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Challenges and Opportunities

The International Youth Health and Rights Division works to support and advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people  in the global south by fostering youth leadership and partnerships with young people and local organizations and stakeholders;providing training and capacity building; sharing of information and resources; and engaging in multi-level advocacy.

 

Our vision is one where the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people in the global south are recognized, respected, and addressed within government and socio-cultural institutions and systems while engaging young people as partners.

 

The International Youth Health and Rights Division supports this mission and vision because young people in the global south have a right to sexual and reproductive health and rights, which are compromised by social and economic disparities;challenges to accessing sexual and reproductive health information and services; stigma and discrimination; and violence.

 

Young people have the power to make a difference, being able to see the connection between sexual and reproductive health and other issues that affect their live and constituting substantial portions of their country’s populations.

 

Advocates is uniquely positioned to advance the Division’s mission by working in partnership with local organizations to address young people’s needs; respecting and meaningfully engaging young people; facilitating young people’s engagement with key stakeholders and opportunities to raise their voices; and connecting different constituencies that impact the lives of young people in the global south.

 

 


Strategies


Fostering youth leadership through training of youth leaders, support for their efforts, and facilitation of opportunities

Training young people from the global south and the United States on sexual and reproductive health issues and policies, advocacy and mobilization skills, new media skills, and public speaking/storytelling skills. Providing technical and financial support to youth leaders in their efforts to influence policies, mobilize peers, and use new media. Monitoring and facilitating opportunities for youth engagement on decision-making bodies, at conferences, and across other venues at the national, regional, and international levels. Disseminating a monthly newsletter to Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network that provides leaders with information on sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, tools and resources, relevant news developments, and opportunities to take action.

Building capacity through technical assistance and training of youth-led and/or youth-serving organizations in the global south

Providing organizational and programmatic capacity building through technical assistance and training on program design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation, organizational development, and program strategies such as peer education, youth clubs, school-based sexuality education, youth-friendly services, community mobilization, advocacy, girls’ empowerment, gender equality, LGBTQ youth safe spaces and friendly services, youth leadership, youth-adult partnerships, parent-child communication, and behavior change communication. Providing seed funding opportunities for partner organizations in support of youth sexual and reproductive health and rights programming.

Developing and disseminating new resources on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights

Responding to information requests received from around the world with information and resources on youth sexual and reproductive health and rights. Developing and disseminating fact sheets and other materials to support youth leaders and youth-serving organizations in program implementation and advocacy efforts.

Systematically advocating for programs and policies that advance the 3Rs

Serving on technical working groups, editorial boards, advisory boards, coalitions, and working groups to promote the 3Rs;advance young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights; promote best practices for youth sexual and reproductive healthprogramming;facilitate youth-adult partnerships and meaningful youth engagement; and connect diverse constituencies that impact young people’s well being. Presenting at conferences, briefings, and other events that inform the global sexual and reproductive health community. Linking youth leaders to opportunities to engage with stakeholders and influence policy-dialogues at the national, regional, and international levels.

Programs

The International Youth Health and Rights Division partners with local, national, and international organizations to implement youth sexual and reproductive health and rights programs in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean and supports an international network of 3,000 youth-serving organizations and activists in the global south. We provide technical assistance in 40 countries and work intensively in 18 countries by building organizational and programmatic capacity building through technical assistance, training, and seed funding opportunities for partner organizations in support of youth sexual and reproductive health and rights programming.


International Youth Activist Network (iYAN)

Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network (iYAN) consists of youth activists and adult allies from the global south who are working to improve youth reproductive and sexual health and rights programs and policies locally and globally. Members of the iYAN connect to share information about their work and receive a monthly newsletter. The newsletter features news related to global youth sexual and reproductive health and rights; information about scholarships and networking opportunities; ongoing advocacy campaigns; and materials and tool kits on a wide range of issues, such as sexuality education, contraceptive access and sexual and reproductive health services, maternal mortality, abortion, harmful traditional practices, STIs, including HIV/AIDS, gender equality, gender-based violence, stigma and discrimination, among others.

