Championing healthy relationships

and sexual wellbeing

Ukraine: Healthy Youth University

ACET Ukraine’s ‘Healthy Youth University’ schools work programme is far reaching. Delivered in 219 schools and 13 colleges across 89 cities, thousands of young people are reached each year.

The Healthy Youth University programme is approved by the Ukraine Ministry of Education, and is made up of 10 sessions on a range of relationships, sexual health and life skills topics (including suicide prevention, and drug and alcohol abuse).

Most students receive five core sessions but many also attend additional lessons on other topics, such as cyberbullying and sexting, depending on the needs of the students in a particular school, as identified by their teachers and parents.

Each Healthy Youth University session is interactive, with topic discussions, games, assignments, videos and slides, and several thousand more students attend ACET Ukraine ‘Know to live’ educational video training sessions.

To complement the work with the students in each school, ACET Ukraine volunteers also run two parent events each year and a training session for the staff, so that the messages the students receive are reinforced at home and by the students’ teachers. The parent events also help improve the relationship between child and parent.

The team also offer ‘Positive Life’ consultations for individuals, either after a session in school or through ACET Ukraine’s social networks. Hundreds of teenagers, parents and teachers have accessed this service.

“My name is Peter and I’m 13. I have to live in a boarding school five days a week because my mum drinks. My aunt picks up my sister and me for the weekend.

For several years I lived with great resentment in my heart for my mother and for life in general. I saw a lot of bad things from my mother: no attention, worries, constant name-calling, beatings, hatred. We had no money and often had no food.

After the love languages lesson from ACET, I wrote, “I am ready to forgive my mother.” These were not just words. That was all my heart. For several days I struggled with unforgiveness. I cried and thought about the words of the ACET coach. But then I was determined to give maximum love to my mother and I forgave her.

Thanks to ACET, I realized that I really want to have a happy family. Alcohol-free, without drugs, without bad words, without abortion. I want to find true love. I think that sex is needed only if it is true love.”