A new start in Russia

ACET Russia volunteers work in cities across the vast country, supporting young people in schools, colleges, churches, and prisons with educational sessions. Topics include addiction, family values, love, relationships and sex, HIV prevention, and bullying.

Here, 18-year-old Evelina explains how meeting an ACET volunteer and receiving these sessions helped her turn her life around and make a new, healthier start.

"My parents drank and have never been interested in me at all: where I was, what I was doing. They kept their own company and I kept mine. At 13, I was raped, I didn't want to live, I didn't tell my parents anything, there was no point. I left home, lived in a brothel, started using drugs, and worked as a prostitute to buy them.

Some of my friends were HIV positive. Some of them died and I didn't care if it was because of an overdose or AIDS. It was all the same.

The first time I heard ‘clean’ information about HIV prevention was from Darya (an AСET volunteer of 20 years). She communicated with me for several years on various topics, brought me back to school, invited me to lectures, and took me to hospital when I got syphilis.

I went to a rehabilitation centre in a different city. I wanted to start a new life with a clean slate.

After leaving rehabilitation, I called Daria from ACET. She did not recognize me, she probably thought that I was dead! I am grateful to her who not only taught me but also supported me morally. Now I not only know these things myself but also tell others."