International Youth Leadership Council (IYLC)

IYLC is comprised of undergraduate college students attending DC metro area universities who come together to advocate for U.S. foreign policies and United Nations agreements and declarations that recognize and support the health and rights of young people around the globe. For more information contact Khadija@advocatesforyouth.org

NGO Partnerships to AdvanceIn-Country Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Advocates’ partnership initiative with youth-led and youth-serving organizations in sub-Saharan Africa, the Caribbean, and Asia seeks to empower existing, local organizations to implement and/or advocate for sexual and reproductive health programs, services, and/or policies that support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

AMAZE

AMAZE (www.amaze.org and YouTube.com/amazeorg) is a partnership between Advocates, Answer and Youth Tech Health and harnesses the power of animation and social media to provide young people, ages 10-14, their parents and educators with an age-appropriate, sex education playlist. These short, engaging and often funny videos cover topics including puberty, relationships, consent, sexual orientation, gender identity, body image and much more. Adapted for use in south and east Africa and Latin America, South Korea and Hungary, these videos reach young people with inclusive, affirming and honest sex education regardless of where they live or what school they attend. For more information contact Ashley@advocatesforyouth.org

Assisting Providers in the Global South

Advocates works with youth-led organizations and those serving youth in low- and middle-income countries. Staff provides training, technical assistance and resources on sexuality education, youth-adult partnerships, gender equity, contraceptive access, HIV prevention, treatment and care and LGBTQ health and rights. For more information contact Nicole@advocatesforyouth.org

Policy and Communications

Advocates staff provides technical assistance, training and resources to state and local organizations regarding youth sexual health policies and communications. Staff provides model policies, provides policy review and assists with advocacy strategy to improve policy at the federal, state and local level. In addition, communications staff can assist with talking points, public speaking training and training regarding media outreach. Staff is also available to assist organizations wishing to raise the visibility of young people and their experiences and needs through social or traditional media. For more information about policy assistance contact Diana@advocatesforyouth.org For more information about communications assistance contact Emily@advocatesforyouth.org

Partnerships

Advocates provides tailored technical assistance, training, and resources to partner organizations in Ghana, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Jamaica, Pakistan and Kyrgyzstan on program design, implementation,and monitoring and evaluation, including program strategies such as school-based sexuality education, peer education, youth clubs, youth-friendly services, LGBTQ+ youth friendly-services, community mobilization, advocacy, girls’ empowerment, gender equality, youth leadership, youth-adult partnerships, parent-child communication, and behavior change communication. These efforts build on local capacity and youth leadership towards improving access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services.


Youth and Communities Take Charge to Improve Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Advocates works in partnership with organizations in Burkina Faso and Ghana to increase access to sexuality education and linkages to sexual and reproductive health services for in-school and out-of-school youth in rural areas Advocates provides tailored technical assistance, training and resources to build organizational capacity and support program design and implementation, including community mobilization, peer education, youth clubs, school-based sexuality education, behavior change communication, gender equality and girls’ empowerment, and elimination of harmful traditional practices.

International LGBTQ+ (iLGBTQ+) Youth Health and Rights Initiative

Advocates supports advocacy and programming in the form of capacity building and seed grant funding for and by LGBTQ+ youth in the Caribbean, sub-Saharan Africa, and Asia. In partnership with local LGBTQ+ youth-led and youth-serving organizations, Advocates is working to build local capacity in management of programming and advocacy initiatives for LGBTQ+ youth as well as youth-led advocacy efforts to advance LGBTQ+ sexual and reproductive health and rights and redress homophobia and transphobia.

UN and Government Partnerships to AdvanceSchool-Based Comprehensive Sexuality Education Integration, Curriculum Review, and Teacher Training in East and Southern Africa

Advocates works in partnership with UNESCO, UNFPA,and Ministries of Education to provide technical support and training to curriculum developers, teachers, and other stakeholders in Southern and East Africa on development, integration, review, and delivery of sexuality education curricula, informed by the UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education and existing needs and country frameworks. Specifically, Advocates for Youth is supporting efforts in Botswana, Burundi, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

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Confidentiality in Health Care

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