in Trun, Thursday in Breznik.
TrunMay 25, 2022, Wednesday, Trun. The meeting took place at the Giurgia Pinjurova Community Centre with the assistance of health mediators Anton Anachkov and Dimitar Milanov. The consortium was represented by expert trainers Ventsislav Kirkov, Pavlina Filiopva and Radosveta Stamenkova, and IOM - by Teodora Nikolova and Yavor Lilov. Apart from representatives of the community, this first meeting for the settlement was attended by representatives of the municipality, the CPD, educational institutions, the police and other partners - 4 men and 32 women participated, a total of 36 people. The main topics covered were: Migration and Reality - a field study presented by Ventsislav Kirkov, Communication Strategy and Information Campaign presented by Radosveta Stamenkova, and Trafficking in Human Beings for Labor Exploitation, presented by Pavlina Filipova. An interesting discussion took place, and the representatives of the Consortium and IOM provoked it further with the shown short animated and documentary films. The main countries of interest in Trun are Spain and the Czech Republic, although during the discussion it became clear that the mother of one of the participants was a victim of labor exploitation in Sweden in the scandal surrounding blueberry pickers left to starve for weeks in the wilderness. The idea for the next meeting is on August 1 - until then the people from the neighborhood are in the woods picking herbs and mushrooms. Materials on the project were distributed.

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Celebrating the tenth anniversary of the MSD for Mothers program

MSD logoFakultetaSofia, May 19, 2022

May 19, 2022, Thursday. A very important and good day for BFPA - we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the program "MSD for mothers" - an example of a truly socially responsible business. As our partners and supporters know, we are working on two projects from this program - the recently successfully completed and focused at the Roma community "My body, my rights", implemented in Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, and the currently gaining speed "Youth voices, youth choices", implemented in Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Northern Macedonia and focuses on young people, Covid and access to health services.
The day started in the Fakulteta neighborhood - there representatives of the global and Bulgarian office of MSD met with project coordinators from Montana, Sofia, Yambol, with health mediators from around the country and people from the Roma community in the neighborhood. There was a great discussion about the benefits of fieldwork, vaccine prophylaxis, cervical cancer prevention, self-help groups and community capacity building. The afternoon was in a completely different world - in the East Hall in the Parliament, together with key people from the communities we work for, we presented to the institutions the results and philosophy of the programs we implement.

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28 new health mediators from the class of 2022 received their certificates after successfully passing the exam

HandbookSofia, April 29, 2022

On March 21, 2021, the new scholar year was opened for health mediators from all over the country. The training is organized for the eleventh consecutive year by the National Network of Health Mediators and the Faculty of Public Health at the Medical University of Sofia. As always, BFPA experts are part of the training team. This year's course includes 28 health mediators, who will start working in May in 22 municipalities in the country.
For the third consecutive academic year, the educational sessions were online due to the still significant prevalence of Covid-19. Against this background, there is a great need for trained health mediators to support the implementation of state and municipal policies for public health. For the past two years, health mediators have been among the professionals working at the forefront and helping people from vulnerable communities by explaining, informing, reassuring, supporting the poorest families, providing donations of food and basic necessities. In many places in the country, health mediators have implemented information campaigns on the benefits of vaccination against covid-19 - this activity still continues at the moment.

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Working Conference of LAP and Starting the ‘Eyes Peeled’ Campaign

Campaign stickerSofia, April 18, 2022

On April 18, 2022 in Sofia the National conference of the Learning Action Partnership on zero tolerance towards sexual exploitation of children was held.
About 70 participants from different organizations from NGO sector, state institutions, UN structures, journalists, public figures, professionals working with children and young people in Sofia and the country joined the event.
Representatives of the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA), UNICEF and the International Organization of Migration (IOM) presented the LAP key activities during the years, on the global and local context of the problem sexual violence and exploitation concerning political and regulatory decisions, as well on the conditions in safe zones for the unaccompanied children passing through the country.

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Migration: risks and opportunities during labor migration in UK

Logo British EmbassyPresentationSamokov, March 28, 2022

A team from the Bulgarian Family Planning and Sexual Health Association (BFPA) delivered in Samokov an information session on March 28, 2022 in the “HUB-a” coworking space. Among the participants there representatives of the local Roma community, young people form 11 and 12 grade and their teachers, representatives of the Social services and the Municipality. Pavlina Filipova and Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova talked with the gathered about the opportunities and potential dangers when starting a job in the UK. Dobryana Petkova, a professional with long year practice in prevention of trafficking people, shared with the group on some specific marks to recognize the danger of trafficking people for labor and sexual exploitation. The training team was complemented by Villy Angelova form the British Embassy in Sofia and Ralitza Zgalevska from the BFPA team.

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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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