As a result of a collaboration between Mainline, AFEW and Health[e]Foundation on 9-10 March, just before the bizarre turn of “normal life” due to Covid-19, a two-days workshop was conducted in Amsterdam for young researchers from Russia, Kenya, Vietnam and South Africa.
This training is part of the “Young, Wild and… Free?” (YWF) program of the ‘Bridging the Gaps’ international alliance. The Bridging the Gaps Alliance is a partnership focusing on the health and human rights of key populations: sex workers, people who use drugs and LGBT people. The purpose of the YWF project is to scale up good practices in reaching and engaging young key populations in Russia, Kenya, Vietnam and South Africa.
One of the YWF program deliverables is to contribute to a better knowhow by promotion of youth-led research. In the focus countries community/youth-led participatory research will be executed to understand the needs and risk behaviours among local young key population members and the barriers and opportunities in scaling youth-focused interventions.
Health[e]Foundations’ role is the development and implementation of our blended e-learning program CBPR[e]Education about the key principles of Community Based Participatory Research. This course was originally developed together with AFEW and has been adapted and contextualized in English and Russian to fit the YWF program.
On 26 February, 18 young leaders attended a webinar hosted at the AFEW offices in Amsterdam during which the YWF program was explained, the collaborating partners Mainline, AFEW and Health[e]Foundation were introduced and participants were initiated to start the CBPR[e]Education course. The webinar was done in 2 groups: in English for the attendants from Kenya, South Africa and Vietnam; and in Russian for the participants from Russia.
The trainees were encouraged to finish a set of mandatory modules before they met between 9–11 March 2020 in Amsterdam for a face-to-face network-building event.
This event focused on learning from each other about what it takes to build a network and to scale-up innovations that have been tried and tested by youth organizations in various contexts.
Health[e]Foundation is proud to participate in this great initiative and wishes success to all young researches during these challenging times. The digital revolution makes it possible to continue our activities despite the pandemic!