Our Projects

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.

At present, we are closely following the daily increase in COVID-19 infection rates with great concern. We are in close contact with all of our employees and partners on site to mitigate the adverse effects on our project work. It is crucial to us that our connection with the young people, rural communities, and networks will not be impacted in the weeks to come.

Project Overview

Enhancing livelihood prospects for young people in Ethiopia

Ethiopia

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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)

Status: Fully funded!

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.

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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)

Sexuality Education in Youth Clubs – Youth Empowerment in Tanzania

Tanzania
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Supporting Youth Initiative for Youth Empowerment Tanzania (SIYET II)

Sponsored by: Private donations

Many young people in Tanzania want to be actively engaged, educate themselves and take their lives into their own hands. This is not always possible. Early unintended pregnancies, inadequate information about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and insufficient knowledge about their economic possibilities often hinder them. Furthermore, the voices of young people are often not heard in local and national politics. In local youth clubs, we empower, educate, train and connect young people with each other.

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In Tanzania, notions of sexuality and contraception are often tainted with shame. Many young people lack a caring person who answers their questions openly, impartially and age-appropriately. Communicating in a spirit of trust usually takes place within one’s own age group. DSW provides an avenue to empower this spirit of trust in its project work in northwest Tanzania. DSW’s well-developed youth club network provides young people with age-appropriate sexual education and counselling, and gives them the opportunity to train as counsellors to educate others. As a result, knowledge about sexuality and contraception is then passed on outside the clubs. Young people are also able to acquire basic knowledge of economics in the youth clubs, complementing their school education. In the project young people are also empowered to advocate for their issues and further supported to be part of decision making processes on local and national level.  

Key activities

  • Training of 56 young counsellors
  • Knowledge transfer of information on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) to over 4,200 young people by trained youth counsellors
  • Supporting health centres in establishing youth-friendly health services
  • Development of a referral system between the youth support centres and the local health centres
  • Implementation of courses in vocational training and innovative business management in the youth clubs, supported by local public funds
  • Promotion of the proportion of female youth counsellors, including those in management positions
  • Supporting the youth clubs and youth empowerment centres to develop their own advocacy strategy to make their voices heard and engage in local and national politics

Strengthening Youth Organisations in East Africa

Kenya & Tanzania
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SLALE – Strengthening of Local Advocacy Leadership in East Africa
Status: Fully funded!
Understanding one’s own sexuality comes with many questions for young people. In east Africa, these questions often remain unanswered. Young people have no access to sufficient information, contraception and medical care, and their voices are often ignored in local politics. We support civil society organisations led by young people. The aim: ensuring that the needs of young people are heard by policymakers.
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In Kenya and Tanzania, numerous young activists are working to ensure that policy makers implement sexual and reproductive rights for their generation. To ensure that these youth-led civil society organisations are heard and have a lasting influence on local politics, our local colleagues support them in strengthening their competencies. This includes further training measures and the joint development of action plans aimed at placing the promotion of family planning and reproductive health higher on the local political agenda. In addition, the DSW provides financial support to specific organisations, assists them in implementing their strategies and supports them in an advisory capacity.

Key activities

The project implementation is divided into four project phases:

  • Preparatory phase (Sept. 2017 – Apr. 2018):
  • Conception of a programme to address weaknesses in the 12 selected youth organisations
  • Training phase (May 2018 – Jan. 2019):
  • Implementation of various training units for capacity development
  • Implementation of the advocacy action plans (Feb. 2019 – Feb. 2021):
  • Funding of 4 of the 12 organisations following a selection process based on applications for further intensive mentoring and financial support (Sub-Grantees) and further involvement of the eight remaining organisations (Allies)
  • Implementation of individual training measures
  • Coaching activities and support in networking with other organisations and decision-makers
  • Final phase (March 2021 – Sept. 2021):
  • Organisation of an international conference to exchange experiences and the development of a publication of the learning experiences
  • Analysing and updating the impact theory on which the project is based
DID
YOU
KNOW…
that one out of every two teenage pregnancies in developing countries is unintended? We want to make sure that EVERY pregnancy is wanted

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.

Together against Female Genital Mutilation

Tanzania
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Project to Educate Against Female Genital Mutilation
Sponsored by: Private donations
In Tanzania, approximately 15 percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 are victims of genital mutilation. In rural areas, the figures are often higher, despite the practice being banned since 1998. In this traumatic procedure, the female genital organs, such as the clitoris or labia, are completely or partially removed. Women suffer the physical and psychological consequences of this for the rest of their lives. With this project, DSW is working to end female genital mutilation.
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Before “becoming a woman”, many girls in Tanzania have their external sexual organs completely or partially removed with razor blades, scissors or broken glass. Complications such as heavy bleeding, which can be fatal, often occur during the procedure. Those who survive endure a lifetime of physical and mental repercussions.

Our project focuses on empowering female adolescents who have been victims of genital mutilation or are at high risk of becoming victims. The aim of the project is to put an end to this harmful practice and to strengthen the rights of girls aged 14 to 24. A multidimensional, social approach is essential for the abolition of genital mutilation. For this reason, the project involves not only female adolescents and women but also their social environment, including parents, religious and political leaders, and local media.

