Press Release

New Youth Center opens its doors to adolescents in Turkmenistan

3 May 2017

New Youth Center opened its doors to Turkmen youth and adolescents at the Youth Palace under the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan.  Promoting healthy living through peer education activities will be the focus of the center, supported by UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund and the Ministry of Education. 

This is the second Youth Center in the capital, as UNFPA together with Youth Organization of Turkmenistan launched the first Peer Education Youth Centers in Ashgabat and Mary in October 2011.  The centers serve as a platform for young people to promote healthy living among their peers and support Y-PEER movement, UNFPA-supported Youth Peer Education Network in Turkmenistan.

“Turkmenistan is home to more than two million young people aged 10 to 29, which make up nearly 40 percent of the country’s population,” said Ms. Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative.  “UNFPA believes that when a country invests in health, education and well-being of youth and adolescents, and create an enabling environment for youth to realize their full potential, these investments can bring huge economic benefits in the future.  In this regard, we are proud to partner with the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan in expanding access of our young people to information on healthy living and glad that today we’re launching yet another Youth Center in our capital.”

The grand opening of the center featured presentations of the Y-PEER volunteers on the statistics and activities of the peer educators. The volunteers shared that more than 26,000 young people, including adolescents, already had an opportunity to reflect on their lifestyle and increase their knowledge on healthy and responsible living through peer-to-peer edutainment activities since the launch of the first Youth Centers in Turkmenistan.  

“The data of the first Youth Centers, as well as the feedback of Youth Center volunteers, their parents and teachers show that there is a high demand for youth-friendly services and information on healthy living, including adolescent reproductive health in Turkmenistan,” said Ms. Mayya Meretkuliyeva, Youth Center Coordinator.  “Y-PEER volunteers are eager to continue the tradition of peer education at the new center, which will continue focusing on building life-skills of adolescents and informing them on such serious issues as adolescent reproductive health, prevention of bad habits, sexually-transmitted diseases, including HIV, unintended pregnancy and gender-based violence through interactive peer-to-peer sessions.”

Y-PEER volunteers regularly go through trainings for trainers and well equipped to lead series of events and campaigns to empower young people using the peer-to-peer approach with the knowledge and skills to make healthy choices.  UNFPA recognizes peer-to-peer approach as one of the most effective techniques for teaching life skills to young people. It is based on a theory that young people are more likely to discuss issues relating to adolescent reproductive health with their peers.

The celebration of the Youth Center launch continued with dance performances of talented young dance troupes, quiz sessions on healthy lifestyle, poetry reading and theatrical performances of drama club of the Youth Palace.  The culmination of the launch became the flashmob initiated by the dance troupe, as all event participants joined a lively dance of Kushtdepti to close the event. 

Adopting the concept of youth-led informal education on comprehensive reproductive health at the newly established Youth Centers, and expanding the centers to the velayats is an important part of the partnership between UNFPA and the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan.  The cooperation continues in increasing the access of young people to information on adolescent reproductive health and gender equality through mandatory subject Basics of Life skills in secondary schools and improving the quality of teaching through integration of teaching standards and norms.

READ EZIZ’S STORY.  He’s an emerging leader in his class and a Y-PEER volunteer.

Encourage your adolescent family members and friends to visit the Peer Education Youth centers at the following addresses:

  • Youth Center at the Palace of children and adolescents of Ashgabat city: 2 Gorogly street,  Ashgabat, Turkmenistan; Phone: +(99312) 27-54-43;
  • Youth Center at the Central Council of the Youth Organization of Turkmenistan: Archabil ave., 101, Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, telephone number: +(99312) 44-88-66.
  • Youth Center at the Mary branch of Youth Organization of Turkmenistan: Gurbansoltaneje str., 83, Mary, Turkmenistan; telephone number: +(993522) 7-12-32.

Working Hours and Time: Monday-Friday, 09:00-17:00

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For additional information, please contact:

Bayramgul Garabayeva, UNFPA Assistant Representative

garabayeva@unfpa.org

Ene Tuyliyeva, Advocacy Communication Associate

tuyliyeva@unfpa.org

Tel: 488324

Web: turkmenistan.unfpa.org, tm.one.un.org