In 2018, Youth RISE implemented small grant initiatives in 10 countries: the Czech Republic, Georgia, Ghana, Ireland, Kenya, Lithuania, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan and Ukraine. Two national groups (representing the Czech Republic and Pakistan) had the opportunity to implement additional follow-up activities. The majority of initiatives focused on young people who use drugs and the police, developed and implemented in accordance with varying drug policies and political climates. The small grants in Georgia and Ukraine, as well as part of activities described in this report from Pakistan, were implemented as part of the “Count Me In” project. Youth LEAD, Y+ and Youth RISE successfully bid the Global Fund (GF) Community Rights and Gender (CRG) Special Initiative grant for 2017-2019. The project was named “Count Me In” and given the general aim to achieve meaningful engagement of key youth populations in the Global Fund. This project was implemented in Asia and the Pacific, Africa and Eastern Europe.

The Youth RISE representative in the Czech Republic aimed to organise a public Forum focused on issues within the drug checking1 service establishment. Recent history has shown that, in the Czech Republic, the attempts to include drug checking into existing harm reduction programs fails. The police tend to be strictly against the intervention and are very vocal about their position. Taking this into account, the main purpose of the Forum was to open a public discussion on the unavailability of drug checking interventions in the Czech Republic.