|Newsletter, May-June 2017|
Service on the World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims
On May 21, 2017, the World Remembrance Day of AIDS Victims, the prayer service for the dead victims of AIDS was held at the church of the Finding of the Lord's Sepulchre at the Danilovsky suburb in Moscow. The Office for the Dead was led by the rector of the church, Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk.
Among those who attended the commemoration were Ms. M.Grigoryeva, Deputy Head of the Department of HIV / AIDS Surveillance, Viral Hepatitis, Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights and Human Welfare (Rospoterbnadzor); representatives of the Moscow-based "Svecha" psychological care center, which provides assistance to people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA); Sisters of mercy and volunteers of St. Dimitry Sisterhood and the Resource Center for Palliative Care, caring for PLWHA on the basis of the Moscow Infectious Disease Hospital No. 2; Activists of NGOs, as well as people living with this disease.
Archpriest Igor Yakimchuk addressed the participants at the end of the memorial service, noting that not only those deceased from AIDS need this Church's prayer, as a manifestation of philanthropy; this prayer is also important for those, who live with this disease, in order to be guided in their way to repentance for the sake of healing of souls and bodies.
Based on the materials on www.hramvs.ru
Training seminar for 'The Way to Home' program
For a several days the Ugresha monastery has generously offered a platform for participants in the training seminars initiated by the Synodal Department for Church Charity and Social Service coordinating center for opposing drug addiction together with the St. John of Kronstadt Charity. From May 26 to 30, the Ugresha Monastery of St. Nicholas hosted a training seminar for 'The Way to Home' program.
'The Way to Home' is a third part of a comprehensive program for preventing risk behaviours and HIV/AIDS and forming personal responsible attitude to oneself, founding a family and raising children. The program is targeted at the youth - those who are going to marry and become parents and young people who have already become parents. It is called to build up a responsible attitude to such an important aspect of family relations as parenthood.
The seminar was conducted by Irina Demyanova, a psychologist, director of the center for psychological, medical and social support at the town of Seltso, Bryansk region, and Victoria Afonina, a psychologist, chair of the governing board of Blago, a regional public organization in Bryansk.
According to Ms. Afonina, conscious attitude to the family is a topic very relevant in our days. Regrettably, realities of the modern world are not conducive to the strengthening of family values traditional for Russian people. For this reason, 'the voice crying in the wilderness' should be not just heard but young people who are building up a new family have to learn how to be spouses and parents. Therefore, personal training is set as the principal method of work under the Way to Home program. Used in the program are various forms of involvement in the active process of learning, such as discussion, role-playing games and psychological exercises.
'Training seminars' Ms. Afonina said, 'are attended by an increasing number of people each year. Today, 24 people have come to the Ugresha Monastery of St. Nicholas, mostly from the Moscow region - Odintsovo, Podolsk, Dzerzhinsky and other towns. Among them are those who attended all the three prevention programs - 'Living Water' (for preliminary schoolchildren), 'Ladya' (for teenagers) and "The Way to Home' (for students). They believe it is very important. Some have completed training under two programs and now are ready to fill the gap. The seminar is held for only a few days but even for such a short period of time, attendees appear to change inwardly. It is especially gratifying to see the transformation that happens to young people.
Ms. Afonina expressed hope that the Way to Home program will be used at parishes for young people who are going to get married, especially those who are only being initiated to the Church. Though the program does not use examples connected with the faith directly, reflections on the soul and family values imperceptibly open up for young men and women the spiritual horizons of which they were unaware before.
'It is very important that future spouses should learn to come to agree, so that in their family they could speak in the language of love. Everyone wants to have a good and happy family but few know that it is fostered by traditions and, most importantly, by rules. By the way, everybody tends to forget about the rules altogether'.
During the last day of the seminar, the guests of the Ugresha Monastery of St. Nicholas made a tour of the churches in this old monastery near Moscow.
Seminar under Ladya program
From June 13 to 16, specialists of the Arkhangelsk-based social rehabilitation center for minors were trained under the Ladya program at the public charity 'Rassvet' (dawn).
This program for primary prevention of HIV/AIDS and risk behaviours among teenagers was developed under the aegis of the Russian Orthodox Church by a team of ecclesial and secular specialists including educators, psychologists, psychiatrist and narcologists.
The program consists of 23 lessons: Happiness, I and My Life, Man and Woman, Good and Evil, Overcoming Problems, etc. Some lessons are devoted to the prevention of HIV infection and drug addiction. A lesson lasts for one hour and a half. Each lesson includes various forms of activity, such as discussions on a teenager's experience, reflection, role-playing games, reception of new information.
The program is designed for teaching in ordinary schools, boarding schools, vocational schools as additional education. It is intended for both socially adapted teenagers and the so-called 'troubled teens'.
Along with teenagers, their parents and school administrators are involved in the work, which helps to increase the effectiveness of the program's educational impact.
In conclusion of the seminar, the specialists were granted graduation certificates.
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