Activating Youth Potential

DSW is a youth-focused organisation, and we are proud to be working alongside the largest generation in history, the youth generation which will become the leaders, teachers and parents of tomorrow. With over half the world’s population under 25 years of age and with 70 per cent living in low- and middle-income countries, now is the time to help these young people focus and realise their untapped potential!

DSW’s Bonga Project in Ethiopia – Integrating Population, Health, and the Environment.

Atinafu works as a local carpenter in Kasha, his home village. Several years ago he joined the newly created the Environment youth club with two goals in mind: to improve the health of his community, and to preserve the Bonga forest. Today, as chairman of the club, Atinafu helps to organise all sorts of community activities. Coffee ceremonies, open to youth and adults alike, are a traditional method of discussing issues within the community, including HIV & AIDS prevention and family planning.

“Before, people didn’t know much about the forest, except to cut it down for land and for trees. This has completely changed – even the youth discuss the environment.”
Abuye (19), club leader, Kasha village, Ethiopia.

The club engages in income generating activities too, such as beekeeping and collecting wild coffee beans. This provides a small supplemental income for the club members and their families— reducing the stress that the village has on the forest and helping to show young people how maintaining and conserving the forest can provide people with economic opportunities and a livelihood.

 
 

Addressing the Needs of Young People in Kenya

DSW’s Young Adolescents Project (YAP) in Kenya addresses young adolescents’ (10-14 years) sexual and reproductive health needs in nine primary schools within Kilifi County, Kenya. 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 on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) which led to significant improvements in health and well-being.

“The project has helped in reducing early pregnancies. It has also brought development projects in our school through school grants. Now we have a water tank for harvesting water during dry seasons. This will help improve sanitation and hygiene for both boys and girls in my school. The project has also made girls to be aware of their sexuality and they are now taking good care of themselves and hygienic about their bodies. Most girls in my club now respect themselves more.” Jacinta Manyaza Moris (15), YAP club beneficiary 2013-2015

The club engages in income generating activities too, such as beekeeping and collecting wild coffee beans. This provides a small supplemental income for the club members and their families— reducing the stress that the village has on the forest and helping to show young people how maintaining and conserving the forest can provide people with economic opportunities and a livelihood.

JPG_WEB
The Young Adolescents Project in Kenya Infographic

Have you heard about DSW’s Youth-to-Youth Initiative yet?

We have been achieving some incredible successes ever since we started our Youth-to-Youth Initiative (Y2Y) in 1999 to address the needs of young people aged 10 to 24 in East Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda). Here is a snapshot of these advances since the Initiative started:

  • DSW has created a vibrant youth network of hundreds of youth clubs in Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda.
  • Over 19 million youth-friendly SRHR materials and 16 million condoms distributed.
  • Training of more than 22,700 peer educators in life skills, leadership, management, and SRHR, who have passed on their knowledge to more than 17 million young people.
  • Supporting 123 health facilities through trainings, equipment, and commodities.
  • More than 23,500 youth trained in entrepreneurship skills, and over 4,200 young people engaged in sustainable income generating activities, employment, or self-employment.

Improving the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Young Adolescents

“It takes a whole village to raise a child”, is from an old African proverb meaning that child upbringing is a communal responsibility. The Young Adolescents Project started in Uganda with the aim of removing barriers faced by young adolescents (aged 10-14) in accessing age appropriate SRHR information and services. A crucial aspect of the project was to create a social environment which enabled effective communication between young adolescents and adults, particularly parents and teachers. The success of the project in Uganda led to its successful implementation in Kenya where it continues to be implemented and, even replicated, among communities.

“It takes a whole village to raise a child”, is from an old African proverb meaning that child upbringing is a communal responsibility. The Young Adolescents Project started in Uganda with the aim of removing barriers faced by young adolescents (aged 10-14) in accessing age appropriate SRHR information and services. A crucial aspect of the project was to create a social environment which enabled effective communication between young adolescents and adults, particularly parents and teachers. The success of the project in Uganda led to its successful implementation in Kenya where it continues to be implemented and, even replicated, among communities.

“I can stand with confidence amidst groups of people share my views, make consultations without any fear, which I wasn’t able to do before DSW’s Young Adolescents Project (YAP) started its activities in my school.”Peter Wasswa (14), student, St. Joseph Primary School Nabbingo, Uganda. He serves as a peer educator and as a youth club leader.
 
 

Theresa Mwangi makes an income out of waste

Through its project, ‘Working together for Decent Work in East Africa (AKA Fit for Life)’, DSW’s mission was to empower young people across east Africa towards improving their health and socio-economic status.

Most people will dismiss it as garbage, but for Theresa Mwangi, the remains of maize and bananas are a fortune and their tools of trade that they use to make their everyday living. Through training provided by the project, Theresa was able to acquire entrepreneurial knowledge, skills related to book and record keeping, how to organize cash books, and marketing. By applying her new skills and knowledge to her business, she has seen her income steadily increase. Now she is able to pay school fees for her children.

“Remember that chasing dreams is not easy. There will be a lot of up and downs and mistakes are bound to happen on the way. You should therefore be ready to cope with them when they occur – most importantly, don’t give up!”Theresa Mwangi, young entrepreneur, Nairobi, Kenya.
Infografik_Fit for Life_Final
Learn More

DSW’s GeNext Project in Uganda

The GeNext Uganda project aims at empowering young people in Wakiso and Busia districts in Uganda to make informed choices about family planning and their sexual and reproductive health. Here are some success stories from the project.

Juliana

Juliana

My Name is Juliana and I work with Reach a Hand Uganda as a peer Educator. I am a GeNext Youth Champion.

Read More

Wandera

Wandera

I have chosen to devote my time to help youth access youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health and rights, and family planning information and services.

Read More

Mona

Mona

My name is Mona and I am the Country Director of DSW Uganda and long-time youth champion

Read More