Never has the risk to adolescents been so high in the communities we work with. There is a 55% drop out rate in girls after primary school. Incidents of sexual gender based violence are up 70%. Girls are especially exposed with FGM, child marriage and rape. Sexual violence increases the risk of HIV and unwanted pregnancy. 27% of girls and women attending Ante Natal Care are aged 10 to 19. One population - three threats - Gender Based Violence, HIV and Teenage Pregnancy.
63% of the population in the communities we work with are aged 25 and under. The burden this puts on poorly resourced education and health leaves our adolescent population vulnerable and exploited in the face of the 'triple threat'. Statistics hide the deep inequality that exists. Twice as many girls to boys are testing positive for HIV. Poverty is a catalyst and accessing education, knowledge, services and justice is essential to break this cycle for the next generation.
Girls are supported to stay in school with better menstrual facilities and resources and teachers trained to deliver workshops on sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). Community initiated Alternative Rite of Passage courses protect girls from FGM. Volunteers train as ambassadors for SRHR in their community delivering training, strengthening relationships and protecting vulnerable adolescents. Training and resources for income generating projects help support livelihoods and independence.
This community based approach makes everyone part of the solution. School workshops on sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR) educate children at an early age. Women and men educated on SRHR are better able to support the vulnerable youth in their communities. Sustainable sanitary kits and menstrual health management ensures girls and women get to complete their education and grow in confidence and self-esteem. Zero tolerance to gender based violence develops across the community.