Тhink globally - act locally

Can we change the world? We will not change the world, but we can think collectively and act individually, which will be the begin of influence on the the changes locally.

Globalization today became the biggest driving force in solving local problems from several aspects, which include access to information, creating strategies that can enhance the role of local government, acting at the local level using the successful experiences and monitoring global trends for more efficient dealing with the problem.

Research teams in agreements making a comparative analysis

On 4.06.2015 (Thursday), at Hotel Porta - Skopje, "HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje" within the project "Prevention of HIV and drug use among citizens in border areas", financed by the European Union held a Border meeting.  The purpose of the meeting was to share experiences, best practices and methodologies used for  the field research, challenges during the research and define these activities by setting a time frame.

The meeting emerged with harmonization of methodologies and it was given a specific guidance about preparing a comparative analysis of existing local strategies and practices as well as system support for HIV / AIDS to local governments in both countries.

The meeting was attended by two research teams led by project teams of the implementing organizations; "NGO Labyrinth" - Pristina Naim Telaku vice-principal researcher  and Vanja Dimitrievski, principal researcher  of "HOPS".  Both teams on the project had their own field researchers, participating in the meeting with their own opinions. With their own opinions and field researchers from both teams have been participated in the meeting.

And I have a right to treatment and compassion - treatment of the children addicted to drugs

"As I told you I'm Sashe. When I was about 8 I started to inject drugs. In 2011 I was situated at the clinic of Pediatrics Skopje. They treated me from drug addiction and other diseases as a result of the drug use. In August 2011, due to complications caused by long use of drugs through injection, I was relocated in a specialized hospital for Orthopedics in Ohrid. After several days without surgical intervention, the Center for Social Work from Skopje placed me in a private geriatric institution „Sue Ryder" in Skopje, because there is no an specialized institution for treatment, care and rehabilitation for children who use drugs.

In December 2011 they returned me again to the Pediatric Clinic due to the deteriorating condition of infection on the foot. „HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje" constantly contacted me and the representatives of the Center for Social Affairs and the health workers of the Department of Pediatrics, in order to monitor my situation. The doctors from Pediatric Clinic have told me that I need surgery on the leg, the Orthopedic Clinic refused to accept me.

One year I was placed in a medical institution without adequate care. In May 2012 I was dismissed, and handed over to care of distant relatives who were paid compensation. Due to the inadequate care, I lost my leg and now I navigate in a wheelchair.

The children that we are using drugs, we do not have adequate treatment programs and programs for care, rehabilitation and resocialization. Because of  that reason „HOPS" addressed to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Ombudsman in order to alert about the overall situation, also and for my particular case."

And I have a right to treatment and compassion - treatment of the children addicted to drugs

"As I told you I'm Sashe. When I was about 8 I started to inject drugs. In 2011 I was situated at the clinic of Pediatrics Skopje. They treated me from drug addiction and other diseases as a result of the drug use. In August 2011, due to complications caused by long use of drugs through injection, I was relocated in a specialized hospital for Orthopedics in Ohrid. After several days without surgical intervention, the Center for Social Work from Skopje placed me in a private geriatric institution „Sue Ryder" in Skopje, because there is no an specialized institution for treatment, care and rehabilitation for children who use drugs.

In December 2011 they returned me again to the Pediatric Clinic due to the deteriorating condition of infection on the foot. „HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje" constantly contacted me and the representatives of the Center for Social Affairs and the health workers of the Department of Pediatrics, in order to monitor my situation. The doctors from Pediatric Clinic have told me that I need surgery on the leg, the Orthopedic Clinic refused to accept me.

One year I was placed in a medical institution without adequate care. In May 2012 I was dismissed, and handed over to care of distant relatives who were paid compensation. Due to the inadequate care, I lost my leg and now I navigate in a wheelchair.

The children that we are using drugs, we do not have adequate treatment programs and programs for care, rehabilitation and resocialization. Because of  that reason „HOPS" addressed to the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and the Ombudsman in order to alert about the overall situation, also and for my particular case."

I have the right to treatment and compassion

„My name is Sashe. I’m a child without parental care. I started injecting heroin when I was 8. Before that I was inhaling glue and solvents. „HOPS“ team made their first contact with me and other 76 children that use drugs, 32 of them have been contacted from January 2014 till now. There is also a small child at the age of 3 that inhales glue. Three of the children the „HOPS“ contacted died in 2011 and 2012 from overdose. According to the information from the centers for prevention and treatment of people that use drugs not one child has been included for treatment with methadone and buprenorfin in the last three years.

There are no accurate numbers in Macedonia for children that use drugs. The data that we have come, is either from the outreach work (data from the people that contact us and work with the issue of drug addictions), or from researches among the secondary school students.

