25 years of dsw
Twenty-five years ago, the founders of DSW set out with a plan. That plan was to create an organisation with the goal of enabling people to decide freely and responsibly about the number and spacing of their children. They believed that a person’s access to sexual and reproductive health is both a fundamental human right and a crucial step towards eliminating global poverty. By securing the sexual and reproductive health and rights for future generations, we would be giving millions of young people the opportunity to take control of their lives and futures. Twenty-five years later, as DSW celebrates a landmark birthday, this remains our core mission: a healthy and sustainable world in which all young people can realise their full potential.
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In thinking about this special introduction for DSW’s Silver Anniversary, my mind began to reflect on the incredible successes and many accomplishments that we have aachieved over the past 25 years. I also began to think about something else. A key attribute that has contributed to our achievements and that continues to flow in abundance through the team – our spirit! In all my time at DSW, I have never witnessed this spirit falter or weaken, even in the face of insurmountable odds.
Today, that spirit is as strong as ever. We continue to push boundaries and firmly believe that change, real change, is not only possible but obtainable. Since 1991, we have carried this message through many profound developments and major achievements – for us and for the global development community. We have been witness to, and a participant in, transformative agendas, such as the International Conference on Population and Development, the staggering successes of the Millennium Development Goals, and now the international efforts to secure the FP 2020 agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
Since 1991, we have expanded our activities from Germany to the worldwide stage to build networks, long lasting partnerships, and offices at the EU level and in east Africa. These relationships ensure that we will continue to push at all levels in our pursuit towards achieving better health outcomes and financing for the world’s most neglected populations.
DSW is committed to positive change, positive action, and a better future for all. Your support for DSW ensures that we can continue this work for another 25 years. Let’s make the future ours today!
Renate Baehr, Executive Director, DSW
Three questions to renate
25 years, 25 faces, 25 Wishes
Mission, Vision, & Where we work
Where we work!
For twenty-five years, DSW has sought to ensure that family planning is recognised as a human right. Young people form the focus of this work. They are not only the parents of tomorrow but also the key for the future development of their countries – investing in their health means investing in a better future. To advance this cause, DSW works tirelessly from each of its seven officesworldwide (Brussels, Hannover, Berlin, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia, & Tanzania), by promoting advocacy dialogue and raising awareness of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues, and on the linkages between sustainable development, poverty, health, environmental protection, and demographic trends. In addition, DSW monitors and influences political decision-making in areas relating to SRHR.
Our offices in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda
New logo, New Branding…New Beginning!
This anniversary is not just about reflecting on past achievements, it is also about looking forward. To celebrate a new beginning for DSW, we have created a new brand that best reflects our innovative and forward thinking personality. Our slogan “Youth Can” is direct and uncompromising – there is no time for doubt, not when the potential is so great. Just like our slogan, we CAN and will create a better future.
DSW’S Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Initiative in East Africa
DSW’s Youth-to-Youth Initiative (Y2Y) has been established to address the needs of young people (10-24) in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. To achieve this, DSW works in close cooperation with young people to improve their knowledge of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and offers training and counselling on club management, leadership, and entrepreneurship to provide them with the skills and power to lead a self-determined future.
A snapshot of our successes in 2015:
Over 213,000 youth and community members reached via our youth clubs through integrated outreach activities on issues relating to SRHR, HIV & AIDS, and gender violence.
DSW has distributed more than two million condoms to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
Registered 12 NEW Y2Y clubs.
Trained over a 100 young people on entrepreneurship skills which led to the creation of 113 local income generating activities.
Increased female leadership of clubs to over 47 percent.
Enabled the establishment of 23 political dialogue forums at local and national levels to address ongoing issues relating to the provision of youth friendly health services, youth leadership, and youth unemployment.
HIGHLIGHTS OVER THE YEARS
Speaking to the heart of a legislator in Uganda
A colleague at work recently made a joke and said to me, “Mona, if I needed a salesman, I would call you to do the job”. Of course we laughed about it, and it seemed flattery, yet I could vividly recall the first time I convened 200 members of parliament in a room to talk to them about the reality of the sexual health of young people in my country Uganda.
This was almost 10 years ago.
I had been informed of the challenges to convince members of parliament to attend civil society meetings, and to make them stay for even an hour with their undivided attention. This seemed somewhat of a huge task to accomplish, yet here we were, me with a limited advocacy experience on the topic of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), having to address political figures, many of whom I had zero contact with. What to tell them?
