ONLINE Prevention on the Agenda of Youth Organizations in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
December 9, 2012. Minsk. The Association of UNESCO Clubs of Belarus together with local and international partners hosted the regional conference ONLINE Prevention and Other Innovations for HIV Prevention among Young People. The Conference was organized under patronage of the Inter-Parliamentarian Assembly of CIS countries and supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus, National HIV and AIDS Prevention Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, UNAIDS and UNESCO Moscow Office.
Attended by over 100 representatives of youth organizations, youth friendly clinics, LGBT and PLHIV organizations from all over Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Moldova, the conference firmly put on the agenda of youth organizations the use of the Internet and social media networks for health and HIV prevention education among young people.
The greeting words of Mr. Subcelny, the Chairman the Belarus Association of UNESCO Clubs, Mr. Shchasny, the President of Belarus Commission for UNESCO and representatives of the UNESCO Office in Moscow, UNDP Belarus, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health of the Republic of Belarus, were followed by a series of presentations, introducing good practices in the field of online prevention work.
Mr. Pavel Piminov, the communication director of Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation (Ukraine), presented a wide range of innovative campaigns and projects conducted by the Foundation in the Internet and social media networks. Ms. Galina Gavrilitse, the Consultant of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Moldova, shared the experience in development of educational online resources for sexual education and HIV prevention in school curriculum.
The conference reviewed the outputs of the ONLINE-Prevention project which was launched by the UNESCO Moscow Office, FOCUS-MEDIA Foundation (dance4life project team) in cooperation with the UNAIDS Regional Office for EECA earlier this year for all EECA countries to raise young people’s awareness on HIV prevention and reproductive health and sexuality via Internet and social media:
- Over 50 youth organisations from Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Uzbekistan joint the project. Networking among these organisations was facilitated through a special web-based platform and a number of training opportunities (webinars and video tutorials) were provided to build their capacities to use the Internet and social media for health and HIV prevention education.
- Two web-based resources were identified in Ukraine (www.sexualeducation.org.ua) and Russia (www.teen-info.ru) to serve as an open learning space for adolescents and young people seeking reproductive health and HIV related information. The websites were improved and made more user-friendly. New content was created and uploaded. The International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education served as a reference for the content development/improvement.
- Two online campaigns were organized in social media networks by the project participants to mark the World Contraception Day and the World AIDS Day and to promote information about contraception, reproductive rights and solidarity with people living with HIV. More than 4 million people were exposed to the promotional materials (photos and cards). The posted photos, cards and infographics provided referral/links to the www.teen-info.ru and www.sexualeducation.org.ua which contributed to increased number of website visitors.
At the end of the day participants of the Conference had a chance to share their views on the further development of online prevention work in the region and to suggest new ideas and approaches for this type of activities.
As an immediate result of the Conference and discussions afterwards:
- The Belarus Association of UNESCO Clubs decided to develop online counseling services for commercial sex workers. The Association implements a counseling project for CSW under GFTAM grant.
- The Belarus National AIDS Portal www.aids.by decided to develop an SRH and HIV prevention education page for adolescents.
- The Kazakhstan Association for Family Planning decided to further develop an information page in the social networks and integrate it with other web-based resources for adolescents’ health education.