HIV infection rates in the Perm region of Russia are double the average for the Russian Federation and more than half of the individuals living with HIV are under 30 years old. Love’s Bridge, in partnership with Zashita, give the most vulnerable young people in Perm the opportunity to fulfil their potential and become healthy and self-reliant adults. Zashita provides individual educational and health support to youth people in the Perm region who are currently, or at risk for, living a life on the street involving drugs and crime.
With EMpower’s second grant, Love’s Bridge/Zashita is continuing its work to raise awareness about the health related risks of drug use and unprotected sex by training peer health educators to conduct outreach in their communities. Through their “School without Classes” program, Love’s Bridge/Zashita is also using creative teaching methods to interest youth in learning and provide academic tutoring (in school subjects, as well as training in computers, English language, and woodworking) and mentoring to youth at risk of dropping out of school and spending time on the streets using drugs.