About

Who we are

Team

International Coordinator

morgana@youthrise.org

Morgana Daniele is a drug policy and human rights activist. Her expertise is in community mobilization, harm reduction education, and advocacy for drug policy reform. Her academic background is Eastern European and Russian politics.

Project Manager

florian@youthrise.org

Florian is a Deputy Director of Help Not Harm and a co-founder of SSDP Ireland. He has represented Youth RISE to numerous Irish government departments and the Irish Permanent Representative to the United Nations. He is currently undertaking a PhD in ‘NPS Injecting in Ireland: practices, health implications and service utilization’.

Project Manager

ishwor@youthrise.org

Ishwor is a young activist promoting harm reduction initiatives which value health and human rights of drug users in Nepal, specifically promoting gender equality and young people. He is one of the national representatives of Youth LEAD. He is currently studying for a Master’s Degree in Tribhuvan University.

International Working Group Member

wiqas@youthrise.org

Wiqas is a youth activist from Pakistan who founded Human Resources Organization and Initiative for Youth & Sustainable Development and is the current Executive Director for the Initiative for Youth and Sustainable Development in Pakistan. He is also involved in cross border education and health initiatives with young people in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Communications Officer

ailish@youthrise.org

Ailish is a feminist youth activist working on drug policy, homelessness, as well as LGBTQ+, and feminist issues, especially focusing on the intersection of all of these topics. She is studying for a Bachelor of Arts in University College Dublin, where she founded the first chapter of Students for Sensible Drug Policy.

International Working Group Member

daniel@youthrise.org

Daniel is a social activist with a drug policy, capacity building, advocacy and governance background. He is the Youth RISE representative to Paradigma and was the co-founder of Activista Ghana. His academic background is Political Science and English.

International Working Group Member

Bachar Kaawach is a drug policy and harm reduction activist who represents the voices of people who use drugs in Lebanon. He attends regular meetings with government departments, NGOs, and other civil society groups, regarding issues affecting people who use drugs and other key affected populations. Bachar is a marketing graduate and as well as engaging in advocacy work he tries to spread awareness of social issues through his rap music.

International Working Group Member
Oz is a young LGBTQ+ and HIV activist from Turkey, studying for a Bachelors of Business Administration in Marmara University Istanbul. Oz has been involved in the HIV field since 2017, worked for national and international NGOs and conferences representing youth. As a gay man openly living with HIV, he is working to improve the quality of life of people from marginalized communities and people living with or affected by HIV.

International Working Group Member

Abril Galván is a young activist and a member SSDP Latin America.  Her work as a healthcare professional has led her to participate in projects in Mexico and Bolivia focused on advocacy for harm reduction based policies and ending the stigma associated with drug use.

International Working Group Member

Mayank is a young researcher and advocate who works to support and promote youth centered programs and policies, with a specific focus on drugs and people who inject drugs in India. His academic background includes sociology, anthropology and folklore studies.

International Working Group Member

MJ Stowe is a researcher and activist whose work has focused on substance analysis and support services in recreational settings. MJ’s skills include data handling, analysis and visualisation as well as science communication. He is particularly interested in using an evidence-based approach to implement full-spectrum harm reduction practices.

International Working Group Member

Yahya is the founder of Friendly Organization for Research and Community Empowerment (FORCE) and previously worked with Addiction and Healthcare Organization (MAHCO) /Center of Excellence in Harm Reduction and Dependency. Currently he works with SHRO as harm reduction service provider and researcher.

International Working Group Member

Sandeep is a social activist and harm reductionist working with an organization which solely works with PWUD and people living with HIV and AIDS by providing services of Oral Substitution Therapy and Needle Syringe Exchange programs. He is a leader and improving young people who use drugs’ engagement in community, national and regional drug programming processes.

Mariam is a drug policy activist from Georgia. She is one of the founders of an organization which focuses on young people who use drugs and promoting friendly harm reduction services and approaches.

Joana works with NGOs in advocacy and as a policy officer, dedicated to drug policy reform, and supporting full spectrum harm reduction services in a variety of settings and PWUD rights. She is a member of the Portuguese National Forum for HIV, Hep C and TB, and has worked as a representative of civil society at a number of forums and working groups, such as the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs. Her educational background is in Political Sciences and International Relations, Economics, and Public policies, having as main interest drug policy reform: from decriminalization to legalization, as part of her research and activist daily routines.

News

Youth Organization Collaboration

Youth RISE project managers are continuing work to improve collaboration amongst youth organizations as meetings have been held groups such as SSDP Australia and YODA, among others, around future partnerships and organizing a Paradigma strategy meeting this coming July. The meeting will take place in Vilnius and will bring together global youth drug policy reform groups to enable our organizations to work together towards the same goals. Youth RISE members have also been working to arrange to Global Fund Training of Trainers event in Cape Town this month. This training will again improve cooperation among youth organizations and is being run in conjunction with Y+ and Youth LEAD.

Call for Video Consultant

Youth RISE is hiring a consultant to help in the development of an advocacy video outlining the work being done by our organisation and to aid in the expansion of the network. The deadline for applications is 00:00 EEST on the 10th of June and the ToR for applicants can be found here. Applications should be sent to morgana@youthrise.org.

