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HIV and AIDS Prevention and Partnership Youth
Start date: Jan 5, 2015, End date: May 4, 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The main idea of the project is to train 25 youth workers in out-reach HIV/AIDS prevention by organizing 6 day training at the end of February 2015 in Novi Sad (Serbia). The applicant organization is Thessaloniki Pride (Greece), while other partner organizations are: Group "COME OUT" (Serbia), ARCI Strauss (Italy), GO (Turkey), Iskra (Ukraine), CASA (Portugal), "Mladi za Marof" (Croatia). The project addresses the issue of increased number of HIV infected, specially among youth sex workers, MSM and intravenous drug users. The current number of HIV infected young people is increasing by the yearly rate of 8%; while out of the total of infected people in the European region for the year 2012, the percentage of those aged 15-24 is 10,56%, a bit over 2 thousands young people. Moreover, the current social environment is contributing to the discrimination and stigmatization of those infected or at risk of becoming ones, which only worsen the situation. Young people often avoid official institutions and available health and social protection services due to the fear of being socially excluded and bullied, which hinders their capacity to protect themselves and lead a fulfilled and quality life. Therefore, the specific objectives of the project are: (1) to improve knowledge, skills and attitudes of youth workers in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention, (2) to educate youth workers in implementing Out-reach activities in this field in their local communities, (3) to establish the functional platform for future communication, support and exchange of knowledge and experiences within the youth workers in this field who are active in the partner organizations and their networks. The project aims to gather at least 25 practitioners in the youth work field (youth workers, youth leaders, activists) who are involved in supportive psycho-social activities with young LGBT people and other vulnerable youth groups, while giving the priority to those who did not have the opportunity to participate in youth mobility projects before and coming from the vulnerable youth groups. The training programme is designed to cover the essential medical information regarding HIV and AIDS, psycho-social aspect in supportive work in HIV/AIDS prevention and for those living with HIV, the needs and background of the main vulnerable groups usually affected by HIV/AIDS, training in organizing and implementing out-reach activities, and evaluation of the learning and programme itself. The methodology used is combination of informal and non-formal activities, based on the principles of experiential and accelerating learning; while the training programme is designed in respect of the human rights based approach, the principles of youth work and social education. We believe that such design works as a powerful tool in creating a safe and trustful working atmosphere allowing participants self-exploration and sharing of personal experiences, while boosting personal and professional development. The training programme will be conducted by experienced youth workers and HIV/AIDS practitioners; specifically, one specialist for psycho-social work within HIV/AIDS prevention and HIV+ population; one medical specialist and one specialist in out-reach activities. It is expected for the participants to boost their knowledge, skills and attitudes in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and support, and more specifically to be able to plan, organize and implement the out-reach HIV/AIDS prevention activities in their local communities, to contribute to visibility of the issue among young people, their social supportive systems and decision makers; and to contribute to the improvement of the situation in their local, regional and international levels through cooperation and exchange with their colleagues in European region.
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