At the end of March 2023 AFEW International launched the Programme of training and mentorship for the Ukrainian refugees living with HIV in Poland. The project’s goal is the expansion of equal and full participation of the PLHIV Ukrainian refugees in Polish HIV programmes. It is expected that it will lead to strengthening of effective, inclusive and responsive programmes and policies, developed with the full participation of all PLHIV Ukrainian refugees living in Poland.

“As of today, a large number of Ukrainian refugees, including PLHIV, are under temporary protection in Poland” – tells Vera Varyga, the project’s manager. Unfortunately, the services currently operating in this country are unable to fully meet the needs of the Ukrainians. The goal of our project is to support the initiatives of HIV activists, to allow them to enter political intercourse and adjust the services to meet the needs of all the PLHIV Ukrainians in Poland. We want to arm them with knowledge about the structure of work of social and medical services and other relevant institutions on the territory of the host country”.

Under the framework of this project 6 training sessions are scheduled for the Ukrainian participants (3 online sessions and 3 offline sessions) involving local organisations operating in the field of HIV services, supporting communities like LGBTQ and women living with HIV. During the training sessions the participants will cover not only the topic of services, but also advocacy and leadership skills development. After this, supported by AFEW and mentor organisations, the project participants will be able to implement an important initiative for PLHIV in their provices.

“For the time being, we’ve already established contacts with local Polish organisations Kampania Przecw Homofobii, Stowarzyszenia “Jeden Świat”, Lambda Warszawa. We’ve also selected 20 participants for the project. All of them are former volunteers in the field of HIV, workers of social organisations in Ukraine. The first online training is scheduled for June, the second session will take place in Poland, where all the participants will be able to meet face-to-face. We plan to publish the results of the initiatives at the end of 2023”.

The programme of training and mentorship to support the initiatives of PLHIV Ukrainian refugees located in Poland is implemented with the support of ViiV Healthcare under GIPA Accelerator Fund Grant.

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