The connection between youth and HIV in social work initially may not be obvious. People of our country still believe that only gays, drug abusers and sex workers are living with HIV. But de facto HIV has long gone beyond the so-called groups at risk. People get infected with HIV from spouses and regular partners, sometimes at a very young age. Today the situation in prevention among adolescents is very difficult, we cannot just go to the educational establishments and tell the students about sex education until they are 16! And sometimes schools don’t need it.
Statistics of abandoned babies in Maternity Units is more obvious. Children with HIV are being born, but most of them are abandoned by their mothers who have been deprived of parental love and care and have grown up in orphanages and boarding schools. Most of them find out about HIV during unplanned pregnancies, and sometimes even after giving birth. This increases the risk of giving birth to infants diagnosed with the disease. Obviously there is a big problem with the lack of prevention, but if we take a closer look, we are faced with a lot of psychological trauma and blocks among vulnerable young people. That’s why FOCUS-MEDIA Foundation focuses on providing support to the younger generation.
We believe that it is important to give every teenager a chance for a better future. That is why our platform “My Career” (Career4me.ru) is aimed at developing skills for employment, time and money management. After training, young professionals get an internship opportunity. We have noted that those who have used this service have become more motivated and committed to finding a job.
Making a healthy lifestyle attractive to young people and creating a whole ideology around it was not easy, but with the help of Dance4Life trainers we have been able to do it since 2005. The trainings are aimed at HIV prevention and young people empowerment, which will support them in diverse and sometimes difficult life situations.
FOCUS-MEDIA also provides professional development for teachers of exact and natural sciences through STEM education, introducing project-based and creative activities into the learning process for students. Thus we are uniting with the Institute of Education to better help teenagers find the right guidance and develop important skills.
We don’t see effectiveness just in edification. It is important for us to become friends with young people, those who can always support and understand a little more than strict adults.
You can help us to do it!