reflection & growth

Youth Empowerment

My status

Honest Dialogue

Drug use

My reality
Sexual Health

Theory of Change Drug Policy
Human Rights

Youth Centered
Safe Spaces

Harm Reduction

International Youth-Led

Annual Report 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reflection: Message from New Youth RISE Coordinators……….3 Who We Are-Mission/Vision/Guiding Principles……….4 Youth RISE Highlights……….6 Participation in International Fora……….7 Contributions to Policy Reports, Research, and Other Publications..……13 Youth RISE Up for HIV Prevention..……14 Growth: Message from Former Youth RISE Coordinators.……15 Strategic Partners…….16 Funders.……17 Staff, International Working Group, International Advisory Committee.……18

Youth RISE conducts focus group for young people on drug policy issues at Drug Policy Alliance‟s 2009 International Drug Policy Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA

This report covers activities during the calendar year ending January 1st of 2010.

New Logo Uplift designed by Sygrid Araman of Lebanon

Founded in 2006, Youth RISE is the only youth-led international network that fights against the harms associated with drug use and harmful drug policy. Our work is supported through our fiscal sponsor Release Leads Ltd. 124-128 City Road London EC1V 2NJ United Kingdom.

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REFLECTION

Greetings from Youth RISE Coordinators :
Throughout history we have seen young people at the forefront of social justice movements. From antiwar organizing to human rights to education to harm reduction, young people are the fingers on the pulse of modern issues affecting their lives and the lives of those around them. With well over half the world population under 30 years old, it‟s no wonder why most decisions about them are made by those who reside on the other side of that coin. Young people are the experts on young people, and possess an outlook and energy that should not and will not be overlooked. 2009 brought new, dynamic, motivated young people to the Youth RISE staff, International Working Group and general membership. We are honored to have been entrusted with slipping on the shoes of the pioneering young people who came before us and built the foundation on which we can expand and improve our network, raise up the voices of young people affected by drug policy, those who use drugs, and those who seek to empower them. With slipping on those shoes comes with the responsibility of taking Youth RISE to new heights. Our logo has a new facelift, we have made it a priority to now place a focus on our messaging and social marketing as a network, and we are developing a stronger organizational infrastructure within the network. As young people are exploited, marginalized, and abused by punitive drug policies we need to update our strategy. We realize at Youth RISE we live in a time where youth led organizations, such as us need support more than ever to develop new leadership within our movement, to mobilize communities towards our cause, and to be able to sustain the momentum created so that we create an environment for long lasting & residual change. The leadership opportunities in the roles that our membership have played in leveraging resources and being strong advocates for change in drug policy and promoting harm reduction services for young people has grown stronger in the past year. From having International Working Group (IWG) members, and staff participate and be one out of two NGO‟s that got to speak forcefully in the High Level Segment of the Committee on Narcotic Drugs and United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Illicit Drugs Meeting in March 2009 – to having a Youth RISE members working on the ground in Manipur, India and in Bucharest, Romania conducting pilot workshops on Injection Drug Use among Young People and HIV Prevention we continue to RISE by providing Resources, Information. Support and Education for reducing drug related harm among young people around the world. Allen Kwabena Frimpong International Network Coordinator Chantale Kallas Regional Development Coordinator Tori Talavera Training and Technical Projects Coordinator

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MISSION Youth RISE (Resources.Information.Support.Education) for reducing drug related harm, is a youth led organization, and is uniquely positioned to address the issues faced by young people who use drugs. It is the aim of Youth RISE to empower young people who are affected by drug use and policy to effectively and proactively work at systemic policy change to ensure that young people are included in harm reduction strategies and within the drug policy debate.

“Youth RISE stands for a future generation of young leaders; and thanks Youth RISE to me in all levels to give opportunities to connect as a family member of Youth RISE.”
-Sujan Jirel, International Working Group member of Nepal

VISION To provide a network where young people can meaningful engage in issues addressing how they are affected by drug use and drug policy, and to participate in systemic and institutional change that will improve their community’s health and well–being.

