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Workshop for Health mediators and coordinators of mediation programs from seven European countries took place in Sofia
12.06.2014 ZdravenMediator.net - Vanya Abadzhieva

   In June 2014 the National Network of Health Mediators (NNHM) in partnership with International Organisation for Migration (IOM) organized three-days workshop in Sofia for mediators and coordinators of mediation programs from seven EU countries - Belgium, France, Spain, Italy, Romania and Slovakia. The workshop is part of the Pilot Regional Initiative “Health Mediation among Roma Community” within the project “EQUI HEALTH - Fostering Health Provision for Migrants, the Roma and Other Vulnerable Groups”.

   On 9 June 2014 the Workshop was open jointly by Roumyana Petrova-Benedict, Senior Regional Migration Health Advisor for Europe and Central Asia & Liaison to the EU, IOM RO Brussels; Ahavni Topakbashyan from the National Council for Cooperation on Ethnic and Integration Issues and prof. Ivaylo Tournev from the National Network of Health Mediators.

   On the first day of the Workshop the focus was on mediation models from Bulgaria, Slovakia and Spain. Diliana Dilkova (member of the Managing Board of NNHM) presented the Bulgarian Health mediators model. Sema Asenova (HM in Haskovo Municipality) presented her work in Hospital in Haskovo, which is unique in Bulgaria. Sabire Ramadan (HM in Septemvri Municipality), Katya Kirilova and Antoineta Eftimova (HMs in Blagoevgrad Municipality) introduced their work on different cases from the health and social sphere. Ognyan Kamenov (Deputy Chairman, Foundation “Ethnic Minorities Health Problems”) talked on the specifics in different Roma groups in Bulgaria and their migration routes abroad. Dr. Radosveta Stamenkova (Executive Director of Bulgarian Family Planning Association) presented interventions among vulnerable communities targeting trafficking of human beings prevention, school drop-outs and family planning, which are implementedamong Roma community with the assistance of the Health mediators.

   On the second day of the Workshop the participants were divided in two groups for site-visits in Predel quarter, Blagoevgrad city and Kovachevo village, Septemvri Municipality. During the site-visits participants in the Workshop were acquainted with the way of life of local vulnerable communities andhad the opportunity to talk with school/kindergarden principals, teachers, medical staff in hospitals/medical centers, general practitioners and superiors of HMs in the Municipalities. The site-visits were assessed as exceptionallyvaluable in practical terms for all participants because of the extensive experience of HMs and trust that they have builtamong communities and local authorities in Kovachevo and Blagoevgrad. During the day Health mediators were followed by camera crews which are shooting a short movie for their field work. The film will be presented to the European Commission and other EU and national institutions which are responsible for the development of mediation programmes in Europe.

   The third day of the Workshop was focused on discussions, feedbacks from participants about site-visits and planning of future interventions - provision of Workshop in Belgium focused on mediation models in Belgium, France, Romania and Italy. Site-visits  among vulnerable migrant communities on the territory of France and Belgium are planned.

   The participants in the Workshop defined several main goals of their collaboration:

-   Strengthening of the mediation models in the different countries;

-   Developing of international network for experience and information exchange between coordinators of mediation programs as well as between mediators;

-   Work on developing of base standarts for training of mediators;

-   Work on Ethical code of all mediators.



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