YHP RUSSIA – Health Of The Younger Generation
Three orphanages in the Novosibirsk region – Novosibirsk, Toguchin and Dorogino.
2014 - 2019
The local context
Russian orphans are a highly vulnerable group, facing social, psychological and health issues, and with limited support available.
To help adolescents without parental care (aged 12 to 18) to adapt to an independent future and lay the foundations for a life free of negative habits.
Improve health education and get adolescents involved in sport both inside and outside the orphanages so that they can improve their social skills and mix with other adolescents.
Our approach was piloted with three orphanages, and centred around organising sports, games and unusual and entertaining health lessons - featuring creative competitions and meetings with professional athletes, scientists and peers who lead an active lifestyle.
Sports facilities were created and sports halls renovated in the grounds of the participating orphanages.
AstraZeneca employees were fully engaged with the programme with football games organised between employees and the orphans, donations of footballs and other sports materials. They also hosted disease awareness events and arranged visits to AstraZeneca offices.
All the young people taking part in the sports programme were required to quit smoking.
We have trained 200 young people and 25 frontline health providers to deliver health information, and reached over 50 stakeholders, including teachers and government officials, with key messages about the programme. Media articles raising awareness of the programme have reached a circulation of almost 1.2 million.
The programme is supported by the Ministry of Social Development of the Novosibirsk region, who invited us to develop and carry out additional activity as part of the Novosibirsk city ‘Marathon of Health’. 60 young people took part in sports and other health themed activities designed to build creativity and resilience.
We have extended the programme for 2018 with support from the regional government, and aim to work directly with a further 90 orphans.
‘Here in the orphanage people tend to be pretty unhealthy and smoking is widespread and we rarely get to mix with people from outside.
The YHP is changing our lives. We now have regular sporting activities and these are the most interesting things for me. Professional sportsmen regularly come to visit us and demonstrate how real men live healthy lives. That is why I do sport and try to have a healthy lifestyle. I want to be like them. I like to win!’
The Victoria Children Foundation is a private non-commercial foundation focused on improving the lives of children and adolescents in hardship: along with orphan children and adolescents and those without parental support.