Andrey Rylkov Foundation
for Health and Social Justice
Русский

Bringing our services to a new level!

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Michel Kazatchkine, United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, visits the night outreach

Dear friends!!

We are happy to share with you some great news about a recent significant improvement in our work! Many of you remember that for several years we were trying to crowdfund a minivan that would help us improve our street work. We weren’t able to fundraise the whole needed sum, but your support helped us to maintain our services when we didn’t have money from any other sources to buy needles and syringes, condoms and rapid tests. But last year, together with other brave NGOs from Russia we have received a new grant from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, which is not huge, but it has allowed us to buy a new minivan! Today we are happy to share the photos of this minivan and report that it has moved our work to a new level – enabled us to stay longer hours, serve more people, bring more materials and provide better counseling. We are one very happy team!

Since 2009 Andrey Rylkov Foundation (ARF) works with drug users, and is determined to bring health and legal services to where they are – to the streets. ARF is the only organization in Moscow that provides clean needles and syringes, counseling on health and legal issues, family support to families of people who use drugs and warmth from heart to heart, trying to make our city and society healthier, happier, more just and humane.  ARF is a community-led organization and community activists, who suggest new ideas, develop and implement new projects and make sure that the drug users in Moscow and in Russia can benefit from our harm reduction work and from our human rights activism, direct our work.

On the photos, you can also see our dear friend and a person we all admire and respect so much! – Michel Kazatchkine –  the United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia who visited our minivan last week during his official visit to Russia, and who has been able to meet with our outreach workers and with our dear participants – people who use drugs in Moscow. We hope that this meeting has been mutually very inspiring!

 Just to give you some feeling on how the minivan has improved our work, we share some feedback from our team members:

Katia (our doctor): The first time we used our new van to do outreach was on the 5th of January this year, it was in Marjino [one of the Moscow districts where we carry out our work]. The van is bright, clean and comfortable inside – there is a place to see project participants, a table on which we could put all our medical stuff and – what is very important during the winter – it is warm inside! During the outreach, I had to examine one of the participants with septic wounds and it was very cold outside so we were really happy to be able to do the examination inside the car. Last Friday was the first time when I used the car to do the bandaging. There was a shy girl who had an open post-injection abscess on her shoulder. At the beginning, she just asked for ointment and bandages but I suggested examining the abscess. She refused because it was too cold outside. She was really surprised when we offered her to do the examination in the warm minivan. She couldn’t believe this and asked for a few times – is that for free? “It is the first time in my life when I was examined and provided primary care for free” she told while sitting in a car. I washed and bandaged the wound, gave her ointment and more bandages to take away and explained how to use it.

 Masha (an outreach worker): the minivan really makes our work easier; especially when it is winter and really cold outside. Fingers are freezing when you are trying to write anything down but now we can do it inside the warm van. And also now we can bring much more prevention materials with us and if the participant would like to receive legal or medical consultation, to be tested or to discuss any problem with social worker – now we have the opportunity to do that in a van where it is much more comfortable.

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