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Young Football Volunteers to promote healthy life styles in southern regions of Ukraine

28 June 2012
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© UNDP Ukraine

(UNDP Ukraine) – UN Development Programme Sub-Office in Crimea has launched the project “Yong Football Volunteers: Sport and Volunteering for MDG”, 2012 - 2015. The project is implemented in partnership with the State Service for Youth and Sports (SSYS), Football Federation of Ukraine, UN Volunteers Programme, and UN Office on Sport for Development and Peace.

The project team started its work in rural areas of Autonomous Republic of Crimea, the oblast of Kherson and Mykolayiv oblast. The overall objective of the project is to contribute to MDG achievement by leveraging sports as an enabler to promote social cohesion, strengthen civil society and improve youth physical and social health.

Youth Development through Football methodologies exercised by the project combines football trainings with life skills such as awareness on the prevention of HIV/AIDS and violence, lessons on gender equality, and civic engagement. To promote youth development and involvement in improvement of their communities, the project will assist the participants in designing and implementation of various volunteer social projects within MDGs.

“Unfortunately, youth, especially in rural areas, experiences lack of opportunities, services and support, which is crucial for developing self-confidence, character and good communication skills to build successful future”, - says Odina Salihbaeva, Young Football Volunteers Project Coordinator, - “Our project is aimed not only at providing youth with information on healthy lifestyle, but also to foster young people’s participation in youth issues through their involvement  in the projects and cooperation with the local education and government institutions”.

“Various forms of information distribution are available in Ukraine, such as advertisement on TV and radio, information campaigns. However, it is not enough, as advertising must go hand in hand with consistent work directly with youth, and especially in rural areas”, - says Kurtmolla Abdulganiyev, Programme Manager of UNDP Sub-Office in Crimea. “Ukraine ranks first among countries with the highest level of HIV/AIDS spread in Eastern Europe and Central Asia; 90% of infection in the region is concentrated in Ukraine and Russia. According to the latest reports Ukraine’s MDG achievements on HIV/AIDS combatting will be quite modest. In addition, the project is also aimed at reaching other Millennium Development Goals.”, - he explains.

Within the project, UN volunteers will provide support to schools, football teams, youth centers in the villages to develop existing projects and programmes aimed at attracting a large number of volunteers (aged 12 - 20). The participants will be provided with information and consultation support on youth involvement, carrying out of youth initiatives, youth engagement in local development policy planning and implementation. UN Volunteers will also assist in organizing of regular football trainings, which will include mini-trainings on healthy life skills, prevention of violence, etc.  Special attention at the mini-trainings will be given to informing youth on HIV prevention.

“Young Football Volunteers” project is part of the joint project “Let’s do it together” (LDIT) planned and led by the Ministry for Education, Science, Youth and Sport of Ukraine. The initiative is implemented by the state institutions, non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies. The LDIT project has been officially launched in May 2011 in view of the oncoming Euro UEFA 2012 Football Championship, to use the opportunity to spread positive messages related to football and healthy behaviors.

The project “Young Football Volunteers” contributes to the implementation of three resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly on Sport for Development and Peace and is in line with the Ukraine State target-oriented social programme “Youth of Ukraine” and the UN-Ukraine Partnership Framework for 2012-2016.


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