Themes addressed by Youth RISE:
     

Harm Reduction Knowledge – for young people and service providers that uses a peer based model building off of young people‟s experiences and understanding of drug use . Discriminatory Policies – to reduce barriers, stigma and criminalization that can create safe spaces for young people. Advocacy Messaging and Social Marketing- to shift public opinion about young people and drug use and create messages that appeal to the best interests of young people. Creating effective Harm Reduction Services – relevant, accessible, and conducive to the overall health of young people. Increase of Research and Evidence – on youth and harm reduction service delivery models and advocacy strategies. Increase of Training Opportunities – for youth and service providers that promotes a youth centered approach in engaging young people into services. 4

Youth RISE’s Guiding Principles
 

  

We value equality of voice and participation and seek to ensure the widest representation of the diversity of young people and harm reduction globally. We understand that it is our responsibility to ensure the representation and inclusion of children and youth in our respective regions that may experience barriers to participation. We work towards ensuring that the children and youth who use drugs or are affected by drug use and/or drug policies have a real say and central voice in matters that affect them. We work with the objective of consensus and understand that each member‟s individual input is valuable and each IWG member has the right to participate in Youth RISE decision-making. We work from a Rights-Based approach and with the spirit of youth engagement. We work towards ensuring that programmes and policies and our own advocacy is evidence driven and impact oriented. We commit to providing the capacity to communicate in different languages through means of translation and web material to our membership.

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

Youth RISE Coordinators
Consists of our International Coordinator that oversees the network. The Regional Development Coordinator manages our International Working Group. We also have a Training and Technical Projects Coordinator that does capacity-building work.

Youth RISE International Working Group
Serves as Youth RISE‟s steering committee of 8 members. They are located globally in more than several regions of the world. This includes: North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East/North Africa.

Youth RISE membership
Are 250 + worldwide that have opportunities to gain information and knowledge as well as share and disseminate information, and leadership opportunities for young people, nationally, regionally, and globally. 5

Youth RISE Highlights
Former International Network Coordinator, Caitlin Padgett at demonstration outside the United Nations 52nd Session on the Commission of Narcotic Drugs. March 2009.

“Leadership by young people is a critical asset, enhanced by the International Working Group with diverse regional representation. Membership which includes young service providers offers a depth of understanding of practical aspects of harm reduction and young people. Strong organizational links to other global networksGYCA, IHRA and the regional harm reduction networks.”
Diane Widdus, former Senior Specialist for HIV Prevention and Adolescents at UNICEF
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Participation in the International Fora
While going through its transition, Youth RISE was able to maintain visibility in the International Fora. Here is a snapshot of Youth RISE‟s accomplishments for 2009.
Youth RISE during Network and Training Day for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Meeting in Vienna.

MARCH
Committee on Narcotic Drugs and United Nations General Assembly Special Session on Illicit Drugs Meeting Youth RISE participated in the Committee on Narcotic Drugs and UNGASS meeting on drugs in March 2009. We advocated for the inclusion of harm reduction into drug policy and for the inclusion of both young substance users and young people affected by drug policies as a key target group of the committee‟s future objectives and policy development. Youth RISE participated in several satellites, side events and panels, advocating and lobbying for the rights of young people and the inclusion of harm reduction into global drug policy. Youth RISE members called on leaders, policymakers, government delegations, the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and the International Narcotic Control Board to provide and advocate for access to services, put an end to criminalization, to ensure our rights to participation and to challenge discrimination faced by young drug users. Youth RISE also drafted a letter to delegates with recommendations for new drug policies that include young people and their realities. This letter was written in partnership with the World AIDS Campaign, the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, Espolea, and Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the Youth Coalition. Youth RISE also had a training and strategic planning day – where each of the delegates gave regional reports, brainstorming key examples with advocacy areas .Members met Sebastian Saville, Executive Director of Release and Judith Ulirsch from UNODC. In this letter, Youth RISE called for leaders to recall the four general principles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by all but two UN member states : 1. Non-discrimination: Removing age-related barriers such as requiring parental consent or denying confidentiality to underage youth, removing age restrictions for accessing harm reduction services such as syringe exchanges and opiate replacements, and providing sexual and reproductive health services to young people. 2. Best interest of the child: All drug policies adhere to international human rights law. This will ensure that drug policies are required to take into consideration those most vulnerable and in need of support such as child drug users, young substance users and street-involved youth. 3. Life, survival and development: Honest, reality-based drug education and prevention services, low threshold and youth-friendly services, access to education and health services, are all essential components of effective drug policy that seeks to ensure the highest attainable health for young people using drugs. Make drug treatment a priority over detention, imprisonment or forced rehabilitation. 4. Participation: Involve young people who are most affected (including young drugs users and young people living with HIV) in meaningful engagement of drug policy and program development, implementation and evaluation at all levels. Young drug users and young people living with HIV do not forfeit this right to participation. It is our right to be included in the decisions that affect our lives.

