The Project

Recognising the lack of resources available that are tailored to the specific needs of young people who use drugs, Youth RISE embarked on a four-year project to develop resources for practical use by peer educators to address harm reduction and HIV prevention. "Youth RISE Up! for HIV Prevention" is a project funded by MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation that started in 2009.  In 2010, Youth RISE staff and International Working Group (IWG) members launched the publication “A young peer trainer’s guide to provide sexual health and drug-related harm reduction education”, which is based on trainings given by Youth RISE IWG members and provides young people with a set of sessions to be adapted and then implemented by the peer educators.

In all, the guide contains 8 sessions for a complete training on sexual health and safer drug use for young people, including a series of exercises that aid participants to have a better understanding of different factors influencing health; drug-related harm reduction; sexual health and HIV; drug use, harm reduction and HIV; the relationship between sex and drugs, and stigma affecting young people.

Training workshops have so far been conducted in India, Romania, Mexico, Canada, Nigeria and Lebanon, and two new countries will be selected to implement the project in 2012.

Every year, two supplements are added to the tool be based on the different international experiences and contexts. 

RISE UP! in 2012

The Youth RISE Up! for HIV Prevention project supported by MTV Staying Alive Foundation is now in its fourth year.  The project has so far been a great success, and in 2012 we are building on the project, furthering our reach with the training of more young people in two new countries on sexual health and harm reduction.  We will also further expand our resources as we aim to create additional culturally and contextually appropriate materials.

Our countries of implementation for 2012 will be Mauritius and Slovakia.  Both of these countries have a significant HIV epidemic driven by injecting drug use, lack of sexual health education in schools, and an identified need to implement peer to peer and youth friendly HIV prevention trainings for young people.
The project in Mauritius will be implemented in partnership with SAFIRE, - Service d’Accompagnement, de Formation, d’Intégration et de Réhabilitation de l’Enfant (Association for the Support, Education, Integration and Rehabilitation of the Child). SAFIRE is a local organisation and their goal is to rehabilitate Mauritian street children and integrate them into society.   Drug use among young people in particular among street children in Mauritius has increased in recent years.  There is also a dire lack of services for young people who use drugs locally, and a non-existence of ‘youth friendly services’ tailored to the specific needs of youth.  The Youth RISE Up! for HIV Prevention project will target street children, training them on sexual health and harm reduction.  The project also hopes to develop a video as a supplement to the training guide as many of the street children are illiterate.
SAFIRE has recently produced a report on the situation among street children in Mauritius that you can find here.
Youth RISE IWG Miroslava Zilinska will implement the Youth RISE Up! for HIV Prevention project in Slovakia.  Evidence also indicates that more and more young people are experimenting with drugs and the average age of first experience with drugs among youth in Slovakia is decreasing.  Sexual health is also still a taboo topic in Slovakia, and there is a lack of sexual education and HIV prevention programs in Slovak schools.  
In partnership with the local NGO Odyseus, the project will train young people between the ages of 15-25 years using the Youth RISE peer education guide.

For more info on this project, please contact anita@youthrise.org