The Andrey Rylkov Foundation

ARF is a grass-roots organization with a mission to promote and develop humane drug policy based on tolerance, protection of health, dignity and human rights. We use 4 key strategies: advocacy, human rights watchdog, service provision and capacity-building of affected communities.
Sep 30, 2016

ARF work with drug users featured on BBC!

Dear friends and supporters!

We are happy to share with you a BBC story on the work of Andrey Rylkov Foundation with drug users in Moscow. Its good to have a short film about our work - you can see our new minivan in work! And also some of our health outreach to the streets of Moscow. The BBC story also reveals some worrying news, that ARF was among 5 other HIV service organizations that were included in the Foreign Agents Registry just since the beginning of 2016. That means that we will not be able even to hope for the government support of our health work and more than ever we need your support! The good news is that on August 30th we have already won one court trial against the Ministry of Justice who wanted to fine us for not volunteering to the registry! That was an unprecedented court victory not only for the AIDS service but for all the Russian NGOs who fight with the oppressive and unfair Foreign agents law for several years. We are very happy to having won this court as this small but unexpected victory has  inspired other NGOs to fight for their rights and for the rights of the people they serve! Please enjoy the short BBC story about our work and spread the word among your friends - as we need your support even more than ever!   

Links:

Jun 15, 2016

Housewarming for the new office!

Mango-feminist Ezhi is feeding her family!
Mango-feminist Ezhi is feeding her family!

Dear friends!

We are happy to share our joy of having a new tiny office - after we worked for seven years without one, we were finally able to rent one thanks to the money from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Tuberculosis and Malaria!

Recently we had a small housewarming party and invited all our friends. We want to invite you too, and share our excitement about the new office that would allow us to offer some comfortable place for our staff and participants. For the past seven years, we had to be very inventive regarding finding places to carry out our seminars, trainings, team meetings, meetings with specialists, parties and so on We gathered in cafes, in apartments, in "shooting galleries," in the parks, in spaces provided by friendly organizations (special superthanks to the Sakharov Center in Moscow!) and where not!

This very short video perfectly captures how happy we are to have a little space for ourselves.

Importantly, the office will alow to develop new initiatives. For example just recently, several of our team members have formed a feminist group Mango. It focuses on women's needs and works with the families of drug users. Thanks to the  support of several Moscow theaters, museums, cultural centers we are able to organize cultural events for and with the families of people who use drugs. There are also common informal meetings, outdoor events, celebrations! Recently, one of our staff members a Mango-feminist Elena, started to provide English lessons to the kids of drug users - having our own office proved really helpful!

If you want to support our work with drug users, their families and kids, a perfect opportunity is right now! On Wednesday, June 15 beginning at 9:00:01 am EDT (Washington, DC time, =16.00 Moscow time), GlobalGiving.org will be holding the annual Bonus Day and will match all the donations made through GlobalGiving.org up to $1,000 per donor with 40% of their own funding! It would be great if you could support us today and enhance your donation!

Thank you very much for your continuing support and interest to our work!

with many warm wishes, ARF team.

Positive moments: exibition of drug users photos
Positive moments: exibition of drug users photos
Max and Stambul
Max and Stambul
our lawyer Anya is happy in the new office!
our lawyer Anya is happy in the new office!

Links:

May 23, 2016

Bringing our services to a new level!

Michel Kazatchkine visits the night outreach
Michel Kazatchkine 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.

Happy @the minivan
Happy @the minivan
Asya
Asya
Giving out health packs
Giving out health packs
Outreach at night
Outreach at night
 
   

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