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Leaders of Social Meaning (LSD) (Part of 100 Life)



Leaders of Social Meaning (LSD) (Part of 100 Life)


Our dream and goal of our youth initiative group is to provide women with support in difficult situations and to form in them a desire to talk about their needs and not be afraid to defend their borders. We believe that informational and psychological support at all levels will give women a sense of security and this, in turn, will give them the strength and motivation to fight domestic violence, abuse and injustice. Our dream is to live in a society where a woman is not humiliated just because she is a woman, in a society without sexualization, objectification and chauvinism.

The main goal of our initiative group is to reduce the level of stigma and discrimination against HIV-positive women, women who are in risk zones and who lives in hard life circumstances, in particular in our region.

Our priorities are:

- To reduce the number of cases of violence among women in the region;

- To increase the level of understanding of cases of violence (not all women we work with understand that some acts are violence);

- To form an information culture and tolerance for women at risk in the region.

In general, the main goal of our overall organization is to overcome the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Ukraine and provide support to people living with HIV/tuberculosis/hepatitis. The organization provides social, legal and psychological services, as well as educational work for all segments of the society. The organization pays a lot of attention to informing the public about the risks and ways of HIV infection, firstly for the safety of the society and secondly in order to dispel common myths about HIV and produce an increase in tolerance towards people living with HIV.

The problem we are trying to solve:

On November 25, 2019, at the International Day Against Violence Towards Women, the UN published a report, showing that more than a third of women had experienced violence, including sexual abuse, at least once in their lives. According to WHO, approximately 20% of women and from 5-10% of men report having been sexually abused as a child; and 25-50% of all children report being physically abused. Every week, around 5500 young women aged 15–24 years become infected with HIV and more than one third (35%) of women around the world have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence by a non-partner at some time in their lives. In some regions, women who have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence are 1.5 times more likely to acquire HIV than women who have not experienced such violence. In the world, around 200,000 murders occur every year among young people (from 10 till 29), and it’s 43% of the world's total murders each year. When it is not lethal, youth violence has a serious, often lifelong, impact on a person's physical, psychological and social functioning. Also, as an organization that works with HIV-positive women and women who are members of marginalized groups we often record cases of violence and try to solve them. But we understand that they can be prevented.

That's why it's important for us, because after in-depth discussions, we understand that not responding to violence is not helping the people we work with. We believe that preventing violence through trainings, seminars and actions, working with HIV-positive women and their environment will allow us to reduce and prevent violence in the region. We will focus not only on domestic violence, but on all its components, sexual, economic, psychological and physical.

We understand that this topic is also important today, because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has significantly changed our usual way of life. We already understand the changes that are about to become a new reality: new labor relations will be finally "legalized", new norms of communication between people will appear. The current outbreak of COVID 19 can also significantly change the further behavior between people because now we have seen how socio-psychological mechanisms work, when not only information but also emotion is transmitted to society. That is why it is important and relevant to talk about healthy and tolerant relationships between people.

The solution we are proposing:

We know that at-risk, HIV-positive and marginalized groups have always had a difficult life. However, now the situation has become even worse. During the pandemic, 50% of the people we work with were left without a base. There are no jobs, opportunities as well. From practice, we note that it is more difficult for women, because such difficulties lead to frequent cases of violence. And we want to overcome it.

Every week, as part of the organization's activities, we conduct self-help groups for HIV-positive women who have experienced violence. We also try to help and respond to individual cases - we have the opportunity to help with products, personal hygiene products, etc. We believe that our idea will reduce cases of violence and abuse against women in the region and reduce the level of stereotypes about HIV-positive women. We focus on HIV-positive women, because according to statistics, it is women who are more likely to be diagnosed with HIV and it is detected through a partner.

Our approach will work towards ensuring:
1. The level of violence in the region, in particular domestic violence, will decrease.
2. Women will be informed and warned about all forms of violence and acquainted with the tools to overcome it.
3. HIV-positive women will be less stigmatized in society.
4. A platform of trust and tolerance in the region for people at risk will be created.

What success looks like for us:

We will evaluate the success of the project step by step and consistently.

The first thing we will create is a google-form for feedback on the progress of the project. We will publish it on all partner pages and on our own page on the social network.

The next point - we will be able to record the progress of the project according to the indicators. This will allow us to draw conclusions about the success or failure of the project.

We will report on all cases of violence and solutions on our social network page.

We will conduct surveys at the beginning and end of each session to understand how useful the information was.

We will consider the project a success if 90% of the women we work with say that they now know how to reduce violence and feel safer.

Where we are are based:

Chernivtsi, Ukraine

Funding we are applying for:

$10,000 - $12,000 per year

How this funding will help us achieve our goals:

Separate funding will allow us to conduct open training sessions on combating violence not only for HIV-positive women, but also for all segments of the population (with an emphasis on combating stigma and discrimination). This will allow us to rent a safe room, guarantee comfort and tranquility by arranging coffee breaks and make these meetings not only in the city of Chernivtsi, but also in the region.

How this funding will strengthen our group:

This funding will expand our capabilities, which means we will be able to reach more people and guarantee them a comfortable stay with us. Additional funds can also be useful for the women we work with - we can help them with something else they need.

How we gain by being a Spark Fund partner:

For us it is an opportunity to become more confident and stronger - we are ready to share our experience and learn from others, because only in interaction can we develop. We are ready to consult and communicate, listen to advice and change according to this advice.

How we would like to spend a grant through the Spark Fund:

We want to conduct regular training sessions for:
1. Women living with HIV and (or) are members of marginalized groups.
2. For the general population (in particular, young people).

Classes will address the fight against violence in all its forms. Funding will allow us to make these classes as comfortable and productive as possible. For example, we have an office, but it is not suitable for training. This will allow us to rent a room, provide a coffee break and the opportunity to take notes, will allow us to come to any city in our region.

Our Annual Income:

112 370 EUR (overall organisation income - youth initiative has no income)

Our Organization Structure:

We have been working as an initiative group for a year now. We make decisions together by reflecting on a topic that needs to be addressed. When we making decisions, we also listen to the opinions of the people we work with - we constantly conduct surveys, which are then subjected to statistical analysis. Everyone who is a member of our initiative group is a professional in their field. (Iryna Lazorevych is the project manager of this initiative - a professional trainer, facilitator, trainer in sexual education. Nazar Dydak is a psychologist. Olga Brandes-Shitikova is a specialist in working with SMM. Khrystyna Zalevska is a social worker (10 years experience).)

Yes. Most of the members of our initiative group are young people under 30. We want to work with and for young people. And in order for it to be as effective as possible and to meet the demand of young people, to make it relevant, interesting and necessary for them, we believe that implementation of such initiatives must also be from youth.

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