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HOME: STATE OF WORLD POPULATION 2003: Comprehensive Programmes for Adolescents
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Overview of Adolescent Life
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Comprehensive Programmes for Adolescents

Adolescent Girls Project
African Youth Alliance
Adolescent Reproductive Health Initiative
Geração Biz, Mozambique
Kidavri Network for Adolescent Skills
Coordination Concerns

Geração Biz, Mozambique

In the wake of the ICPD, the Government of Mozambique made a commitment to investing in youth and adopted a National Youth Policy that aimed to increase youth participation in policy development and to improve their sexual and reproductive health. The Geração Biz project was designed and developed by youth, who named it to reflect their “busy generation”. The project promotes behaviour change among students and out-of-school youth.(8)

The Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education share coordination and execution, involving their respective provincial directorates, NGOs and community-based organizations including youth associations. UNFPA and Pathfinder International provide technical assistance. The project began in two provinces and with new donor support has now expanded to six; national coverage is a long-term goal.

The number of adolescents aged 15-19 visiting clinics for counselling and services increased more than ten-fold in Maputo following the establishment of youth-friendly services; the number of young men served nearly doubled. The proportional increase in young men served was even higher in Zambezia Province. Counselling and contraception are reported as the two most popular services in both areas.

Geração Biz has peer activists in 10 of Maputo’s 13 secondary schools and activities in 64 schools in Zambezia. The project is helping to integrate reproductive and sexual health information into a new basic national curriculum along with a package of in-school and extra-curricular activities.(9)

Managing activities involving so many collaborators has been a key challenge, requiring clearly defined roles for each partner and a workable coordination process. Government agencies that will assume full responsibility for the programme need to be strengthened and their commitment, sense of ownership and partnering skills increased.(10) Outreach activities to out-of-school youth suffer from the lack of a supporting government structure and the reality that most youth organizations are small, lack staff and are not part of a larger network. The Ministry of Youth and Sports also has insufficient staff for provincial coordination.(11)

24 ‘THE RIGHT TO HAVE DREAMS’

An ambitious collaboration in Panama between APLAFA (a reproductive health NGO), the Ministry of Health, nine high schools and UNFPA has changed the lives of many adolescents in five marginal semiurban neighbourhoods. Through a combination of education, information and health service initiatives, participants have been empowered to change their thinking about their current lives and future aspirations.

“The project taught me about the importance of not getting pregnant during adolescence,” says Mónica, 18. “APLAFA provided information and counselling, which also taught me about dealing with peer pressure, the importance of having good self-esteem, and proper use of contraceptive methods.”

As part of the four-year effort, the Ministry of Health created five youthfriendly clinics. Staff were trained in providing sexual and reproductive health services to adolescents. The resources built by the project guarantee project sustainability and institutionalization.

Pavel became involved with the project at age 14. Five years later, he says, “It changed the way I see life. It taught that my dreams were valuable, that I had the right and the duty to make them real.” Pavel now attends the University of Panama and is an active member of Panama’s Network for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health.

The extensive project coverage was possible due to the creation of an Intersectoral and Community Adolescent Network formed by more than 15 private, NGO, and government institutions, which has reached more than 46,000 adolescents and youth in the district of David. See Sources

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