Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) is dedicated to achieving our vision of a healthy and sustainable world in which all young people, especially girls and young women, can fully realise their true potential. Central to our mission is championing young people’s access to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, and supporting sustainable and rights-based population development. This page provides a closer look at the work we do – and how we do it – across Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Age-appropriate family planning and “mobile nurses”
Integrating Youth Friendly Clinics into Youth Empowerment Centers
Sponsored by: Rossmann Beteiligungs GmbH
In Ethiopia, one in three young people between the ages of 15 and 19 has an unmet need for contraceptives. This is often because family planning counselling is not tailored to young people. Young people who ask about contraception are often shamed. Many adolescents, especially in rural areas, do not know who they can turn to confidentially with their questions. This project helps to solve these issues.
So-called “youth-friendly clinics” are set up in a total of five DSW youth empowerment centres. The focus of these youth friendly clinics is counselling and access to contraceptives. Trained nurses also administer long-term contraception such as hormone implants and injections directly here on request. Even though many contraceptives are primarily suitable for women, the services are equally aimed at young men as testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases is also possible at the clinics. Discretion and a lot of privacy give the young people security and take away their shame and fear. The clinics are supplemented by mobile nurses who travel to rural areas. Therefore even young people who live far away from the clinics are able to receive the services.
- Youth-friendly equipment of clinic rooms in youth empowerment centres
- Training of nurses (mobile and non-mobile) and peer educators in youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services.
- Training of nurses (mobile and non-mobile) in modern family planning methods such as the contraceptive pill, three-month injections, IUDs and emergency contraception.
- Adolescent health services and mobile sexual and reproductive health services for young women in the communities close to the clinics.
Enhancing livelihood prospects for young people in Ethiopia
Enhancing livelihood prospects for young people in Ethiopia
Sponsored by: Stiftungsallianz für Afrika (SAfA) gGmbH, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Project Partners: Hanns R. Neumann Foundation (HRNS), Rossmann Foundation, Kühne Foundation, Herz Foundation
Implementing Partners: DSW Ethiopia, HRNS Ethiopia, Elias Melake Foundation (EMF)
The aim of the project is to improve the living situation of young people in Ethiopia, primarily in rural but also in urban areas. To this end, attractive prospects are being created for the rapidly growing young population and over 70,000 young people aged 15 to 29 are being supported in the Amhara and Oromia regions.
The project combines activities on three thematical components: 1. Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), including access to contraception and family planning, 2. Agriculture, with a focus on coffee and agricultural employment), and 3. Logistics and education. The project is the pilot project of SAfA.
About 28% of the Ethiopian population is aged between 15-29. Most youth live in rural areas, have poor access to education, and at best support their families through care work or earn a little extra money from time to time through small jobs. Economically attractive opportunities and access to vocational training are lacking. Further to this, social services that young people need, such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, are scarce and are not tailored to the needs of young people. The situation is even more challenging for young women, who have fewer opportunities for a self-determined life due to prevailing gender inequalities and are more prone to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). Additionally, young people rarely have resources – such as land or capital – to build a future. Various (training and further) education opportunities offered by the project partners address this challenge and enable the young people to have a professional perspective. The offerings of the individual organisations thus create unique synergy effects and holistically improve the livelihood prospects of young people.
Key DSW activities to improve young people’s SRHR
- Knowledge transfer on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) to more than 70.000 young people
- Supporting 50 health centers and health posts in establishing youth-friendly health services in the area of SRHR
- Training for 60 health service providers on comprehensive family planning
- Awareness-raising in the youth’s environment, including mobile clinics offering counseling on modern contraception and family planning.
- Training of 600 female change agents and community promoters to provide education on family planning in communities and households
- Raising awareness of sexual and reproductive health in 24 schools and universities.
- Training of 20 Youth Champions who accompany political decision-making processes at local, regional and national levels
- Implementation of courses in vocational training and innovative business management for 120 youth club members
- Bulid the capacity of 346 health service providers on the provision of youth-friendly SRHR services, comprehensive family planning, STI management and screening for cervical cancer, screening and diagnosis of fistula
- Build the capacity of 208 youth club members on club leadership & management, and entrepreneurship and business skills
Key activities of the partners
- Improving the economic situation of young people through employment in agricultural value chains (HRNS Ethiopia)
- Qualification of young people and other stakeholders from different value chains through market-oriented higher education, vocational training and consulting in the areas of logistics, transport and supply chain management (EMF)
Health and training for youth
Vijana Vuka na Afya (VIVA)
Sponsored by: KfW, Childrens Investment Fund Foundation, Bayer
Teenage girls account for one in five pregnancies in Kenya. Many of these teenage pregnancies are unintended. They occur because young people are denied access to knowledge about sexual and reproductive health. The same applies to good health care and contraceptives. The project is financed by KfW and implemented by the Kenyan government. As a cooperation partner, DSW takes on the task of introducing young people between the ages of 15 and 24 to health services and training opportunities.