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APRIL

JUNE
Washington D.C: Most at-Risk Adolescents and Young People for HIV/AIDS Forum Kyla Zanardi, International Projects Coordinator gave a presentation titled “Youth-led Perspective: Best Practices for Youth Harm Reduction Programming” on a panel Young Injection Drug Users (IDUs): Research, Program Experiences, and Applications. This meeting sought to bring together UN agencies and civil society to discuss and collaborate on addressing the needs of most-at-risk adolescent (identified groups such as young drug users, sex workers, men having sex with men) and development of best practice guidelines for Most At-Risk Adolescents (MARA). Representatives from the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Health Organization, the United Nations, Centers for Disease Control, the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator, and several youth-serving NGOs presented at the most recent meeting of the Interagency Youth Working Group. Youth RISE used the UN Convention of the Rights of a Child as a framework to layout specific barriers young people who use drugs have in accessing HIV prevention. Recommendations from Kyla Zanardi‟s presentation that were used in addressing the needs of vulnerable young people to set priorities for USAID were to:    Invest in youth-led harm reduction initiatives Increase research made accessible to young people Support meaningful youth participation of young people most affected –peerbased programs and supporting young IDU‟s to develop interventions is a must! Advocacy for policy change and move away from policies that criminalize behaviors

Harm Reduction 2009, International Conference on Drug Related Harms, Bangkok, Thailand Youth RISE hosted a youth major session entitled, “What are our rights? Young People, Drugs and Harm Reduction” at the International Conference on Drug Related Harms in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition, the Youth RISE Coordinators, International Working Group Members and session speakers attended and advocated at the conference for the inclusion and incorporation of young people in harm reduction. During the session there was also a highlight on the primary healthcare needs of young people who are incarcerated and their access to condoms and syringes as well. Involvement was:   Internal meetings: Youth RISE had a strategic planning. Participating in networking session training with strategic partners such as UNODC and UNICEF. Developing a joint IHRA campaigns entitled „ What are our Rights Session‟ using a – Human Rights and Harm reduction Pamphlet and T-shirts messages “ Too Young For Harm Reduction – Too young to die” Lastly, we also participated in the “Treatment Not Torture” Rally!

“It fulfills an entirely new niche in the global arena. It has the unique opportunity to demystify a whole field of jargon that is dark, murky and esoteric. It has the power to change the approach to messaging around harm reduction.”
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Joya Banerjee, Youth RISE International Advisory Committee member

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AUGUST
Latin American Drug Policy Conference IWG Aram Barra from Mexico attended the conference where a consultation was conducted in the region to gain a better sense of drug use among youth in the region as well as a space where people could express their concerns over utilization or lack of harm reduction services, and the punitive drug policy that contributes to this. The session was sponsored by International Network of People who use Drugs (INPUD), Youth RISE, Espolea and Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP). One of the expectations was for advocate for more research on marijuana and health. One of the strategies were to create a trusting environment among current and former drug users in order to gain from personal experience and improve team work. For more information see: http://www.espolea.org/profiles/blogs/drogas-1 (Minuta de Reunion de articulación: Jóvenes y Drogas- ENG)

