From March 9 to 10, DSW hosted an event to celebrate the amazing outcomes as a result of the Young Adolescents Project (YAP) in Kenya. This project was established by DSW, in collaboration with Bayer AG, in 2012 to address many of the challenges facing young people living within in Kilifi County, a region of Kenya. Before the start of the project, early/forced marriage, and unintended teenage pregnancies were prevalent in the project sites which contributed to high school drop-out rates. In addition, young people lacked access to reproductive health services and a supportive environment at school and in the community.
However, over the course of just three years, YAP Kenya has left a considerable impact among the local community in Kilifi County. As a result of the project, peer education among young adolescents on sexual health and rights is now the norm in all the project schools and this supported by trained teachers and even parents. Girls no longer miss or drop-out of school as a result of menstruation, and there is now open conversations about sexuality with parents. In addition, health workers are now better able to conduct outreaches to schools resulting in lower instances of adolescents unable to access reproductive health care services.
In total, over 3,000 young people, 80 school teachers, 200 parents and community leaders, and 5 health facilities were impacted with life changing information, services, and training which led to significant improvements in health and well-being.
The event which took place in Kilifi, was attended by representatives from Bayer AG, DSW staff, and local representatives from health and education, and they joined to congratulate the outcome of the project and the impact it is having on young people and communities targeted. The success of the project among stakeholders has since prompted calls for an expansion of the project to cover more schools.