Drug use among young people and street children in Mauritius has been increasing for a number of years. A recent study on street children reveals that 30.2% of children in "street" situations are either smoking and /or using drugs, and 74.2% of them consider that drugs are readily available in Mauritius. Another in-depth study carried out in 2009 on the IDU population in Mauritius, found that 22% of the IDU population is less than 29 years old. Around 70% of those who use drugs started before their 20’s and 40% started injected between 14-20 years old.

Addressing this issue, Youth RISE has begun a peer education programme in Mauritius as part of our RISE UP! project, partnering with SAFIRE, an organisation based in Mauritius working with street children.

The first stage of the project was to implement a two day training session for 25 young people, comprised of young people who use drugs, most at risk young people and peer educators on:
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health,
  • Harm Reduction principles and services
  • HIV prevention strategies
25 participants attended the first peer residential trainings, and the participants were comprised of active drug users and corresponded to the profile of children or youth in "street" situations. The structure of the training sessions were developed using Youth RISE's peer education guide. From the intial evaluations of the training, the sessions were successful with all participants  recommending   the   training   to   their   peers, with the session on STIs, methods of injection and role playing games were particularly appreciated.
The full report of the project in Mauritius will be released in the coming months after the next stages of the project have been completed.
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