SEPTEMBER
Recapping the Consultation on Strategic Information on HIV Prevention among Most at Risk Adolescents (MARA) Allen Kwabena Frimpong, International Network Coordinator attended this meeting at UNAIDS in Geneva September 2nd-4th 2009. UNAIDS, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNODC, and government officials/representatives of the Intra-agency Task Team on Young People (IATT) discussed these main points: (1) Know Your Epidemic, (2)What is the Purpose of Collecting the Data (Strategic Information) , (3)How will this Data be used in Advocacy of HIV Prevention Strategy and service provision for MARA, (4) Making sure that Young People are not “Passive Recipients, but Active Participants” in the process of making sure they are getting access to the services they need. The participation of the international coordinator at that meeting resulted in:  Making sure youth networks and organizations are included as a resource in gathering data on global & regional HIV prevention programs or projects.  Utilizing youth networks and organization in doing capacity building work with organizations working with young people in advocating for youth centered services. There were others from other youth led initiatives or organizations, such AIDS2031, World AIDS Campaign, Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network, among others. This also included, our International Coordinator, Allen Kwabena Frimpong. The goals of the meeting were to elicit feedback and reach consensus on the draft business case for the priority area of young people including key actions for HIV prevention and to agree on the process for finalizing the business case for the UNAIDS Programme for young people and HIV prevention. During the meeting in a working group with Allen Kwabena Frimpong, Gray Sattler, UNODC‟s HIV/AIDS Regional Advisor in Thailand, Anna Koshikova, and Rick Olson from UNICEF, Youth RISE gave several recommendation in how to better engage young injection drug users, and address issues of criminalization among them (which serves as a major barrier to prevention, care, and treatment of HIV). This was incorporated in the business case for UNAIDS Programme.   Anti-stigma work for harm reduction service delivery must be done for young injection drug users. In building community development projects and programming drug user networks must also work with young people and re-orientate messaging in addressing the needs of young people as part of larger community issues as they relate to drug policy. Ensure that young people who are using drugs have access to basic primary care, drug treatment, and harm reduction services.

OCTOBER
Young People Can Protect Themselves from HIV Consultation with UNAIDS-IATTYP IWG member Anna Koshikova from the All Ukrainian Network of People Living with HIV attended the UNAIDS consultation. It was from the 26th to the 28th of October at the Tudor Hotel in New York City. 

Participants engaged in a group activity to help plan UNAIDS business case.

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HIV Young Leaders Fund Planning Meeting The planning meeting was hosted by HIV collaborative fund, a project of the Tides Center. The HIV Young Leaders Fund is a new communitydriven funding mechanism for youth-led HIV initiatives. The HIV Young Leaders Fund will invest in young leaders and their coalitions, while at the same time raising the visibility of their work and strengthening the sustainability of their initiatives. The Fund is an innovative partnership effort between global and local youth networks and donors in the AIDS response. Participants were represented from Global Network of Sex Work Projects, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS, GNP+‟s Interim Reference Group on Young People Living with HIV, International Treatment Preparedness Coalition, World AIDS Campaign, Youth Coalition for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Y-PEER, Young Positives, Youth R.I.S.E, and the country networks IPPF+ Nepal and Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network where we discussed a new partnership effort between youth networks and donors. IWG member Sujan Jirel from Nepal, as well as staff member Allen Kwabena Frimpong were in attendance. Several things crucial to youth network sustainability and funding occurred as a result of this meeting:  Identify the importance of funding youth networks for sustainability.  Looking at young migrant populations in Nepal, and possible developing work there specifically with that population.  Youth RISE was able to communicate among steering committee members to value the diverse group of young people in backgrounds and experience. We are using the funding circle to cultivate new leadership of young people who are most affected by the epidemic, this is to include young injection drug users, sex workers, those that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered, as well as young people who are HIV positive. For more information on the fund contact: HIVYoungLeadersFund@gmail.com

