Partnering with Youth
Nearly half of all people in the world today are under the age of 25—the largest generation of youth in history. And 87% of these young people live in the developing world, where their access to health care, education, and jobs are limited, contributing to and continuing the cycle of poverty in low-resource countries.
EngenderHealth believes all young people have the right to health, respect, and appropriate services that respond to their specific needs, which vary by age, sex, marital status, and other factors. We recently initiated a new, global youth program that builds on our expertise with holistic responses to the needs of the world’s poorest people. Activities are underway in Ethiopia, the United States, and India.
EngenderHealth’s program is helping young people delay the age of marriage and first birth by increasing their access to critical sexual and reproductive health information and services. Whereas traditional programs tend to target youth aged 16 to 18, in many of the countries where we work young girls are already married and/or pregnant at that age. Hence, we work with younger girls, their communities and their families to help prevent harmful health and social outcomes by addressing cultural pressures deny girls the opportunity for education and safe, paid work and instead fast-track them for marriage and/or childbearing. Our program promotes partnerships across sectors to keep girls in school, link them to peers, mentors, and education and job opportunities that equip them with information and skills to help them generate income and increase their chances of breaking the poverty cycle.