Successful experience of the city councillor people’s deputy to cooperate with NGO in realizing principles for IDUs’ harm reduction

Speaker: Irina Bazeliuk (Charity Foundation, „Drop-in-Centre“, Ukraine). Poster presentation.

In 2003 a physician of “Socio-therapy” Kiev city narcological hospital (medical director – A. Vievsky), an injection drug user (IDU) and a lawyer initiated creation of the NGO for IDUs in Svyatoshyn district of Kiev city. The action group drafted the NGO Statute and developed operational principles and objectives, including the major one – to implement harm reduction in Kiev city, and particularly, substitution therapy. These issues were set out in the letter to the MP Volodymyr D. Bondarenko with the request to support the NGOs registration in the city district. It should be noted that:1. The MP and his assistants operated promptly – our NGO was very soon registered in the district and received a legal status; 2. The NGO got good backing from the MP in drafting the first projects. The letters of support were of critical importance in getting grants by our NGO; 3. One of the conditions for the project activity was obtaining premises for the project team. In this case the MP’s assistance was of great use. The municipal utility office allocated the premises to work with IDUs-probationers and to hold regular trainings for clients; As a result of this beneficial cooperation we have a ‘strong’ NGO substantially contributing to HIV/AIDS prophylactics and drug abuse prevention among young people. The NGO publishes “The Butterfly” newspaper and various preventive booklets. We take part in such events as Health Day, AIDS Day, the Day against Drug Abuse and the Memorial Day for the people who died of AIDS, etc. Thus, we think that our operation experience will be useful for the former Soviet republics where the similar work is not adequate.

CV: Professional interpreter-translator, at present retired; Since 2003 was engaged in creation and operation of “Drop-in-Centre” Charity Foundation. As the Foundation co-founder took part in various national and international venues to discuss HIV/AIDS issues. As a free lance journalist writes for the newspaper “The Butterfly” targeted at IDUs. In 2005 attended the 11th EACS conference in Dublin, Ireland and highlighted the event in “The Butterfly” newspaper; At present work as a Drop-in-Centre’s volunteer, distributing various booklets and brochures for vulnerable young people, takes part in syringe exchange and condom distribution campaigns.