Open days in Sofia for the European initiative for health promotion START NOW
In the period 12-16 October, 2018, Sofia organized open days in the frame of START NOW project, that took place in parallel in the three partner countries - Poland, Bulgaria and Cyprus within the framework of the European Health Promotion Initiative START NOW. On October 15 and 16, 2018 at the National Sports Academy "Vasil Levski", all those interested were able to get acquainted with the developed training modules that youth and sports professionals can apply to work with young people and with the online training available for youth workers.

START NOW! is a strategic partnership which, over a period of 21 months, has focused its efforts on promoting health among young people in three European countries - Poland, Bulgaria and Cyprus, and has implemented innovative non - formal learning methods for health awareness among youth organizations in partner countries. The partnership started in the period 21-23 April 2017 with an international meeting in Opole, Poland, where the Bulgarian partner organization (Bulgarian sports development association) took part with participants Yoanna Dochevska - Chairwoman of BSDA and Kalinka Gudarovska - member of the Board of BSDA. The next project meeting was held in Bulgaria in the period 30.06 - 03.07.2017, with representatives of Bulgaria, Poland and Cyprus taking part in the Health Festival where they met with citizens and presented the project's activities and then focused on discussion of the training modules for conducting health education through informal learning methods. The collected data, from which a statistical analysis will be carried out, were also analyzed. The project involved international training in the period 09.03.-16.03.2018 in Gloucholazi, Poland, during which various non-formal education methods were discussed to promote a healthy lifestyle. The training was organized by the Organization for Promotion and Prevention of HOPP from Opole, Poland. A total of 7 representatives of youth organizations from Bulgaria took part in the training course, including Kalinka Gudarovska, a member of the Board of BSDA.

As a result of the activities under this initiative, Non-formal Education Centers (NEC) was set up to be run by the partner organizations. An interactive international youth information portal has also been set up which also focuses on the training of youth workers in the field of health and prevention available online

An online platform was presented, where all training modules developed within the project are available: An extensive publication on How to Promote Health among Young People through Informal Methods was developed within the project to help youth workers and sports professionals familiarize young people with topics that concern their health. Link to the publication (English):

According to the 2017 edition of the Global Health Index, Bulgarians are ranked 68th in health in the world. Although outside the top 50 places, Bulgaria moved five positions ahead. In the 2016 rating, for example, she was 73, while a slight improvement; urgent measures are still urgently needed to improve the health status of the Bulgarians.

"Start now!: A Stategic Partnership to Promote Health among Young People" is a project co-funded in the frame of the Erasmus + Program, Key Action 2 of the European Union.