On Tuesday, 20 October, Erik Svedahl, Ambassador of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Kyiv, and Olena Voskresenska, Executive Director of the AIDS Foundation East-West Foundation (AFEW-Ukraine) signed an agreement on the project “Journey4Rights and Gender Equality”.
The project will be aimed at empowering adolescents, focusing on adolescents-at-risk (using drugs, LGBT, living with HIV), in Chernivtsy, Kharkiv, Kropyvnytskyi and Poltava, by introducing a peer-led programme Journey 4 life in various youth institutions of the four regions, including youth detention facilities and vocational schools. The programme will train a pool of youth facilitators – Champions 4Life, selected from active youth volunteers and youth leaders from key populations, who will deliver the Journey4Life training programme for their peers and jointly conduct social events in their communities to increase awareness about gender issues, human rights and sexual and reproductive health issues. The youth empowerment model will also allow to increase referrals for most-at-risk adolescents for youth-friendly services and legal support.
AFEW-Ukraine is a franchisee of Dance4Life International. Dance4Life is a social-franchise organization that offers a youth engagement and personal leadership model to empower young people to make healthy sexual choices and take leadership of their own lives. Dance4Life currently works in 14 countries in addition to the Netherlands headquarters. They work across 4 continents: Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
The Journey4Life curriculum is designed for youth aged 10 to 24. It uses the holistic approach of positive youth development and contains activities to build young people’s social emotional competences so they become empowered to make healthy choices about their lives and feel confident about their future.