Parents and teachers often do not provide young people with the necessary information to prevent early pregnancies. And young people often miss out on health care as well. In Kenya and many other African countries, the health system is based on health centres that combine different medical disciplines under one roof. Anyone with a medical concern of any kind goes there – also for contraceptive advice and supply. Only about one in eight of these health centres offers this service specifically for adolescents. This gap, which often leads to adolescents becoming parents at an early age and having to overthrow their plans for the future, is being closed by the programme. This gap, which often leads to young people becoming parents at an early age and impacts their plans for the future, is being closed by the programme.
In the three districts of Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, we are working with the Kenyan Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Information, Communication, Innovation and Youth to make the health system more responsive to the needs of young people. The project also includes the Life Yangu website. This gives young people access to age-appropriate education, information on contraceptives, and contact details and directions to youth-friendly health centres. In training courses, they also learn important skills for their professional lives. Healthy young people who can make their own decisions about family planning offer enormous development potential for their countries.
- Develop integrated, youth-friendly services in eight youth empowerment centres in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
- Support for eight youth empowerment centres in three districts
- Education and training of 150 youth counsellors on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and socio-economic skills, who share their knowledge with up to 60,000 youth.
- Promotion of 75 Youth Savings and Loans Associations
- Placement of 4,500 youth in micro-enterprises
- Training of health care providers to counsel and treat adolescents
Help us to make this a reality – donate what you can today! Every cent is used to help us reach more and more vulnerable young people living in conditions of extreme poverty.
More health for youth
Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia
Youth for Health (Y4H): Expanding Access to Life-Changing Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia
Sponsored by: European Union, private donations
Youth for Health (Y4H) is a three-year initiative that will work to expand access to life-changing adolescent sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights (ASRHR), with a focus on reaching the poorest and most marginalised adolescent girls, including those with disabilities, in rural and hard-to-reach areas of Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and Zambia. By unlocking demand and access and contributing towards changes in favour of supportive policies and funding environments, Youth for Health will increase and sustain access to ASRHR for girls and young women.
DSW in a consortium led by MSI Reproductive Choices, along with six other national partners, Centre for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) Kenya, Health Alert Sierra Leone (HASiL), Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG), Sikika, Restless Development Zambia and Youth Network for Sustainable Development (YNSD) Ethiopia are implementing the Y4H project. Each partner brings a wealth of experience working with, and for, adolescents, including in youth-friendly services; youth-led accountability and participation in governance; youth leadership, especially of young women; youth mobilisation; and community engagement; as well as long-standing media and communication experience.
DSW’s role in the project is to improve the political environment and mobilise resources in the countries at local, national and regional levels, while working on the ground in two subdistricts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. Other project partners are focused on increasing demand for high-quality SRHR information and ensuring a strong public health sector is able to deliver ASRHR services. In these six subdistricts, DSW-trained youth champions are working to ensure that their demands for improved national ASRHR services are heard. The production and analysis of annual budget studies and community scorecards will be important tools the youth champions will use in their advocacy to call for increased funding for ASRHR in their communities.
- Annual analysis of public budgets in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia in terms of planning and spending on ASRHR and family planning.
- Collection of data on the availability of youth-friendly ASRHR services and modern contraceptives in the communities.
- Providing expertise on ASRHR through participation in working groups and consultations at the local, regional and national levels.
- Training of 30 youth champions per country on family planning, ASRHR and gender-based violence.
- Online and in-person interaction with local community members on ASRHR and gender-based violence issues through campaigns each year.
- Engage with the African Union (AU) and East African Community (EAC) by participating at civil society organisation consultation meetings and disseminating ASRHR advocacy priorities
Prospects for young people – TeamUp in Uganda
TeamUp: Creating Opportunities for Young People in Rural Uganda
Sponsored by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Siemens Stiftung, Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung, Rossmann Beteiligungs GmbH
Half of Uganda’s population is younger than 15. Around 80 percent of all young people in the East African country are unemployed and lack future prospects. TeamUp supports young people in Uganda in improving their lives, freeing themselves from poverty and building a self-determined future for themselves step by step.
