Developed in 1999, the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Initiative offers an innovative and integrated response to the multi-faceted needs of young people between 10 to 24 years in East Africa. Through this programme, DSW works in close cooperation with young people with the aim of improving their knowledge, understanding and healthy practice of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as well as their socio-economic situation.
Youth clubs engage in community outreach activities designed to raise awareness, change attitudes and strengthen community life. These activities include youth-led edutainment (music, drama, dance) shows, environmental work and community services as well community dialogue and advocacy meetings targeting local decision-makers and community members.
Trainings provided to young people enable them to develop, set up and maintain income generating activities. Club members learn how to sustain youth club activities and how to secure small loans. Regular exchange meetings enable young people to share their experiences, problems, and good practices with other members of the Y2Y network.
Selected youth club members participate in peer education, SRHR, life skills, club management, and leadership trainings. This knowledge and skill development help them to successfully manage their clubs and to provide quality youth-friendly SRHR information and educational materials on issues such as contraception, family planning, HIV & AIDS, gender, and maternal health in a confidential setting to their peers.
Trained peer educators and peer counsellors in youth clubs offer contraceptives, individual SRHR counselling services, HIV & AIDS testing and counselling or home-based care to their peers in a confidential setting. Referral services between youth clubs and health facilities are set up to ensure young people with SRH-related problems are referred from clubs to health service providers. Health personnel receive training in order to ensure that these services are youth-friendly.
- Creation of a network of hundreds of youth clubs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
- Training of more than 20,000 peer educators who have passed on their knowledge to more than 15 million young people in the last two decades.
- Distribution of more than 18 million youth-friendly educational materials and 15 million condoms.