Fortunately, the Guttmacher Institute in that same year had just published a study about young people in Uganda, titled “The Next Generation”. This study, focused on important topics ranging from teenage pregnancies rates and abortion, to the need for sexual and reproductive health services and demands, to contraceptives use and gaps, and the general lack of knowledge on SRHR among young people in both urban and rural communities in Uganda.
The Guttmacher study had guided my meeting with parliamentarians and I successfully built a case that became the foundation of a FIVE hour discussion. This was later known as one of the many honest conversations about young people.
At the time, it did not matter if it was a member of parliament, or an officer of the Government at this meeting, in the room. What mattered was finding ways to ensure that young people in Uganda remain healthy and safe.
Several years later, I received a call from an honourable member of parliament, Sylvia Namabidde. She had convened a meeting to petition her fellow legislators to vote for the approval of a Government loan from the World Bank but only if the Government was willing to use some of the funds to procure contraceptives and to train health workers for improved service delivery. I saw a true champion.
Another champion, the honourable Speaker of Parliament of Uganda, Right Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, continues to inspire hundreds of fellow legislators that young people deserve to have health lives. She continues to advocate to the Uganda Government to invest in the young generation, to ensure their well being. She stands firm on the belief in zero tolerance to violence against the girl child and women in Uganda and the world. In her words and commitment, she is always willing to give time to our cause, to represent our SRHR issues in parliament and beyond and to provide space for civil society to participate in free debate and to share knowledge.
DSW to me is a home away from my family, a place where I have for the 10 years learnt a lot, and lived the life as an advocate for young people. I have built good and honest relations with all stakeholders. I am confident that legislators in parliament will continue to support our work, because just like me, they too are parents, and like me, they want to see their daughters living in safe communities, getting better reproductive health services, graduating after school, and growing up to be beautiful intelligent and independent strong young women and men.
They, like any other parent, want to see success in the lives of their children. This is how we tap onto their compassion; we simply speak to their hearts that every life of a young person in Uganda matters.
Mona Herbert is the Country Director of DSW in Uganda since 2013.
Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young Adolescents
“Before the project, many girls used not to perform well in class, they would not attend classes when in their menstrual period, but with the project introduction of giving sanitary pads, the construction of the girls changing room and training of peer educators, girls no longer absent themselves, perform even better than boys and they have registered no school drop-out”
Susan Babiiha is the Head teacher for Walyoba primary school. The school has over 400 young adolescents and only 15 teachers.
“The schools have registered reduced school dropout rates, teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and many other forms of sexual harassment compared to the schools where the project has not reached. Parents have a positive attitude towards their children education and are now responding to their duties and responsibilities. Teachers have been equipped with friendly methods of passing on information to adolescents through the teachers trainings conducted during the project.”
Mr. Aroda J. Robinson is the Tororo District Inspector of Schools. As the head of the District Inspectorate, he works with four other inspectors. The District has over 249 primary schools.
Our Finances in 2015
DSW is supervised by the state supervisory authority for foundations. We produce our annual financial statements voluntarily in accordance with the requirements of the German Commercial Code (Handelsgesetzbuch, HGB) and have them reviewed by independent auditors. Statutory requirements for the supervision of foundations include an annual audit of the financial conduct of the foundation, with particular attention to the use of funds and the foundation’s activities.
Development Projects – By RegionFinancial Report 2015
Your donation counts!
Your support over the past 25 years has enabled us to reach and empower millions of young people living in the world’s poorest countries. You have given them a better chance in life and the power to fulfil their destinies. Without your continued confidence in our work, none of our successes would have been possible. For this you have our sincere heartfelt gratitude.
Together, we can do anything!
Our heartfelt thanks!
And now, a word from our donors…
Karin and Werner Schneider
“For 20 years now we have supported the important work of the DSW in Africa. Our participation on three project trips have convinced us of the efficiency of their work.”
“Even after 25 years, the tireless commitment of DSW plays a vital role in enabling people create new prospects and a chance for a self-determined future.”
A SPECIAL MESSAGE
From UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, on the occasion of DSW’s 25th anniversary.
“DSW is an invaluable partner to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, and an advocate for the sexual and reproductive health and rights of millions of women and young people around the world.
DSW has played a central role in mobilizing political and financial support to advance the agenda set forth in the landmark Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development.
I congratulate DSW for its many successes in expanding access to information and services that enable individuals to decide whether and when to become pregnant and thus to exercise a fundamental human right.
UNFPA welcomes DSW’s continued contribution towards a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”