In a half day-long workshop, once again DSW exhibits its commitment to embark on undertaking a youth empowerment program goes by its acronym V4C (Voice for Choice). The launching workshop sensitizes about the objectives and way forward of the project in the presence of sixty key stakeholders. In his opening speech, Feyera Assefa, DSW’s country director (Ethiopia) acknowledged the commitments displayed by the young people who are in spirit of confirming a strong sign of a sense of ownership.

Voice for Choice

“The launching of what we call Voice for Choice Project is an essential product of our youth development initiative previously served millions of young people in Ethiopia,” Feyera said. “The good stories and practices drawn from the past experiences of implementing youth-focused development initiatives are the ones that enthusiastically jolt us into taking up yet another initiative to make all the differences,” Feyera underscores in the conclusion of his remarks as he ushered Renate Bähr, DSW’s Excutive Director to share a brief account of her thoughts to the audience.

In her concise remarks, Bähr enthused that “I am happy to be at a launching workshop such as this that discourses about youth empowerment issues. The histoy of our development focus on youth goes back from the time our organization was founded in 1991. Since then our focus remains at the core of DSW’s thematic intervention. Our efforts always evolve to empower the young people’s needs for sexual and reproductive health and rights through times within the contexts of the demographic dividend dynamics. We are visibliy a pro-youth global organization.

“Not only about our thematic focuses, even our logo speaks volumes of youth and their potential ability to make a difference. When a few years back we redesigned our corporate brands, the logo appears to do everything about youth. In it, the combination of four words have it all, You Can and Youth Can. We literally meant it that we make sure that the youth of today are empowered enough to be able to lead healthy and self-determined lives,” Bähr pointedly stressed and further emphasized her optimism about the “Voice for Choice” project to add values in the broader sense of youth empowerment efforts engaged by all stakeholders in Ethiopia.

“Focus on youth development”

The half-day workshop that officially launched V4C project saw a host of activities, including presentation and panel discussion by key stakeholders. Aimed at improving the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in Ethiopia, DSW through the launching of “Voice for Choice” a youth-focused project, which has mobilized a network of youth-serving organizations comprised both in-and-out of schools and youth empowerment centers actively stretching across three major regions and the metropolis, Addis Ababa.