NOVEMBER
Drug Policy Alliance: International Drug Policy Conference Youth R.I.S.E. staff members as well as IWG member Aram Barra attended the International Drug Policy Reform Conference, November 11th-14th which was organized by the Drug Policy Alliance, in New Mexico. This conference brought many gains for our network. First, taking part of a large international audience is always of benefit for our young network, and second the presence of the three staff members in the same place is very rare, hence such opportunities are always beneficial for us. These two factors were a recipe for the success of the conference for Youth R.I.S.E. Outcomes of the Conference was:  Networking Opportunities with those within the larger drug policy movement.  Grant meeting with Open Society Institute (OSI) w/ Global Drug Policy & Youth program.  Preliminary strategic planning in preparation for core funding grant proposal for OSI.  In addition, Youth RISE organized a focus group with the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) aimed at discussing how to reform the messages targeting young people in the harm reduction & drug policy field. Approximately 25 young activists attended the meeting; it was a fruitful experience that encouraged us to pursue the next exciting steps in our advocacy and social marketing work. This was facilitated by our Social Media consultants Scott Jacobsen & Wyokemia Joyner.

Youth RISE button worn @ DPA conference!

Youth RISE on Twitter during the DPA Conference

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Middle East North Africa Harm Reduction Association’s (MENAHRA’s) Conference IWG member Dr. Khalil Sakhri participated on behalf of Youth RISE to the 1st conference MENAHRA in Beirut, Lebanon. It was a very successful conference where some 150 participants mostly from countries of the Middle East and North Africa, with the participation of UN agencies WHO, UNAIDS, UNODC, and the Global Fund, and several local as well as global non-governmental organizations. Throughout the conference, Dr. Khalil Sakhri states that,

“There was more political than scientific and enrichment of knowledge. Large politicians are starting to adapt the concept of Harm Reduction, except that in the end, the general of the Lebanese police has let us focus on how law enforcement in the fight against drugs, saying that it is the police who must solve the problem.”
This participation:  Provided strategic partners with updates with the work that was occurring in the MENA region along with Youth RISE member from Afghanistan, Murtaza Mujeed.  New networking connections were made as well as revisiting existing ones. Meetings took place with International Harm Reduction Association‟s (IHRA) staff in preparation for the 2010 conference in Liverpool, Ann Fordham of the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) - in discussing Youth RISE‟s partnership with IDPC. Also at the conference he met the new director of Mentor Arabia, Dr. Farida Allaghi, which a new partnership was formed between him and organization to support his mentorship as a young harm reductionist.

Youth R.I.S.E. at the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Forum for HIV and other STIs

IWG member Aram Barra attended the 5th Latin American and Caribbean Forum for HIV and other STIs. It is the regional venue directed to promote guidelines of national and regional public policies regarding the universal access to the prevention, helping and treatment, within the respect of human rights; to share learned lessons and improve the performance of all branches: prevention, helping, intervention, investigation and information; to promote the equally participation and the involvement of all communities, and to figure out the responses to this epidemic in the region through the fulfillment of the international commitments made regarding HIV. The satellite session was entitled: “Drug policy, HIV and Human Rights”. This panel featured a representative from the Caribbean Harm Reduction Coalition, Intercambios, Youth R.I.S.E. and the Pan American Health Organization. This participation:  Strengthened Youth RISE‟s position in the regional debate and fostered the questions around how to implement harm reduction in Latin America  Grew the linkage and interest that exists between young people working on the HIV field and harm reduction initiatives  Provided a space to further network in particular with young people from the Caribbean and allowed for the IWG member to get to know some of the network‟s members throughout the region.

