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EVERYTHING THAT CONCERNS YOU – BUILDING HEALTHY LIFESTYLE SKILLS AMONG YOUTH

Everything That Concerns you was created by the Health and Development Foundation as a means to improve the health and well-being of young people in Russia by building their healthy lifestyle skills.

The main component of this program is an engaging, interactive coursefor groups of 15-20 adolescents (aged 13-18), led by trained educators. This program addresseshealth issues (prevention of drug, alcohol, and tobacco use, HIV prevention, health and diet, and others), placing them in a broader context of issues essential for teens’ development towards safe adulthood (resisting peer pressure, effective communication, tolerance, confidence and self control, behavior in stressful situations, and others).

Course timetable: one session – 1.5-2 hours, 1-2 times a week, with a total of 17-19 trainings. Teens take part in the training course over 3-6 months; the most active and motivated teens are chosen to participate in the following rounds of sessions as co-trainers or trainers’ assistants.

This course is held at educational institutions throughout the Russian Federation, including secondary schools, vocational schools, youth centers, clubs, centers of additional education, and youth camps. In order to reach youth at risk, trainers conduct seminars in orphanages, boarding schools, and centers for social rehabilitation for adolescents. The schedule of the trainings is flexible; they may be conducted in different ways - daily, weekly, etc. Young people are referred to the program at their own request on a voluntary basis, or invited by school administration, teachers, or psychologists.

The program also includes public activities and demonstrations at large-scale events aimed at the target audience, such as conferences, festivals, and summer camps; public showings and monitored discussions of videos addressing program issues (see below); and a free, interactive webinar series for educators giving further training on discussing sexual health issues.

Program materials include:

  • A manual for trainers with detailed instructions for each training module (288 pages) providing young people with new information on reproductive health, safe sexual behavior, crisis situations, conflict and its types, addiction (to tobacco, alcohol and drug), HIV/AIDS, etc.;
  • A 35-minute film, “Something to Talk About ” an entertaining story developed by HDF which addresses many program issues;
  • A guide for the video providing recommendations for facilitating discussion on the issues touched upon in the video. The guide also provides the links between the video and the training course;
  • CD with full versions of the songs for the “Something to Talk About” video;
  • “Nastia’s Diary” another film developed by HDF, which is focused on issues related to HIV prevention and stigma, sexual health, and communication.

This program was piloted in the Irkutsk and Sakhalin regions in 2007, and has been implemented in the Orenburg and Krasnoyarsk regions since 2009. In 2011, ETCY was launched in the Altai, Rostov, Chelyabinsk, Saratov, Yaroslav, Ulyanov, and Krasnodar regions, reaching a total of 400,000 adolescents.

ETCY has the support and assistance of local and regional governments, as well as federal ministries, which are instrumental in its implementation. The program has been approved by the Federal Drug Control Service, the federal Ministry of Sport, Tourism, and Youth Policy, and the federal Ministry of Health, among others.

For information on the program, please contact the Health and Development Foundation at info@fzr.ru.