For more than 10 years AFEW-Ukraine has been building services for most at-risk youth with a special focus on young people who use drugs, and most of this work was supported by the project “Bridging the Gaps: Health and Rights for Key Populations”. Empowering young people, developing their leadership skills, training them as communicators to deliver information to their peers and decision-makers have been the key components of the project.
These activities were continued by AFEW-Ukraine within the “Young, Wild… and Free?” project which allowed to support the sustainability of results achieved in the Bridging the Gaps project by capacity building and engagement of young people in the promotion of SRHR and human rights in social media.
In August-September 2021 AFEW-Ukraine designed and conducted a contest among teen bloggers for the best post or series of posts on safer behavior, human rights, and health of teenagers in social networks (Instagram, YouTube, TikTok). Teenagers aged 14-19 with a personal blog in social networks could apply to win one of the special beginners sets for bloggers.
Participants were talking about such topics as
- Reliable information on the routes of transmission of HIV / STIs / TB / Hepatitis A, B, C
- Motivation for HIV testing
- Contraception and the benefits of condom use
- Reliable information on adolescents’ rights (including medical aid and sexual and reproductive health education)
- Reliable information about friendly social and medical services for teenagers
As a result, 4 youth leaders became the winners of the competition and received prizes. Additionally, special infographics about HIV/SRHR/safer behavior, drugs, and overdose prevention were developed to be used on Instagram by partner NGOs and most active youth leaders.