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DECEMBER
HIV, Human Rights and Universal Access and Marginalized Populations: December 1st 2009 Hyatt Regency Hotel Capitol Hill-Washington, DC
Kolawole Oreoluwa, IWG member from Nigeria spoke as a guest speaker and panelist at the UNAIDS sponsored high level meeting on World AIDS Day in Washington, D.C. to talk about HIV, Human Rights, and Marginalized Populations. The US Global AIDS Coordinator's office was there as well as the Human Rights Caucus of U.S Congress along with UN body country delegates. Three representatives from most at risk populations were calling for reform of U.S foreign policy (President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief-PEPFAR) as it relates to HIV prevention care and treatment amongst affected populations including injection drug users.

Kolawole Oreoluwa is pictured sitting in the middle of a sex worker rights advocate in the U.S and a representative of the LGBTQ movement in Africa at the UNAIDS meeting.

In Kola speech, he talked about his challenges as a young person, and an organizer in Nigeria where he was arrested and his life was threatened in the name of advocating for harm reduction. He gave forth these recommendations that were incorporated into a report given to US Congress, which also served as one of the many advocacy events to push the lifting of the federal ban off of funding needle exchange programs in PEPFAR:   The US Government should also support needle and syringe exchange because this will go a long way to prevent HIV among injecting drug users and it will also allow foreign funded projects under PEPFAR to start needle and syringe exchange for injecting drug users in their various countries. The US government should mandate its HIV prevention policies for drug injectors with other stated US government health and medical agencies‟ policies in the same area.

RISING FOR 2010 AND BEYOND
2010 is here. Youth RISE is now full speed ahead embarking on many new initiatives. Reframing our advocacy messaging, building up our social marketing tools, unveiling our new website with logo uplift and new look as we expand our reach as a network is what you will see that is different in communicating with our constituency and partners.
Youth RISE is preparing an update and media blitz for the Commission on Narcotic Drugs Meeting in March 2010, and preparing for an advocacy campaign utilizing new media strategies. We are sending out a

clear message to the global community about how young people are affected by drug use and drug policy that will be coming soon! In addition, you will see a new International Working Group of 8 members with new representation of different nations. They will be going leadership development workshops and trainings, and they also will be doing advocacy work and outreach within their regions. Lastly our Youth RISE Up! For HIV Prevention Project will have two new pilot sites in Mexico and Ukraine developing curriculum that will cover topics around sexual health and substance abuse issues among young people, vital information our young people need but is lacking in most educational material.

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CONTRIBUTIONS TO POLICY REPORTS, RESEARCH, AND OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Padgett, C. & Zanardi, K. Youth Leadership: Recommendations for Sustainability. World AIDS Campaign. January 2009 www.aids2031.org/pdfs/youth%20sustainability_web.pdf HR2: Harm Reduction & Human Rights. Youth RISE statement at the Demand Reduction Roundtable of the High Level Segment of CND. IHRAblog March 12th 2009. http://www.ihrablog.net/2009/03/youthrise-statement-at-demand-reduction.html IHRA Daily Update Newsletter- Bangkok Conference http://www.unodc.org/documents/eastasiaandpacific//2009/04/ihraconference/DailyUpdate_Thursday23rdApril2009.pdf UNAIDS Inter-Agency Task Team (IATT) on HIV and Young People. Global Guidance Briefs: HIV Interventions for Young People. UNFPA November 2009. (Copies Available Upon Request)

One of Youth RISE’s strengths is the ability to have active members from different cultural backgrounds who have a lot of experience in implementing harm reduction programming. -Veronica Broasca, IWG member from Romania

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RISE UP! FOR HIV PREVENTION
What is RISE Up HIV Prevention? Youth RISE Up for HIV Prevention is a project funded by MTV‟s Staying Alive Foundation that started in 2009 to develop harm reduction workshops for young people. The project‟s curriculum guide was developed by Kyla Zanardi, former Youth RISE International Projects Coordinator. Youth RISE International Working Group members in Manipur, India and Bucharest, Romania where the pilot for the demonstration project took place coordinated the pilot training projects.
Veronica Broasca & Cristina Fierbinteanu conduct a pilot training with participants In Romania.