Opioid Substitution Treatment in Lebanon

Lebanon has faced problems arising from buprenorphine abuse in recent years as people who use drugs have chosen different routes of administration, such as snorting or injecting, which increased the harms caused by the OST drug. Buprenorphine sublingual tablets contain corn starch and other active ingredients which can cause blood clots, and are designed to be taken orally, by placing them under your tongue. People have been experimenting with buprenorphine in an attempt to create produce a high associated with opioids and this has, rather alarmingly, led to buprenorphine now being sold on the black market. Youth RISE, along with other national NGOs in Lebanon such as SIDC, OM el NOUR, SKOON, and many others started working on ways to solve these problems. Youth RISE team member Bachaar Kawach was working in this group as a social and medical worker, and experienced activist, concluded that the best strategy would be to convince the Ministry of Public Health to implement new strategies, such as adapting the formula of the tablets.

The main points of his suggestion were:

  1. Maintain the current plan of out-patient rehabilitation
  2. To use an OST drug that cannot easily be exchanged for goods on the black market, as was an issue with buprenorphine being exchanged for heroin, trapping those on OST in addiction still.
  3. To help people who inject drugs simply because they have needle fixation by using suboxone which has naloxone in it, unlike the generic “Buprenorphine Arrow”.
  4. Discouraging the sale and use of suboxone on the black market.

After 8 years of generic buprenorphine being used in OST, in the beginning of this year suboxone has finally been registered and is now available to be distributed as OST. Feedback from people using the new suboxone formula has been positive and we hope to continue education about the harms associated with the misuse of OST drugs throughout the year.

Youth RISE at “Taking Roots, Branching Out” 4YOUTH Inception Meeting

Youth RISE Project Managers Ishwor Maharjan and Florian Scheibein recently attended the 4YOUTH Inception Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand. The 4YOUTH Consortium is a partnership between Youth RISE, Youth LEAD, YPEER and Y+Network. We are very excited about this one! More details can be found in the attached document here.

Georgian National Harm Reduction Conference

On 26-27th March 2019, the Georgian National Harm Reduction Conference was held in Tbilisi, the first time the conference has taken place since 2013. Along with the Georgian guests, the conference was also attended by international experts, who shared their experiences and recommendations.

The conference was informative and productive, however the lack of policy makers in attendance was disappointing, especially given the turbulent recent history of drug policy in Georgia. In response, Georgian drug policy activists placed the figures of Georgian policymakers among the audience to highlight the importance of their inclusion in the discussion.

The primary goal of this conference was to bring together local and global professionals, field experts and stakeholders in an open dialogue. Despite the absence of the decision makers, the conference was a success. The engagement of attendees helped to formulate new questions, plans, and future goals towards which we will continue to work.

Photo shutdown at CND

An attempt at a large group photo in front of CND today was prevented from happening by security due to the presence of Support Don’t Punish imagery and slogans. Despite receiving permission for a photo, and the UNODC giving funding towards the Support Don’t Punish campaign, the photo was briefly prevented because it was deemed to be a protest or demonstration which had not been sanctioned, before eventually being given the all clear without the use of slogans, with the posters all being confiscated. Participants were threatened with bans and prevented from recording the incident, with one person being escorted from the location. This suppression of radical and dissenting voices at CND is astounding!

International Coordinator Makes Speech at CND Ministerial Segment

Youth RISE International Coordinator Morgana Daniele spoke this Thursday at the High-Level Ministerial Segment of the 62nd Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna. She spoke as a youth representative on behalf of Youth RISE at the side event entitled “A Health-Centered Approach to Drug Dependence, a Multi-Factorial Health Disorder”. The event was organized by the Norwegian Government and Morgana gave an impassioned speech encouraging attendees to fight to help those with addiction and empower people with as many possibilities and opportunities as possible to overcome to illness of addiction. You can view a full video of the speech here.

Youth Consortium Meeting

During the annual reflection meeting on 26-27 Feb, 2019, held in Bangkok, Thailand, Youth RISE, along with other consortium members agreed and decided to strengthen and expand the Global Consortium of Youth-led organizations. It was agreed that this would be done through a number of channels by increasing collaboration and coordinating with each other in 2019. Hence In 2019 all consortium members agreed and allocated some budget from each side, to organize a Global workshop on Global Fund which is planned to be held in June 2019 in South Africa.

Harm Reduction Consortium Meeting

Youth RISE has attended the annual Harm Reduction Consortium meeting in February and finalized the previous 3-year project round by submitting our narrative and financial reports, as well as sharing the results of 2018 with our donor Robert Carr Civil Society Networks Fund and the Consortium partners through the publication of our annual report. Youth RISE as part of the Consortium will continue its work of civil society strengthening in the next 2019-2021 project round, which promises to be continue our regional work, organisational development and expansion, campaigns and better communication.

YouthRISE welcomes new IWGs

Youth RISE has expanded its International Working Group to 16 members, with plans for a further expansion to become a team of 20 people by April. Our new team formation allows Youth RISE to represent drug and youth related issues from a truly global perspective. The newly formed team will work to further strengthen our network in 2019 by implementing small grant activities on regional level, as well as organising specific actions and campaigns.