Services: Technical Assistance, Capacity Development
Technical Expertise: Youth & Adolescent Health/OVC, Maternal Health, Newborn and Child Health , HIV
The government of Turkmenistan, local NGOs, and international organizations have been working to improve and support gender-sensitive and sustainable health services for the youth of Turkmenistan. The government of Turkmenistan wants to ensure that adequate and appropriate services keep youth and other high-risk groups including children with disabilities and key populations (e.g., people who inject drugs, sex workers) protected.
Building upon progress from the Turkmenistan Youth Centers Project, the Together for Health project brings together organizations working with youth and key populations to continue to change the landscape of HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STI), and TB prevention and healthy lifestyle promotion in Turkmenistan.
Together for Health’s vision is that youth and other key populations have the knowledge and skills to prevent HIV, STIs, and TB and to make healthy lifestyle choices, ultimately contributing to the health of their families and communities and increasing their opportunities for healthy, productive futures.
Through training youth and members of key populations to provide outreach services, Together for Health provides forums for youth and other key populations (male and female) to gain the skills, knowledge, attitudes, and confidence to mitigate the effects of negative or non-supportive socio-cultural and environmental factors that could otherwise influence them to engage in risky behaviors.
The project’s scope has been expanded to include activities that strengthen JSI’s work with youth and also reach new populations (e.g., disabled youth, key populations) to promote healthy lifestyles; HIV, STI, and TB prevention services; and awareness. Specifically, the project is supporting the development of HIV prevention training materials in collaboration with Turkmenistan’s national HIV prevention center. To do this, the project collaborates closely with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and local NGOs working with youth to carry out healthy lifestyle activities.
The project objectives are:
1. Provide HIV, STI, and TB prevention services and healthy lifestyle promotion for youth, including disabled youth
2. Provide HIV, STI, and TB prevention services and healthy lifestyle promotion for members of key populations
3. Strengthen sustainability of HIV and TB prevention, and healthy lifestyle approaches at the national level
The Turkmenistan Youth Centers project was originally a four-year, USAID-funded project to support the creation of two youth centers in Turkmenistan. The goal of the project was to prevent young people (age 15 to 25 years old) from engaging in risk-taking behaviors such as those leading to crime, drug use, poor health, including HIV infection, and diminished future economic opportunities. The project worked with local institutions to establish safe havens for young people to interact with each other, learn new skills, attend educational sessions, and participate in alternative entertainment activities.