Piloting online outreach services

NGO ReGeneracija held the training “Piloting web outreach services for working with people who use drugs and are at risk of HIV/AIDS, with a special focus on new psychoactive substances, stimulants and recreational drug use” on 20 February 2023. The training was part of the project “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and harm reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighboring countries” financed by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The training was intended for civil society organizations that would like to start online outreach activities (web outreach) and that work in the field of harm reduction, HIV/AIDS prevention, prevention of various forms of risky behavior, or encounter populations at increased risk in their work.

Topics of the training included the basics of establishing online outreach, as well as concrete steps to make piloting these services easier for everyone and fully adaptable to the needs of the populations one work with, as well as the capacities of implementing organisations. Programme had two components:

  1. Legal framework, challenges and approaches in working with persons at increased risk, local context of the use of new psychoactive substances/stimulants
  2. Piloting online services – where and how to start, ways of communication and access to the community, advantages and challenges of such services, ethics, data collection, monitoring and evaluation.

Web Outreach Consultation Services

Within the project “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and harm reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries”, funded by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), our member organisation NGO ReGeneration is providing web outreach services to displaced Ukrainian and Russian citizens in the form of peer consultations and counseling on the topics of harm reduction regarding the use of psychoactive substances, NPS and stimulants in particular, and the risks that potentially accompany their use or related behavioral patterns. We are also providing referral services in terms of voluntary, confidential counseling and testing (VCCT) for HIV, HCV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) in general, as well as consultations and referral services regarding substance use disorders and other possibly necessary health, social or legal services (GBV and such).

The Web outreach services is provided via the Zoom platform, in the form of individual, anonymous and confidential peer consultations, five days per week, in time-slots of 3 hours.

The mode of communication and topics are entirely up to the beneficiaries. The consultations will be provided in English, by English-speaking staff. If any of the potential beneficiaries are not comfortable enough with their English to engage in consultations in this language, we are able to provide consultations in their native language by providing simultaneous interpreting from and into Russian or Ukrainian; however, due to the added logistical steps, it is necessary to schedule consultations in Russian or Ukrainian for specific dates and time slots; these can be scheduled by contacting our organization at: info@regeneracija.org.

To access the Web outreach service, follow this link>>>.

 

Needs assessment

Our member organisation Re Generation will implement the research study ‘’The needs assessment among Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants in the Republic of Serbia on access to services and new psychoactive substances/stimulant use’’. The survey is part of the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project funded by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

This research study aims to estimate the level of new psychoactive substances/stimulants used among Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants as well as understand what the Republic of Serbia should do in the future to ensure that the Ukrainian refugees and Russian migrants have access to services that will improve their social and health status in the humanitarian settings.

If you are a Ukrainian refugee or Russian migrant in the Republic of Serbia, please see the s urvey, more information, and consent form in English here>>>.

Please remember the following:

  • Participation in this research is voluntary, confidential and free,
  • You do not have to decide today whether or not you will participate in the research,
  • Before you decide, you can talk to anyone you feel comfortable with about the research.

 

Providing health and social services to vulnerable groups

Our member organisation Terra from Rijeka, Croatia, held the final conference of the EU project MentoRI ˝Challenges of providing health and social services to vulnerable groups of our society˝ on 31 January 2023.

The goal of the conference was to exphasise the need for constant support for vulnerable groups in society.

The conference brought together experts from Rijeka, Zagreb, Split, Zadar, Osijek, Pula, Belgrade and Skopje. All those who in their work deal with the provision of health and/or social services to vulnerable groups of society in the region of Kvarner were welcome. DPNSEE president and Executive Director participated in one of the pannels of the conference.

The MentoRI project enabled the development of innovative social services in the community, strengthening the role of the local community in the processes of planning services at the local level, encouraging cooperation in the provision of services and combating poverty and supporting the social inclusion of target groups.

Project coordination meeting

Partners in the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project held a coordination meeting with the representative of the UNODC Regional Programme Office for Eastern Europe which supports the project. It was an opportunity to present information of the activities implemented since the start of the project in mid-December and additionally clarify some issues related to reporting.