TeamUp Uganda is a programme in which DSW, hand in hand with two other German foundations, shows young people from the districts of Mityana and Kasanda in central Uganda new perspectives on life. Each participating organisation and its local partner contribute with their respective core competence: Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) with topics related to sexual and reproductive health, Siemens Stiftung with hygiene measures and the maintenance of water sources, and Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung with training measures in agriculture and business management. TeamUp Uganda therefore responds to the needs of the youth with a holistic concept. The aim is to empower youth with a regular income, access to clean drinking water and access to family planning. 290,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 30 live in Mityana and Kasanda and will be given the chance to improve their living conditions in the long term.
Key activities of DSW
- Establishment and strengthening of 90 youth clubs and 12 youth empowerment centres.
- Training and support for 24 youth activists working on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).
- Training a total of 240 young people (youth counselors and members of youth empowerment centres) in SRHR and menstrual hygiene.
- Establishment of a pilot approach to accessing modern contraceptives (mobile nurses) for adolescents.
- Training of health workers in youth-friendly and gender-sensitive health care.
For more information on TeamUp Uganda, please visit the TeamUp website.
A voice for youth in Uganda
Empower Youth Project
Sponsored by: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Bauder Foundation, private donations
Uganda has one of the youngest populations in the world: 78 percent of Ugandans are under the age of 30. Nevertheless, politics is mainly made by and for older people. Topics like sexuality education, contraception and protection against sexually transmitted diseases are often not that important to them. But they are important to the younger generation. Only when information on these topics is easily accessible can young people make self-determined decisions about when to have children and ensure that they finish school. The project helps to ensure that young people have better access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services and supports them in making their voices heard politically.
The project aims to reach 36,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 from the Busia, Kampala, Kamuli, Mukono, Tororo and Wakiso districts. Many of them want more information about SRHR, including contraception. At school, these topics are only dealt with superficially, if at all. At health centres, young people often feel uncomfortable if they are unmarried and ask about contraception. On the one hand, because they are then often stigmatised and on the other hand, because their privacy is not sufficiently protected. Youth clubs, which are organised independently by young people, provide a solution. Here, young people receive information about SRHR and can take part in various training sessions. The youth clubs in a region are organised in youth empowerment centres. These in turn help members of different clubs to network with each other and become politically active. The structure is concentrated in a national youth secretariat. In this way, young people not only learn to advocate for their concerns at different administrative levels, they also build a self-governing and sustainable network to advocate together for their goals. The project is implemented by Action 4 Health Uganda, DSW’s Ugandan partner organisation.
- Establishment of a national youth network
- Training of 20 health workers in order to make sexual and reproductive health services youth-friendly.
- Training of 90 trainers, who in turn will train 1,500 peer educators in SRHR, youth club management, and economic empowerment.
- Conducting 120 community dialogue forums with youth leaders and stakeholders.
Empowerment of young women living with HIV
Reaching the last girl
Founded by: ViiV healthcare for positive actions
More than five percent of girls and women in Kenya are living with HIV. Among men, the figure is only 2.6 percent. Women most often contract HIV during adolescence, for example because they lack sufficient information or have unprotected sex. While living with HIV, they are often excluded from their communities. When they then have a child, they face multiple discrimination. This project empowers these young women and helps them to build a future for themselves and their children.
Young mothers living with HIV often encounter particular difficulties in caring for themselves and their child. To counteract this, DSW organises dialogue events in this project to raise awareness about the stigma of “living with HIV”. In addition, affected mothers get access to anti-retroviral therapy and other important health services from the public health system and learn the basics of a healthy lifestyle, e.g. healthy nutrition. Last but not least, they are supported to participate in political and social decision-making processes.
- Training adolescent mothers in personal empowerment and life skills, healthy eating and food safety.
- Strengthening access to health facilities and supporting referral systems.
- Conducting dialogue events on prejudices against mothers living with HIV and their children. The dialogues are led by so-called “cultural ambassadors” and “teen change agents”.
- Supporting mothers to participate in political decision-making processes at community, district, county and national level.
Mobile sexuality education in Uganda – Youth Truck
In the rural areas of Uganda, knowledge about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) is lacking among young people. Many girls become pregnant early and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) spread rapidly. Our Youth Truck brings health services and knowledge about sexuality and contraception to remote areas to reach those who need it most: young people!