This guide will provide young people with basic information on HIV/AIDS, harm reduction, effective facilitation of peer education, proven harm reduction interventions (with relevant age considerations), stigma and discrimination, and injection drug use. The total amount of people reached through the pilot trainings in Manipur, India and Bucharest, Romania is 51. During the Bucharest, Romania training when participants were asked, “What was one piece of knowledge, skill or experience you will take away from today and use in your work?” Participants gave key responses with the following:     Information on HIV transmission The risk of transmission through ejaculation in the eyes STIs – symptoms & modes of transmission HCV and HIV re-infection & resistance (medication)
Training conducted in Manipur,

The guide is still in the development phases and is scheduled for India. release in 2010. This guide would not have been complete without help from many individuals including Vikram Laishman & Veronica Broasca (our coordinators from each of the pilot locations) and our Expert Group, who helped review the guide and put together the pilot trainings are Raluca Teodorescu, Luciano Colonna, Claudia Ahumada, Newton Manoharmayum, Cristina Fierbinteanu, Oana Ana-Maria Enache and Roshan Ningthoujam.

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GROWTH
2009 - what a year! As founders and former coordinators of Youth RISE, we could not be more delighted
and proud of what the network has achieved so far. When we set out to establish the network in 2006, we knew we needed a mechanism for young people around the world to actively participate in their own health, in reducing drug related harms, in creating change in the policies that affected their lives. At the time, there was no representation of young people in international harm reduction and drug policy fora, and no means for young people globally, who were interested in these issues, to communicate and strategize. This year was a year of change for Youth RISE. As a youth-run network, we are inherently transitional. After coordinating the network for 3 years, we felt it was time we move on. One of our priorities for this year was hiring a new international coordinator and creating 2 new positions that reflected the needs of the network and membership. These became the Regional Development Coordinator and Technical and Training Projects Coordinator. Setting up an international network is no small feat. Though young people worldwide may share similar experiences and barriers to participation, we are by no means a homogenous group. Ensuring that Youth RISE is inclusive and responsive to the varying realities and needs of young people who use drugs and/or are affected by drug policies continues to be a priority. The International Working Group members are vital to connecting with our members in their regions and facilitating their participation. The role of the Regional Development Coordinator was developed specifically to work in this capacity as well. As a network, we do not have the capacity to be involved in direct service provision. Instead, we aim to develop the skills of young people in their regions, so they can be actively involved in developing youthspecific harm reduction programs and/or working for policy change. The Technical and Training Projects Coordinator was hired to develop trainings for young people, provide training and support for International Working Group Members and develop key advocacy publications and resource documents for regional development. This role is essential in furthering our goal to provide and develop critical information to service providers and young people interested in developing youth-led harm reduction programming. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us along the way. In April of 2010, it will be four years since we announced the idea of an international youth harm reduction network. We have come a long way since then and there is still much more to achieve. We are so grateful to all of our partners, mentors and allies, and especially to the new staff, the IWG and Youth RISE members, who are all working to ensure that young people have access to human rights and evidence-based harm reduction programmes that are founded upon principles of humane and just drug policies. Sincerely,

Caitlin Padgett Founder & Former International Network Coordinator

Kyla Zanardi Founder & Former International Projects Coordinator

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STRATEGIC PARTNERS
Release
Release is the UK centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law – providing free and confidential specialist advice to the public and professionals for over the last forty years. Release also campaigns for changes to drug policy to bring about a fairer and more compassionate legal framework to manage drug use in our society. Under new management for the last five years, Release has become a UK leader in managing complex projects related to drugs and the law. Release is Youth RISE‟s fiscal agent.

United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) UNICEF provides consultation, mentorship and support to various Youth RISE activities, in accordance with UNICEF‟s Most At-Risk Adolescents initiatives. also provides support to Youth RISE members to participate in Global conferences and meetings.

