Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

Youth Engagement, Ukraine

Young people often first meet ACET Ukraine when the team comes to their school to provide University of Healthy Youth sessions. Then the teenagers discover there are other ACET activities they can participate in, such as youth clubs and social campaigns.

13-year-old students Natasha and Irina are in the same class in the city of Lozovoe. After meeting the ACET team in school, the girls joined an ACET club together - and then joined a home group at a local church.

Natasha says, "From the first ACET lesson at school, I realized that  I wanted to actively participate. I realized that this will help me in the future. I learned a lot at every ACET meeting at school - and at the club. I used to be interested in all these questions about life, but I didn't know where to get answers.

There is so much on the internet but everything is contradictory, and I had little communication with my parents.

ACET has completely changed my life. I decided that I will never drink alcohol or smoke. I even stopped saying bad words. I learned what sexting is – but so many of my peers do it!

Of course, I thought a lot about what love is and how to find it. Now I realize that true love will come at the right time, that it is worth waiting for. I found new friends - and now I also want to be on the ACET team. I love you all!"

Irina adds, "I am grateful to the ACET team for their care and knowledge. I was often afraid that I would be the worst of everyone, that I was ugly, that no one would love me, that I was bad. I didn't believe in myself. Nobody believed in me. But you believed!

Now I am confident that I can be happy. I learned why it is important not to drink alcohol or smoke, why it is worth spending more time on offline communication and not just on the internet. I learned a lot about HIV. I didn’t know this is such a problem in our country. If my peers knew about this, there would be fewer people with HIV. I will take care of myself. I began to think differently about my parents, about friends, about life. I began to appreciate my life and my family."