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Diary of a peer support youth – positive minds, positive people

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04 November 2016
4 4 Photos

Positive youth ready to help their positive peers

It’s autumn. The rain is dripping since dawn. Despite the weather, 30 young individuals make a visit to Tashkent from various provinces to participate in the training. It’s easy to notice their positive attitude and aspiration towards life. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that today’s event will be a unique opportunity for these young people to share experiences and discuss how they overcome some complicated situations by talking to each other about their successes and hardships of life.

On October 30, the training for trainers in Tashkent starts with the slogan — «Positive movement of the youth!

The training focuses on the basics of maintaining good health of adolescents living with HIV. This is based on the concept of «Peer to peer support». UNICEF supports the training organized by the Republic AIDS Center. So far, over 120 young people have already participated in similar workshops since 2012.

Total of 95 HIV-positive young people, 75 parents and 11 pediatricians participate in these trainings that are planned to be held in the first week of November. Participants from Tashkent city, Samarkand, Bukhara, Navoi, Tashkent region,Jizzakh, Fergana, Namangan and Andijan regions converge to take this dialogue further.

«Main purpose of the current events is to present detailed information on HIV/AIDS to children and their parents, to form sense of responsibility towards their health conditions, and teach them to live by adjusting to their diagnosis." says Kamila Fatikhova, UNICEF consultant. She adds that «one of the other important tasks is to train coaches who would help other children living with HIV through forming leadership and role models in participants on the basis of the «peer to peer approach.»

Learning through doing, an interactive experience

Training events for adolescents start with an introduction through interesting interactive games. This time, the exercise is called «who is expecting what?» and it is based on the expectations of the young participants. This creates a foundation for the adolescents to arrive at a common understanding and work closely as a team.

«My impressions from today’s event are positive. The most active participants from previous workshops over four years are invited for this particular training to carry forward the support for other positive children. I believe that they will achieve their goals because the participants have a very strong sense of confidence. They are ready to learn and share good actions with their peers in „Qaldirgoch“ centers (the spring bird) of their hometowns» — Sardor Khusanov, the trainer says.

The participants develop their skills during the exercise under the title «My experiences». They commit to work as volunteers at daycare centers for children and adolescents living with HIV. They are now familiar with the skills needed to support the young people of the same age. They are now trained to provide the counselling required for a positive attitude in life.

New skills to provide socio-psychological support to positive adolescents

The second group of the training program under the title «Medical assistance for HIV-positive adolescents» involves the participation of pediatricians. The pediatricians with unique experiences at the city and province level AIDS centers, working directly with young positive people converge for this event.

«The purpose of this training is to improve our knowledge specifically in increasing the level of assistance to adolescents by considering their peculiarities of age, protecting dignity, teaching how to live with this disease, taking medicines as per prescriptions, monitoring these adolescents, improving mutual relationships between their parents and others around them» says Muborak Bekmetova, the head of the clinic under the Republic AIDS center.

Amongst various issues included in the discussion for pediatricians are how to talk about the status of adolescents with HIV, while protecting the dignity, counselling techniques, and reproductive health issues.

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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