World AIDS Campaign (WAC) WAC has worked as a strategic partner to both increase participation of young people involved in the harm reduction movement within the broader youth HIV/AIDS campaigns, and specifically to address the needs of young injecting drug users within HIV prevention and Universal Access, and to strengthen the coordination between youth sexual and reproductive health organizations and harm reduction initiatives.

Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) GYCA is a youth-led, UNAIDS and UNFPA supported global network of 4,000 young leaders and adult allies working on youth and HIV/AIDS in 150 countries world-wide. GYCA is currently one of Youth RISE‟s strategic partners, providing resources and support in regards to HIV/AIDS and youth related initiatives. Their support has been essential in the development and engagement of young people, HIV advocacy and the inclusion of harm reduction into youth HIV issues.

Talking IT Global (TIG) TIG seeks to provide opportunities for learning, capacity-building, crosscultural awareness, and self-development through the use of Information and Communication Technologies. Taking IT Global currently works with Youth RISE as a technical web development partner, currently hosting Youth RISE‟s list serve, membership webpage, as well as staff e-mail.

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FINANCIAL PARTNERS
Open Society Institute (OSI) OSI is one of Youth RISE‟s largest core funders and strategic partners. They supported our Vienna 2009 Project, which brought young people to the Commission on Narcotic Drugs and UNGASS on Drugs meetings in March. This project includes advocacy training and participation, providing young people with the opportunity to engage in high-level meetings. They also funded our core network and transition.

United Kingdom Development Fund on International Development (DFID) The Department for International Development (DFID) is the department of the United Kingdom Government that manages Britain's aid to poor countries and works to get rid of extreme poverty. DFID is one of Youth RISE‟s largest core funders, providing the core funding for administrative and organizational resources and support.

International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) The International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) is the leading organization promoting a harm reduction approach to all psychoactive substances on a global basis. IHRA supports the engagement of people and communities affected by drugs and alcohol around the world and works to promote harm reduction and human rights issues within national, regional and international bodies (such as the UN). IHRA has played a significant and pivotal role in the development and support of Youth RISE. They support Youth RISE with multiple conference scholarships to the International Conference on Drug Related Harms, in-kind administrative and legal consultation and resource support.

MTV’s Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) The Foundation‟s mission is to encourage, energize, and empower young people who are involved in HIV/AIDS awareness, education and prevention campaigns. Youth RISE is a current grant recipient of the foundation for a project called “Youth RISE Up for HIV Prevention” focusing on Harm Reduction, Substance Use and Sexual Health training projects to be implemented in Manipur, India and Bucharest, Romania.

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STAFF, INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP (IWG), AND INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE (IAC)
Youth RISE Staff
Allen Kwabena Frimpong- USA, International Network Coordinator: allen@youthrise.org Chantale Kallas- Lebanon, Regional Development Coordinator: chantale@youthrise.org Tori Talavera- USA, Training and Technical Projects Coordinator: tori@youthrise.org

Youth RISE International Working Group Members
Aram Barra- Mexico Iulia-Veronica Broasca – Romania Sujan Jiral - Nepal Anna Koshikova-Ukraine Vikram Laishram – India Kolawole Muyideen Oreoluwa - Nigeria Dr. Khalil Sakhri - Algeria

Youth RISE International Advisory Committee Members
Joya Banerjee, Co-Founder of Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS Damon Barrett, Senior Human Rights Analyst at International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) Dr. Sue Currie – General Manager of Virology and Gastroenterology at Clinical Care Options Pablo Cynerman, (Psychologist) Advocacy Coordinator of Intercambios Pierre Robert, UNICEF Specialist for Adolescents and HIV *Caitlin Padgett, Public Health/Harm Reduction Consultant *(founder & former International Network Coordinator of Youth RISE)

Special Thanks and Best Wishes to Diane Widdus, former UNICEF Adolescent HIV Senior Specialist for all of your support and dedication in investing your time, energy, and resources into Youth RISE!

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