Key Activities

  • Training young women in sexual and reproductive health (SRH), life and business skills, and income-generating activities
  • Founding and supporting self-help groups for those affected or potentially affected by genital mutilation
  • Exchanges with local authorities and promotion of youth participation in local and national forums
  • Increased effectiveness of existing national legal structures to protect and support victims/potential victims of female genital mutilation
  • Awareness-raising events in communities
  • Training local media on gender-based violence and genital mutilation and the corresponding legal frameworks
  • Increased media involvement with TV and radio broadcasts and media campaigns on the subject of genital mutilation
  • Dissemination of information at community events

Prospects for Young People – TeamUp in Uganda

Uganda
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TeamUp – Creating Opportunities for Young People in Rural Uganda
Sponsored by: Rossmann Beteiligungs GmbH, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Siemens Foundation, Hanns R. Neumann Foundation, DSW
Status: Fully funded!
Half of Uganda’s population is under the age of 15. Around 80 percent of all young people in this East African nation are unemployed and future prospects are lacking. This programme assists young people in Uganda to improve their lives, escape from poverty and build a self-determined future step by step.
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DSW works hand in hand with the Siemens Foundation and the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation to offer young people from the Mityana District in Central Uganda new opportunities through the TeamUp programme. Each participating organisation and its local partner contributes their respective core competencies: DSW with topics related to sexual and reproductive health (SRH), the Siemens Foundation with hygiene measures and the construction of sanitary facilities, and the Hanns R. Neumann Foundation with training measures in agriculture and business administration. TeamUp addresses the needs of young people holistically. The goal is to strengthen young people with regular income, access to clean drinking water and family planning options. Fifty thousand young people between the ages of 15 and 30 live in Mityana and have an opportunity to improve their living conditions in the long term through TeamUp.

Key activities

  • Promotion of SRH, e.g., through access to family planning services
  • Access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) by developing and expanding reliable water sources and improved sanitation facilities
  • Improvement of the income and economic situation of young people and their families through training in agriculture and business administration and access to finance and resources
  • Raising political awareness among young people to encourage them to participate in political processes and to address their own needs

Mobile Sexuality Education Uganda – Youth Truck

Uganda
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Youth Truck
Partially sponsored by: Wertgarantie AG and private donations
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!
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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. 

Key activities

  • Providing remote communities with health services and knowledge about SRHR
  • Supporting the local health system in providing medical care to remote communities

Sexuality Education in Youth Clubs – Youth Empowerment in Ethiopia

Ethiopia
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Voice for Choice: Improving Young Peoples SRHR in Ethiopia
Sponsored by: Rossmann GmbH
Status: Fully funded!
Sexuality is a taboo subject in Ethiopia. Because of the lack of sexuality education, early marriage for girls, unintended pregnancies and early maternity, unsafe abortions as well as the contraction of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are characteristic of the first sexual experiences of young people. This is the starting point for us to give sexuality education to young people, strengthening their rights and enabling them to receive medical treatment.
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Young people in Ethiopia have little access to information on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health (SRH). They primarily learn from each other. This results in the circulation of many myths and misunderstandings about sex, leading to unintended pregnancies and the transmission of STIs.

DSW is addressing these problems at their core as part of the “Voice for Choice” project. In youth support centres and youth clubs, young people pass on their knowledge to their peers and encourage exchanges on sexuality, puberty, contraception, HIV & AIDS, and gender issues. This project reaches approximately 40,000 young people between 15 and 24 in the Ethiopian regions of Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Addis Ababa.

Key activities

  • Training of 72 trainers who then train 360 youth counsellors
  • Education in youth clubs, schools and in the community
  • Training of 46 female teachers in 23 schools as mentors for club activities
  • Strengthening a referral system to health and counselling services
  • Production of over 110,000 educational materials and audio messages
  • Support of nine “youth-friendly areas” in health centres and training of 36 health workers in providing youth-friendly health services
  • Training of 20 Youth Champions to train other young people in communication and advocacy skills and promote their participation in national youth platforms
  • Training and supporting young people in setting up micro-enterprises

Sexuality Education in Schools

Kenya
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Holistic Action for Young People during Adolescence (HAPA)
Founded by: BMZ and Private donations

Status: Fully Funded!

In Kenya, over 40 percent of the population is under 15 years old. The older percentile is undergoing a significant period of transformation: puberty. The body changes, menstruation begins, questions about sexuality arise and many have their first sexual experiences – in many cases not voluntarily, as sexual abuse is widespread. The needs of young people are often not considered in their communities, and the consequences are unintended pregnancies and high HIV infection rates. Through our project, we provide age-appropriate information on sexuality and contraception to 10- to 14-year-old pupils in primary schools and educate them about their rights.
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Having the freedom to make decisions about your own body – for example, when and with whom to have children, and how many, if any, children to have – sets the course for a young person to determine their own future. In Kenya, we support 7,000 10- to 14-year-old girls and boys in the coastal region of Kilifi as well as in the rural region of West Pokot in acquiring fundamental knowledge and benefiting from appropriate health services, thus enabling them to take the first step towards a self-determined future. The transfer of knowledge takes place mainly in school clubs, where trained young people educate their peers on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and family planning. Adolescents must be able to develop their full potential! To this end, we involve communities as well as schools. Further measures include cooperation with the criminal prosecution authorities to help strengthen children’s rights and the pursuit of the prosecution of crimes against children and young people.

Key activities

  • Foundation of 14 clubs with ca. 25 members each in primary schools
  • Training for primary school pupils (10 to 14) to become youth counsellors
  • Training of teaching staff and parents
  • Age-appropriate knowledge transfer to thousands of pupils by youth counsellors, club members, teachers and youth mentors in group meetings, girls’ forums and a variety of school events
  • Dialogues with community members, health workers and decision-makers to inform them about the rights of adolescents and raise awareness of young peoples’ needs
  • Cooperation with law enforcement agencies to strengthen children’s rights and corresponding follow-up
  • Establishing of exchange forums for young adolescents, where their concerns and wishes are formulated to political authorities
  • Strengthening young adolescents’ participation in political decision-making processes

Special Focus:
Where do you stand?

Through our #RightByHer campaign, we work to make women’s rights a reality across Africa. Together with our partners, and our donor the EU, we research the status of inequality, advocate for change, raise awareness, and build the capacity of civil society.

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