Focusing on educating the beneficiaries on personal hygiene and sexual health.
Guided by the continuous development and the multilevel supervision of its beneficiary population, the NGO EXELIXI ZOIS, launched a few days ago, an educational collaboration with the HELLENIC PASTEUR INSTITUTE, which is the first Institute in Biomedical Research and Public Health in Greece.
EXELIXI ZOIS was founded in 2018 with a donation from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (ISN) and its aim is to provide support services to children / adolescents (12-18 years old) as well as to young adults (18-25 years old) living in closed child protection institutions. In a view of a constant quest for the enrichment of the services provided, the specialized scientists of the Organization identified the urgent need of the beneficiary population for their awareness and information on issues related to personal hygiene and sexual education. Hence, a direct cooperation with a body that specialises in supporting Public Health was considered necessary, which eventually fulfilled through the collaborative design of a training program that is focused on the above key issues of everyday life.
The start of the program was held online, on Saturday, May 15, with the beneficiaries of the Agios Alexandros Home of Females to be the recipients, followed by the Christodoulio Female Institution, on Saturday, June 5.
The first seminar that was held separately in the two institutions focused on biosomatic changes during adolescence and adulthood, the rules of personal hygiene, care and protection of the body during sexual intercourse and at a broader level.
After careful study and based on the real needs of the beneficiaries, as they were recorded by the scientific staff of EXELIXI ZOIS, the seminar was divided into three sections. The first section entitled "Getting to know the body", analysed the biosomatic changes of adolescence, the anatomy of the body, the reproductive system and the menstrual cycle. The second section focused on "Hygiene and Personal Care" in which the risks of sexual intercourse were discussed with an emphasis on sexually transmitted diseases and the possibility of an unwanted pregnancy. The seminar ended with the section on "Prevention and protection", during which the methods of prevention, contraception and vaccines for sexually transmitted diseases were presented.
The whole action was based on a clear planning offering a valuable knowledge including verbal adjustments that contributed to be effective to both the adolescents, typically developing 12-15 years old, and those belonging to the age group of 16-19 years. The active participation of the young beneficiaries and the plethora of questions posed during the discussion confirmed the usefulness and necessity of carrying out this program.
Through the conclusion of this cooperation, the two bodies look forward to the creation of a relationship of mutual trust with the aim of providing and enriching the quality of care and support services to the vulnerable target groups. In the next period, relevant informative actions are expected to be carried out in the other collaborating institutions of EXELIXI ZOIS, which are the SOS Children's Village of Vari and the Youth Home of Paleo Faliro.
EXELIXI ZOIS was founded in March 2018 and is addressed to children-adolescents (12-18 years) and young adults (18-25 years) coming from any Closed Child Protection Institution. The Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF) was a donor in the action of the EXELIXI ZOIS from the very beginning with its founding donation. Through support services, such as educational and counselling programmes, psychological support programmes in addition to children's contact with sporting , visual art and cultural activities, EXELIXI ZOIS seeks to facilitate their integration into society, giving them self-confidence to move forward dynamically in life, leaving any unpleasant experiences in the past. The Vision of the Nonprofit Civil Partnership is to create a bridge which will foster the smooth transition of its beneficiaries from one age bracket to the other, with the ultimate aim of their independent and autonomous living.
THE HELLENIC PASTEUR INSTITUTE
The HELLENIC PASTEUR INSTITUTE (HPI), an Institute of biomedical research with a social mission, was founded in 1920. During its 101 years, it has been needed and contributed with full readiness to epidemic / pandemic crises to defend the Public Health in our country. Today it is a modern research center, which promotes scientific excellence through the implementation of research and innovation programs, always maintaining an open dialogue with society.
The HPI is a public research body that assists the State in issues of Public Health. From the beginning of the emergence of the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, identifying the critical situation and guided by its responsibility to the society, the HPI made the most of its competitive advantage as a Research and Public Health Center and as a member of the International Network of Pasteur Institutes, for understanding the new virus and tackling the pandemic crisis that has caused. The HPI has put its facilities, human resources and research infrastructure available to the State.
The HPI, a founding member of the International Network of Pasteur Institutes, an intercontinental scientific organization involving 33 affiliated institutions around the world, has the special feature of combining research in the area of Public Health applications. In this context, it has a well-organized and accredited Diagnostic Department, which conducts in a scientifically sound and reliable manner the examination of clinical specimens, providing a wide range of examinations to patients for the diagnosis of common infectious diseases (eg influenza), but also emerging (new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, West Nile virus, Zika, Dengue fever, Ebola, etc.), as well as serious neurodegenerative and auto-immune neurological diseases.