DSW Ethiopia: SRH Youth Clubs Exhibit Best Practices

Esayas Meskel Ethiopia, Sexual and Reproductive Health

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IMG_0064For fifth time in a row, the annual performances of best practices by SRH youth clubs have been reviewed by DSW in the presence of key stakeholders on January 2, 2017 at DSW-Bonita Youth Development Center. To mark the occasion, representatives from forty-six youth clubs have exhibited their best practices.

During this annual review meeting, the effectiveness of club-based approach became one talking point that largely interests most participants to engage in active discussion as it was articulately defined. The fact that the concept of a club-based approach is a product of the social franchise model embedded in the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Initiative, it has an organic effect for being youth-friendly and adaptable in versatile conditions, contexts, issues and the target groups.

This annual event has accustomed to attract the attention of relevant federal ministries, partner organizations and members of the mainstream media.

IMG_0058Scheduled for a day-long, the annual review meeting was attended by more than hundred thirty participants. After a brief entertainment period allocated for members of the youth clubs to display onstage talents, key-note speakers were introduced before an opening remark was made by Dr. Dadi Wodajo, a Mayor of Bishoftu (Debrezeit), the town in which DSW’s training center is located.

“This year’s annual review meeting doubly draws its importance as we observe the 25th anniversary of DSW at the global level” said Feyera Assefa, DSW Ethiopia country director, adding that the journey we had come along in the past 25 years has to embolden our efforts in many ways in the future to make more differences.

“At least once in a year we spend a full day right here and most of us have the stakes to evaluate the detail activities of our youth program and share the best practices observed during the year. The strength and shortcomings are always part of the core discussion points before the way being forward defined,” Feyera underscores.

The revised version of the national adolescent and youth health strategy (2016 – 2020) prepared by the Federal Ministry of Health, the 25th anniversary of DSW and the introduction of DSW’s new logo were the three core elements in Feyera’s remarks being given particular emphasis. The discussion has recognized how the newly introduced DSW’s logo indicates an emblematic refocus on youth.

The first half of the day ushered reflections and presentations from key stakeholders such as the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Youth and Sports, Youth Federation and Charities and Societies Agency. Each one was represented by their respective staff members who are in senior positions and all have proactively acknowledged DSW’s refocused intervention on youth to being consistently aligned to Ethiopia’s National Adolescent and Youth Health Strategy.

IMG_0036In her keynote address, Mrs. Aster Teshome, Maternal Health Officer at the Ministry of Health, expressed her enthusiasm on the behavior changing program activities engaged by the SRH youth clubs. She particularly appreciates DSW’s efforts with which it came a long way to enable young people in Ethiopia benefit from improved sexual and reproductive health conditions.

“Ethiopia being one of those upfront countries mentioned for success stories in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the coordinated partnerships forged between government and such NGOs as DSW has contributed a great deal”, Aster recounts the attainment of MDGs by Ethiopia between 2000 and 2015. She added that “thanks to those steadfast commitments, the past fifteen years saw nearly 70 percent in reduction rate of maternal mortality”. Way back in 2000 when the MDGs had kicked-in action, maternal mortality rate in Ethiopia stood at 871 per 100,000 live births, fifteen years later that figure was cut down to 412 per 100,000 live births.

The Millennium Development Goals were first set at the UN General Assembly in 2000. Early last year, the fifteen-year long global development goals (MDGs) gave way to the sustainable development goals (SDGs) confine to the next fifteen years.