Dispatch

Y-PEER Kazakhstan Network Continue its Expansion

26 May 2012

26 May, 2012 - nearly 600 young people gathered altogether on the first day of summer school vacations at the youth edutainment event aimed at expansion of Y-PEER network in Uskemen city, center to Eastern Kazakhstan region that covers Semipalatinsk nuclear test site of the former Soviet Union.

The event has been organized in the frames of joint UNFPA/UNICEF/UNDP/UNV project "Raising Competitiveness of the Region through Innovative Approaches to Regional Planning and Social Services". The welcoming speech by representative from the Department for Children's Rights Protection under the Ministry of Education and Science stressed that the event's motto "Adult's decisions for adult's relations" raise awareness about the importance of spreading and implementation of peer-to-peer SRH education.

Local healthcare authorities underlined the uniqueness of such large scale event for Eastern Kazakhstan region, especially given high adolescent birth rate, which varied around 30 per 1000 girls aged 15-19 for the last five years . Y-PEER activists of Kazakhstan network shared their life stories and engaged young people in the edutainment activities raising awareness about sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and other youth relevant issues.

Anonymous Q&A session revealed that level of awareness among young people about SRH issues is insufficient, during the session healthcare experts and psychologist in a simple and youth friendly manner addressed such sensitive topics like puberty, unwanted pregnancy prevention, stigma and discrimination. Distributed educational materials covered youth relevant concerns.

The evening culminated in a concert of local celebrities where SRH messages reinforced out loud from the scene. More than 100 requests have been received for joining Y-PEER network; youth movement succession is also supported by the idea to organize Summer Leadership School in the region with special focus on sexual and reproductive health issues.