Most young people first come into contact with ACET Ukraine when their school invites ACET in to deliver their ‘University of Health Youth’ programme. Many students then go on to join one of ACET Ukraine’s youth clubs, which help teenagers take responsibility for their future, be part of a team and become socially active.
Lockdowns did impact the clubs last year but 203 ACET volunteers were still able to run sessions of 15 clubs in 9 cities for 2,040 young people.
Two of the clubs are based around football: apart from football training, the club gives opportunities to discuss spiritual and emotional issues and the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
ACET Jump club in Vinnitsa also organised a football Olympics last year.
Danilo is 16, lives in Sutiska, and attends an ACET Ukraine football club: "I heard about ACET at the University of Healthy Youth. There were several very important sessions that greatly changed my life. I wanted to learn more so I started going along to club meetings. ACET does a lot for people like me. I attended various sessions and also played football with ACET.
I already met a girl and we thought that soon we will have sex. Of course, I knew I needed a condom — we thought that a condom solves all problems. But we have now decided to wait to have sex until we are ready and to always be faithful to each other.
I thought that HIV was always deadly and that only drug addicts get sick. ACET taught me that anyone can catch HIV.
I've found people I can trust. I can ask a personal question to an ACET volunteer and hear the truth and advice. I have realised that you can live differently and really enjoy life, that it is possible to live without alcohol and smoking and at the same time be a normal, cool person."