Building Capacities to Protect HIV-Positive Children and Provide them with Care and Support

On February 1-18, 2016, a total of 26 specialists in the sphere of social work, psychology, education and medicine from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Ukraine, learn how to better provide care and support services to HIV-affected and infected children and adolescents at a training course organized by the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre (MCTC) in Haifa, Israel, under the auspices of MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation, in close collaboration with UNESCO IITE.

To strengthen capacities of specialists providing psycho-social care and support to children and adolescents infected and/or affected by HIV in the countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA), Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation has launched and organized a thematic training course at the Golda Meir Mount Carmel International Training Centre in Haifa, Israel. During more than two weeks, course’s participants have an opportunity to learn about successful practices in organizing medical and psychological care services for children living with HIV, as well as exchange their experience and prepare project to improve services in EECA countries.

UNESCO regional HIV and health education programme for Eastern Europe and Central Asia based at the UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education has provided technical support to develop the training programme in order to ensure that prevention of stigma and discrimination against HIV-infected and affected children in educational settings are well addressed in the course.

Tigran Yepoyan, Regional HIV & AIDS Advisor and Yulia Plakhutina, Project manager for education and HIV, delivered three online-sessions during the course. As a part of the first session, participants were familiarized with the main provisions of HIV policy in the education sector, in particular they got acquainted with Practical Recommendations on HIV Policy Implementation in Education Sector, developed by UNESCO and ILO Bureau for Eastern Europe & Central Asia.

A special session was devoted to education of HIV-infected and affected children and adolescents in a discrimination and violence free and supportive environment. The regional Guide for Educators on Violence Prevention in Educational Settings, developed with UNESCO's assistance, was presented to the participants.

Another session focused on information and communication resources available in the Internet and aimed at building capacities of specialists and raising young people's (including those living HIV) awareness on HIV.  Among many other, the following resources developed by or in cooperation with UNESCO were presented to the participants:

*The MCTC operates under the auspices of MASHAV, Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation. MASHAV and UNESCO began cooperation in the area of training and capacity building back in 1996. For more information about MCTC is available under the following link.