Aksion Plus 2008
Aksion Plus organization is founded in 1992 by a group of students, doctors and artists. The aim of the organization is to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS through education of youth and by raising the awareness of general population.
Aksion Plus is working in other towns in HIV/AIDS/Drugs prevention, education on sexual & reproductive health of youth. We provide professional training to various groups: peer educators, staff members, teachers, police officers, health practitioners, social workers, members from other NGOs. Also we involve a lot volunteers in our programs.
There are four main directions of our activities:
Prevention-education-communication-peer education from social workers and psychologists to youngsters in high school concerning HIV/AIDS/drugs/reproductive health. Also raising the awareness of general public for these problems (Social Youth Center and other branches of Aksion Plus in other towns of Albania). Peer education is one of the most important tools we use to build life skills/capacities, and to modify the risky sexual behaviors.
Service and treatment for vulnerable groups – implementing a holistic program in order to reduce harms that are related to drug use, prevention of HIV/AIDS/STIs among the injecting drug users and other consequences, both individual and social (training, peer education, individual and group counseling, outreach in the drug scene, research, condom distribution, advocacy, protection of human rights, referral to other services etc).
Capacity building and advocacy. Aksion Plus trainers are capable to deliver training sessions to various targeted groups: students in high schools, Social Work and Psychology students, teachers, journalists, police officers, parents, health practitioners, volunteers and other care givers. Advocacy is also one of the main components of our work. Advocacy is implemented in two levels: 1- Governmental and policy makers 2- Foreign agencies, UN agencies and other national/international networks. Aksion Plus is a member of regional and international networks: CEEHRN, SWAN, IHRD, SEEA-Adriatic Network on Harm Reduction and Addiction, CRANSTOUN.
Publication, research Aksion Plus is a specialized organization in producing Training Modules, Guidelines, posters, brochures, leaflets, newsletters and other informing materials. We are capable to conduct our own researches and studies with targeted groups: youth in high schools, drug users and sex workers (certified by UN agencies). Very often we cooperate with other specialized structures to conduct research and evaluation interventions (UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, Institute of Public Health).
The first area is supported by:
ICCO, a Dutch donor. A team of five social workers are providing education, life skills information and counseling in high schools on daily bases. Aksion Plus is advocating STI/HIV/AIDS prevention and behavior change communication through establishing relationships with policy makers, governmental officials and local authorities. SIDA, CIDA, SDC, UNICEF, UNFPA – are funding complementary projects. Following our example the Regional Directorate of Education is replicating this project to other high schools in Tirana. The project is building the capacities of students, peer educators, staff members, health practitioners and other NGO members. Social workers are using drama and role plays to convey the message to other youth.
The second direction is developed by these projects:
The Center for Harm Reduction and Resource Center The goal of the program is: “To enhance the quality of life of drug users in Albania through improved Healthy Lifestyles education and behavior change communication, by creating an enabling environment for the promotion of young people’s health/RSH and healthy lifestyles“. This project is targeting mainly drug users (capacity building, extension of the harm reduction activities in other towns, advocacy and influencing policy makers pertaining to drug use).
Methadone substitution Therapy
The first community based center for 110 veterans users of heroin. GFATM is supporting this project. At present we are striving to extend the methadone program in other towns of Albania where the drug use phenomenon is taking dramatic levels. In Albania there are altogether 20-30000 drug users, 5000-6000 out of them are intravenous drug users.
The methadone treatment and other harm reduction activities are extended to drug users who are in prisons and in pre-trial settings (a special agreement is signed with the Ministry of Justice). Aksion Plus is licensed by the Ministry of Health to provide services in the field of drug use.
Develop a comprehensive model of out reach through Peer Counseling for young injecting drug users, street kids, sex workers and Roma individuals. The objective of this Network of Peer Leaders is to provide Risk Counseling and Peer Education sessions on HIV/AIDS related to drug use. A comprehensive Training Curricula on Peer Outreach activities and needle exchange is developed and adopted by other national partners.
Supported by UNICEF and GFATM
Aksion Plus is a member of SWAN (Sex Workers Advocacy Network) based in Hungary whose goal is to protect the human rights of sex workers in Albania. Some preliminary activities have been initiated with sex workers who also use drugs (mapping of sex workers in Tirana and other services provided to them).
Aksion Plus resources and partners:
Aksion Plus has qualitative human and material resources. The human resources consist of: local and foreign consultants, trainers, volunteers, social workers, doctors and paid staff. Material resources are different: computers, communication systems, office equipment etc.
Our partners are: local organizations (UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, Youth Parliament, National Center for Community Services, National Youth Council, STOP AIDS association, ALGA, ACPD, People Living with HIV Association, Young Christian Women of Albania, other NGOs working in the field of child trafficking, Albanian Group of Human Rights, Albanian Helsinki Committee) and international NPOs, governmental structures, Ministry of Health, Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, other private and donor agencies.
Plans for the future, sustainability:
Aksion Plus intends to expand its activities to other parts of the country concerning HIV/AIDS/Drugs and reproductive health. Regional projects between Albania, Macedonia and Kosova are designed particularly to address drug users, their siblings and other stakeholders around them: health professionals, social workers, NPO members, police, human rights associations. Other vulnerable groups will be targeted.
Already our trainers and volunteers have launched a campaign in the high schools to openly talk with adolescents about drugs, the so-called light drugs, harm reduction (including methadone), issues of human rights, and other topics related to reproductive health (HIV/AIDS/STIs). We have targeted teachers, police officers, health practitioners, NGO members, students, parents, drug users and outreach workers.
The Albanian Government has granted Aksion Plus a piece of land (close to the US Embassy) where we intend to build a new multifunctional center to better serve to our targeted groups. At present we are in the process of obtaining a building permission from the Tirana Municipality
Contact person: Genci Muçollari
Fax: +355 4 375 368