Launching the project in Serbia

DPNSEE and project partners in Serbia (Prevent, Timok Youth Centre, Duga and Re Generation) invited possible partners from Serbia to a meeting to present the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project. The meeting was held in the Palace Serbia, with the support from the national Office for Combating Drugs.

Project partners and the UNODC project officer Žana Glavendekić presented the background, aims and activities of the project, as well as the current situation in Ukraine, Russia and Serbia.

Participants, including those from Ministry of Health and Ministry of Interior, Institute for Public Health, Commissariat for Refugees and Migration, UNHCR office in Serbia and colleagues from the Philanthrophy member organisation discussed in details elements of importance for implementation of this important project.

 

A project for refugee key populations from Ukraine

The Drug Policy Network South East Europe and its member organisations from Serbia (Prevent, Timočki omladinski centar, Duga, Re Generacija) and Montenegro (Juventas, Cazas) implement the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project with the support from the UNODC Regional Programme Office for Eastern Europe.

Primary objectives of the project are:

  • Ensuring the continuity of the HIV prevention, treatment and care (including OAT and ARV) services for people who use drugs/living with HIV
  • Community-based care and support for people who use drugs, people living with HIV, people in prisons
  • Provision of essential requirements, including food and medicines and shelters, in coordination with the penitentiary service/local CSOs

Our organisations will implement the following activities:

  • Provide access to information about health services and drugs and ensure clear, reliable and trustworthy health information reaches refugees
  • Support in accessing health care in host country
  • Rapid provision/purchasing of basic products for existing key populations/refugee shelters/centers
  • Provision of HIV harm reduction services for key populations (including refugees)
  • HIV and harm reduction services for people who use drugs, including new psychoactive substances
  • Mobilising civil society, service providers, policymakers and other national stakeholders from the Western Balkan region to ensure wide and all-involving drug strategy development process
  • Increased awareness and understanding regarding comprehensive gender-sensitive HIV services for women who use drugs (WUD) among health care managers, service providers and decision-makers

This project will be conducted in UNODC partnership with the local CSOs and aims to strengthen the capacity of CSOs to address HIV prevention, treatment, care and support among people who use drugs (including those who use NPS/stimulants) internally displaced populations, refugees and prison populations.

Project findings will inform the development and implementation of evidence-based, gender-responsive and sustainable HIV and harm reduction services for people who used drugs/people in and released from prisons, and IDPs/refugees in Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia and Montenegro.

A visit to UNODC Office in Belgrade

DPNSEE President Nebojša Đurasović, Executive Director Milutin Milošević and Director of the Timok Youth Centre Goran Radisavljević visited Ms Žana Glavendekić, the Regional Project Officer for Drug Demand Reduction.

It was a good opportunity to share about our activities in the region of South East Europe, and to present the “Emergency support for the provision of HIV and Harm Reduction services among key populations in Ukraine and refugees in selected neighbouring countries” project that is just about to start with the support of the UNODC Regional Programme Office for Eastern Europe.

We demand the criminalization of online sexual harassment

The Network for Protection against Discrimination held a promotion of the policy document with a focus on rape and sexual harassment “How to effective protection in cases of sexual violence?”. The event was organized within the framework of marking the international campaign 16 days of activism against gender-based violence. Its purpose was to promote proposed solutions for the effective protection of victims of sexual violence in accordance with the already accepted obligations from the Istanbul Convention and to request the immediate adoption of amendments to the.

In the period of waiting for the amendments to the Criminal Code, which passed the first reading in the Assembly of the Republic of North Macedonia, after more than a year, one can witness inadequate implementation of the procedures for criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of sexual violence, prolonging of the procedures, inappropriate qualification of the acts and unjustified termination of prosecutions that punish victims instead of perpetrators.

Dragana Drndarevska from the Network for Protection against Discrimination and legal adviser in the Coalition Margini (DPNSEE member organisation) opened the event by pointing out that “the delay in adopting the amendments to the Criminal Code means that we still do not have a consensus between the political parties on the issue of protecting victims from gender-based and sexual violence “.

This event, as well as the prepared document for public policies, are activities within the project “Network for Protection against Discrimination: Promotion of Policies and Practices for Protection against Discrimination and Promotion of Equality”, which is financially supported by the Open Society Foundation – Macedonia.

The document is available following this link>>>.