Over 200 ACET Ukraine volunteers work across 75 cities. They are all Christians who have received a call to become salt and light: a source of love and acceptance for young people who find themselves in bleak circumstances.
There are several serious threats impacting the health and wellbeing of young people in Ukraine. 50% of marriages in Ukraine end in divorce, which means that every third child is being brought up in a single parent household. Alcohol consumption by children and young people is the highest in the world with 40% of children aged 14 - 18 systematically using alcohol. 70% of teenage pregnancies end in abortion. Suicides are the second leading cause of death among young people.
The development of the socio-economic crisis, and military action in the east of the country, have changed the political and economic priorities of the country. This has led to cuts in funding for education and health including combating HIV, even though Ukraine has an HIV prevalence second only to Russia, among Eastern European and Central Asian countries.
Without education about relationships and sex, young people do not have the knowledge, skills and resilience to protect themselves from HIV, violent relationships, addiction, prostitution, and poor mental health.
ACET Ukraine volunteers reach out to vulnerable young people within their nation with the interactive ‘Healthy University’ education programme, and act as good role models through running a range of youth clubs, showing them that they can have healthy, happy, fulfilled lives.
Watch the short video below which cataloges a year in the life of ACET Ukraine: youth clubs, relationships education, strengthening families and much more.