Based on the experience of EYC Cluj-Napoca with the campaign "Pay your ticket in blood" for the Untold music festival, the Bulgarian Youth Red Cross in Varna initiated a pilot campaign to raise blood donations among young people (18-35 years) to combat the growing shortage of blood donation in Bulgaria. Donors receive a free ticket for one of the film screenings during the International Festival of Red Cross and Health Films, as well as a one-week pass for the parallel program of the festival.
The project requires training of a team of new volunteers to develop the blood donation program at the national level after the pilot project is completed. The traditional partnership of BRC Varna with the Regional Center for Transfusion Hematology - Varna will be developed at the national level, covering organicers of cultural events, cinematographers, media and other loyal partners. The pledged blood donation during the pilot project will cover the regional shortage for the period until the end of 2017. With the introduction of the program at national level after 2017 it will reduce by up to 30% the blood and blood products shortages for the country. The project includes young people from families at higher risk of poverty and social exclusion, low incomes and material deprivation, as well as from families with health problems for which the BYRC Varna traditionally cares.
Every day, due to incidents, operations, births and multiple illnesses, more than 500 people in Bulgaria have a life-saving need for blood and blood products that are supplied by donation. Regular voluntary and unpaid blood donation is the basis for providing the necessary quantities of safe blood.
Since 2014, blood donation in Bulgaria has dropped by around 2,000 donations per year, while needs increased by 2000 units per year. For 2016, there is a shortage of 4,000 donations.
The WHO pledges to make voluntary blood donation 100% by 2020. But in Bulgaria it is less than 25%, because there is not enough blood donors to respond to, and it is inevitable that the relatives are asked to donate blood. Therefore, it is important for people to understand that the problem of blood shortages and the lack of enough volunteer donors affects everyone. Every second person faces the need for blood for himself or for a relative at least once in his life. We can not think of it until the need is under pressure.
Shortage of blood threatens to preserve life, health, and provokes the blossoming of a black blood trading market, unfortunately often with compromised origin (unusable).
Of the 166,000 blood donations in Bulgaria in 2016, those made by people under 20 years old are 7616, of people between 20 and 30 years 38464 (28% in total). In Varna, the trend of shortage starts as early as 2012, with a decrease of 400 donations per year. At the same time, the need grows.
Based on the experience of EYC Cluj-Napoca with the campaign "Pay your ticket in blood" for the Untold Music Festival, the Bulgarian Youth Red Cross in Varna identified a common problem - a national blood supply shortage, especially from the group of young donors 18 - 35. And the possibility of solving it.
The project will launch in July and provides a campaign to promote blood donation with a mechanism similar to that in Cluj-Napoca: Donated Blood - Received Ticket. The donations will take place between August and October, and will use various youth events and dates to attract young blood donors (August 12 - Youth Day, Funicity + Festival, September 22 - Mobility Day, etc.) .
Every donated blood will be given a free screening ticket at the International Red Cross and Health Film Festival, a pass for all other events in the parallel program, and an invitation to a special blood donor party closing the festival with many famous artists, and stars from other fields of arts and sports.
Blood donation will be realised in mobile centers (tents), positioned in the areas of youth events (port, KOFRAZA, Hale3, Social Tea House), but also in places with a large flow of people - in front of the FCC, Teh Opera, etc.
During the project, the team develops a long-term partnership program to continue the campaign throughout the year. Partners for providing the tickets are needed for different types of events, such as other festivals, cultural institutions, film distributors and organisers of sport and other events in Varna. This methodology will then be used to create a national year-round campaign.
The project aims to reduce blood shortages at national level, stimulating blood donation among young people. Regular blood donation limits the black market to blood trading, improves health and life-saving.
"Donate Blood, Get a Ticket" is a pilot project for the city of Varna, which provides for 250 donations from young blood donors from 18-35 years in the period August - October 2017 in the city. The figure is the result of a regional assessment for blood donation needs for 2016.
To realise the goal, it is necessary to raise people's awareness and empathy. This is achievable through the transmission of messages from stars from cinema, television, culture and sports. An additional incentive to participate in the campaign is to receive free event tickets. The pilot project in Varna will grow into a national campaign in partnership with institutions (National Centre for Transfusion Haematology), business (cinema broadcasters, media), cultural organisations and celebrities.
During the project, 15 new volunteers will be trained (Campaign, PR, Marketing, Psychology, Communication, Leadership), 5 of which are from vulnerable background. Their training and participation in the pilot campaign and in the creation of a national one will contribute to their social inclusion and professional preparation.