Youth for Health (Y4H) launches in Kenya: MSI and partners champion adolescent sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights (ASRHR) with support from the European Union.
On Monday 6th March, MSI Reproductive Choices, Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW) and the Centre for Study of Adolescence (CSA) officially launched the Youth for Health (Y4H) project in Kenya. The event was attended by representatives from the EU Delegation, health officials from the national and county level, ASRHR partners, youth champions and other key stakeholders.
In a speech at the event, Henry, a Y4H youth champion from Kwale county, highlighted some of the challenges young people face when seeking SRH services, saying:
“Our parents and neighbours often work in the health centres where we are expected to seek services. We fear the harsh judgement and lack of privacy and confidentiality, and so many of us avoid seeking such services. To top it off, we also have to contend with healthcare workers with a negative attitude towards offering services such as family planning to adolescents and youth, since most regard it as a moral issue.”
The Y4H project aims to address these challenges. It is a three-year initiative co-funded by the European Union that will expand access to life-changing 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.
In Kenya, the Y4H consortium will work directly with healthcare workers in 45 health facilities to build their capacity to provide adolescent friendly services. The project also aims to:
- benefit more than 316,400 adolescent girls with sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights (SRHR) information, with a focus on the most marginalised;
- avert an estimated 43,450 unintended pregnancies through inclusive, client-centred, quality care in the public sector; and
- contribute to a more enabling environment by advocating for a 6% increase in the domestic budget allocated for SRHR in Kenya.
During the event, Mr. Alexandre Baron, the EU Delegation to Kenya’s Head of Governance and Micro-Economics said:
“I commend the Youth for Health project for promoting sexual and reproductive health, gender equality and human rights as they are key components of the EU’s global health and human rights strategies.”
Pictured: Mr. Alexandre Baron, Head of Governance and Micro-Economics Section—EU delegation in Kenya, with Y4H Youth Champions.
The Youth for Health (Y4H) project
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.
MSI Reproductive Choices has joined with seven partners:
- Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevölkerung (DSW)
- Centre for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) Kenya
- Health Alert Sierra Leone (HASiL)
- Youth Advocates Ghana (YAG)
- Restless Development Zambia
- Youth Network for Sustainable Development (YNSD) Ethiopia
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.
Supported by MSI’s global best practice and knowledge, partners will leverage their regional, national, and sub-national geographical footprints, government relationships, mobiliser networks, knowledge and expertise to build capacity in the delivery of youth-friendly, discrimination-free SRHR information and services in the public sector.
Pictured: Youth Champions (left) Henry from Kwale County and (right) Joylene from West Pokot County addressing guests at the launch.
Read more about our Youth for Health project in our short leaflet.