We are excited to announce the nine new youth-led organizations that have been selected for an MTV Staying Alive grant in 2017!
This year, we received hundreds of applications, from every corner of the world. After a long deliberation process, we have selected nine projects that we believe are the most promising. And we can’t wait to start working together with them!
We are pleased that we’ll be supporting two new LGBT projects this year in countries where being gay is still incredibly stigmatised and discriminated against, leading to a greater risk of HIV among this community. In Russia, where social and political intolerance against LGBTs is on the rise, we’ll be supporting the youth-led LGBT organisation REVERS, from the city of Krasnodar. And in India we’ll be working together with the team from Yaariyan, who are based in Mumbai. Both organisations will be creating a safe environment for young gay men and women to talk about their sexual health, get tested for HIV and access free condoms.
In 2017, we’ll also be funding two HIV awareness projects in prisons. Mykolaiv Regional Public Youth Movement will use theatre to educate inmates about HIV in Ukraine, the country with the highest HIV rate in Europe, which is particularly affecting injecting drug users. In Tanzania, Youth for New Beginnings will be conducting HIV-themed puppetry shows in prisons, aiming to break the taboo around safe sex.
In Sri Lanka, Child Rehabilitation Centre will be working with young sex workers in a region that attracts many sex tourists. They will conduct outreaches and establish peer support networks to educate sex workers about the importance of safe sex and getting tested regularly.
Three projects were selected because of their unique approach to HIV awareness creation. Circus Zambia intends to use circus performances to educate young people about HIV in a fun and engaging way, whilst Ask Without Shame in Uganda will produce a mobile phone application through which young people can anonymously submit questions about safe sex and have them answered by professionals. Additionally, Partners in Action from Kenya will seek to train taxi bus drivers to become peer educators and inform passengers about HIV whilst rebranding several buses with HIV awareness messaging and turning bus stops into rapid HIV testing spots.
Lastly, we will be supporting youth-led organisation The Big 5 Tours in Suriname, South America, which will use a ‘buddy’ system to reach hundreds of students from remote schools and villages with information about HIV.
Alongside financial support to help develop their projects, all MTV Staying Alive grant recipients receive capacity building training and mentorship support, which is facilitated by Restless Development.
We can’t wait for our new grantees to get started and are extremely excited to watch their developments over the next 12 months. Keep checking our website to stay up to date about their activities!