This year, for the third consecutive year, marked the occasion of “Marriage Week”, which took place from the 7th -14th February 2014. SVA is the initiator and coordinator of this event, which aims to unify the public efforts in encouraging the concept of marriage and the traditional family values. Following on from our two day social media campaign over 300 couples subscribe to receive a week of daily tips, focused on strengthening their relationship. During the campaign a presenter invited us to continue sharing on the Marriage topic for a further three months. During this extended period we assisted in sourcing and co-ordinating different married couples who shared on live radio about their marriages. To view the radio interviews conducted during this period, please go to www.brak.bg
• ‘Family’ as a unit of a man and a woman,
• The human dignity, as the right to live, the freedom of the thought, conscience and religion, and
• The rites of parents as being for those primarily responsible for their children's health and education.
During this campaign we kept the community informed, via the media, as to the way Bulgarian MEPs have voted in the area of family over the last year. One of the candidates who supported our declaration was elected as member of the European Parliament. Concurrently with the 20th anniversary of the International Year of the Family, we translated and circulated the World Declaration for the family.
In June this year we have started an educational on-line campaign called “A Week of Hope”. The documentary “Understanding same-sex attraction”, along with other materials prepared and circulated by our volunteers, reached thousands of people. The movie was broadcasted on a local television station in Plovdiv, and news of the campaign was reported by several other online media. Local therapists supported our initiative, including specialists that help people in their personal struggle with unwanted same-sex attraction. Generally, interest in the materials we sent out via newsletter and shared on other social networks was well received. The response and feedback we received from this campaign exceeded our expectations.
In October we have participated in an initiative put together by the European Freedom network, called #18Daysoffreedom. During the 18 day campaign, we helped to raise awareness as to the plight of many people caught up in Human trafficking. To help with this awareness campaign, we also translated a short video about the Swedish law of prostitution, and met with other organizations dealing in the field of prevention and recovery of trafficked victims. Together we plan to work on changes in the Criminal code that will reduce trafficking and prostitution among minors.
In November came the news that "GERB dropped the introduction of mandatory preschool for 4-year-olds because of the debates in society and the opposition of parents." Civil actions initiated two years ago, combined with an open letter, press conference, initiating protests in front of the parliament, our participation in debates and etc. played a key role in our disagreement to be heard and assisted in us getting to this outcome, and we acknowledge that this is by no means a small results. We continue to monitor the development of this bill, which now includes for parents, the opportunity to home school their children.
For the second consecutive year, as a part of the civil platform of the Fundamental Rights Agency in EU, we actively participated in the discussions to protect the rights of children and parents, of freedom of conscience and faith, and of marriage and family.
At the beginning of the year in co-operation with other parties, we organized a successful campaign connected with the pressing demands for returning Ms. Estrella’s report – defending the right of each Member State to define it’s policy on sexual education and abortion - in the European Parliament, as well as opposing the pro-homosexual report of Ms. Lunacek which, despite the many protests of thousands of people in Western Europe, was adopted by the European Parliament.
In December, we informed the government and the media in this country about the dangers of adoption of the Equal Treatment Directive by the European Commission. We sent letters to the Bulgarian government, requesting their withdrawal of Bulgaria's support for the Directive. We also sent, together with more than 100 European organizations, an Open letter to the President of the European Commission, requesting that he drop off the directive. In the event of the Equal Treatment Directive being adopted, it will restrict the freedom of EU citizens in a number of areas, including businesses.
Along with the endeavors we have outlined, throughout this year we also continued, via our on-line and social media initiatives to keep people informed on important National and International news in the field of the family.
Thank you - we look forward to partnering with you again in 2015!