I will tell you my story and my problems, which are problems of all the children that used drugs, in the next videos.“

40 years of activism for the rights of sex workers

Фотографија: Ванчо Џамбаски2nd of June, a date to remember

This year, on the 2nd of June, we will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the occupation of the church of St Nizier in Lyon, France. This historical event when 100s of prostitutes occupied a church to protest against police violence and corruption is regarded as the symbolical birth of the sex workers’ rights movement (although many protests and actions had taken place in the years and decades before that in many part of the world, many of them unrecorded and forgotten).

The 2nd of June is celebrated as sex workers’ rights days by many individuals and organisations all over the world. This year to celebrate this anniversary sex workers from Europe and beyond will gather in Lyon and organise, protest and demand, louder than ever, an end to their stigmatisation and criminalisation.

To mark this year, Sex Worker Open University – a collective of sex workers based in UK – is launching a poster competition with a 1st prize of £250. There will be another 5 prizes of £50 each. This competition is open to all: artists, students, graphic designers… The theme is : 40 years of sex workers’ activism!

Sex workers in the Netherlands are making history

Amsterdam’s mayor Eberhard van der Laan wrote a letter to Ivo Opstelten, then still in office as Dutch Minister of Security and Justice. In essence, the mayor asked him to create a legal instrument that would allow city administrations nationwide to collect and, if needed, share personal data about sex workers, which the Dutch Privacy Protection Law explicitly prohibits to be collected and shared. The mayor argued the need for this exemption with two policy goals: firstly, “to combat human trafficking effectively” and secondly, “to promote the self-reliance of prostitutes.” 

When this letter surfaced, Mariska Majoor, chairwoman of PROUD Nederland, the newly founded Dutch Union for Sex Workers, wrote a scathing response to the mayor on behalf of the sex workers’ collective, protesting the attempt to encourage legislation against the current law exclusively with regard to sex workers, and accusing him of using double standards. In public, he pretended to be in open conversation with sex workers, while behind their backs, he discriminated them by “advocating the violation of sex workers’ right to privacy.” Indeed, if this were to happen, all sex workers could consider themselves de facto outlaws despite the fact that sex work as such has been legal in the Netherlands since 1811, and still is. 

WHO moves to improve access to lifesaving medicines for hepatitis C, drug-resistant TB and cancers

WHO published the new edition of its Model List of Essential Medicines which includes ground-breaking new treatments for hepatitis C, a variety of cancers (including breast cancer and leukemia) and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (TB), among others. The move opens the way to improve access to innovative medicines that show clear clinical benefits and could have enormous public health impact globally

Hops Association held trainings on HIV prevention

Although we are living in a world where spreading and receiving information is fast and easy in our society the knowledge for the “modern” diseases, among like HIV/AIDS, is still on a low level. According to that, the need for acting on local and national level is quite high. This alarm comes as a result of the lack of appropriate sustainable mechanisms for raising the awareness of HIV prevention and drug use.

The Association HOPS - Healthy Options Project Skopje, within its activities related to HIV prevention in communities at highest risk, on May 7- 8, 2015  in hotel “Arena  - Teteks“ in Tetovo, held a two-day workshop for communities that are directly affected by this issue and for the representatives of local municipalities and institutions dealing with prevention. The workshop is organized within the project "HIV prevention and drug use among the citizens of border-line areas" funded by the European Union. Activities are implemented on the territory of four municipalities in Macedonia: Kumanovo, Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje.

Call for Articles for the 4rd issue of the Drugs – Policies and Practices magazine

HOPS – Healthy Options Project Skopje’s Center for Education, Documentation and Research and Coalition “Sexual and Health Rights of Marginalized Communities” announce call for articles for the 4th issue of the Drugs – Policies and Practices.

Drugs – Policies and Practices promotes topics about drugs, drug use, drug treatment, and other related topics, such as: sex work, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B and C, Tuberculosis, rights of the marginalized groups/communities, gender perspectives, free access to public information, researches, policies, advocacy, civil society, activism, social work, social policy, health.

Drugs – Policies and Practices target audience are people who use drugs, people on drug addiction treatment, experts for drug use and drug treatment issues and all people with interest for these topics. It is published both in Macedonian (printed and online) and in English (online).

Drugs – Policies and Practices accepts articles, translated articles, news, promotions, columns/essays, pictures with socially enlightening content, campaigns related to D-PP topics. It is space for affirmation of personal opinions and opinions of institutions and organizations who work on such issues. If you have an opinion to declare, news to announce and to boost your campaign, please, contact Vanja Dimitrievski, vanjad@hops.org.mk.

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