Poor infrastructure in the rural areas of Uganda often goes hand in hand with inadequate medical care. In addition, the population, half of whom are under 15 years old, lacks knowledge about family planning and SRHR. During its visits to remote regions, the Youth Truck team focuses on entertaining learning (edutainment). Through games and sports, its staff members successfully convey knowledge on these important topics to young people and initiate discussions about sexualised violence and conflict resolution. The team also teaches general life skills for youth and supports the local health department in carrying out HIV tests, vaccinations and other health services. Wertgarantie AG provided the financial means for the purchase of a new Youth Truck and has since supported the services with an annual donation.
- Providing remote communities with health services and knowledge about SRHR
- Supporting the local health system in providing medical care to remote communities
My health – my school
Afya yangu – Shule yangu
The rate of teenage pregnancies in Tanzania is one of the highest in the world: 27 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are pregnant or already have their first child. Too often, this means the end of their school career. Poverty and financial dependency often have repercussions for the next generations. Early pregnancies also carry a high health risk – complications that are dangerous for mother and child occur much more often. With the project “My Health – My School” we break this spiral.
Young people in Tanzania have many questions about sexual and reproductive health, but hardly any protected places where they can get answers. The taboo of sexuality, lack of youth-friendly education and a lack of contraceptives are the main reasons for teenage pregnancies there. Many girls and young women also experience sexualised and gender-based violence. With the project “My Health – My School”, contact points for young people are being created in seven secondary schools in Tanzania’s capital Dodoma. There, they receive information about sexuality and contraceptives. They also talk about their experiences of violence and learn about their rights.
Based on the concept of DSW’s youth clubs, young people are trained to educate each other at eye level. Together with liaison teachers, head teachers and education representatives from local politics, DSW ensures that pupils are aware of the offer that are available and make use of them. Last but not least, we continue to campaign for pregnant girls and young mothers to be able to go to school. Although Tanzania has recently lifted the school ban for pregnant girls and young mothers, many girls still face insurmountable barriers.
- 56 youth clubs will be established in 7 secondary schools
- Training of youth counsellors in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and sexual and gender-based violence who will share their knowledge with their peers
- Training of liaison teachers, head teachers and community education officers
More health at the workplace
Healthy Youth at Work
Sponsored by: David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Many young people in Ethiopia start working at an early age. The youngest women on the large flower farms in Oromia (Ethiopia) are 15 years old – an age at which access to information around sexual and reproductive health and rights is very important. To ensure that the young people have the opportunity to exchange information on these topics in addition to their factory work, DSW has created an information service directly on the flower farms.
Contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, but also gender-based and sexualised violence are among the topics that concern young people. On the flower farms, DSW organises discussion groups where especially young women exchange their views. DSW also offers training for young people who want to become politically active.
For the referral of the flower workers, but also other young people, age-appropriate counseling centres are also set up in the nearby local health centres.
- Organisation and implementation of youth dialogues in the flower farms
- Conducting trainings on gender roles and life skills
- Conducting workshops on national and regional legal frameworks
- Legal frameworks to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights in the workplace
- Creating and distributing newsletters, posters and brochures and using social media in the factories
- Setting up youth-friendly counseling centres in local health facilities
- Training youth activists
- Hold biannual panel discussions on gender roles and gender-based violence.
Sexuality education in informal settlements
Linda Binti Project
Founded by: German Doctors
Supporting young people in the prevention of unintended pregnancies is the central goal of the Linda Binti Project in Nairobi, led by the German Doctors. Their clinic is located near the informal settlements of Mathare and Korogocha. Here, at-risk youths between the ages of ten and 24 are provided with sexuality education informed about appropriate contraceptive methods by DSW. Linda Binti is Swahili and means “protect the daughter”.
As a cooperation partner, DSW is building an effective education network – teachers, head teachers and parents are trained for this purpose. The young people themselves also learn to pass on their knowledge to their peers without inhibitions and taboos. DSW directly refers those who are pregnant to the clinic’s mother-child care, and offers them training in coping with everyday life so that the teenage mothers are not left alone.
- Training of 120 youth counsellors
- Delivery of peer learning sessions
- Training of 24 teachers and head teachers
- Establishment of school committees
- Training of 16 mentor parents
- Creation and distribution of information materials
- Training for teenage mothers