Adolescents & Youth
Pathfinder International was one of the first organizations to recognize and act on the unique sexual and reproductive health needs of young people. For nearly 40 years, Pathfinder has led projects focused on improving adolescents and youth access to sexual and reproductive health services in more than 30 countries, under a wide range of circumstances.
Adolescence offers a critical juncture for intervention as young people are open to new ideas and beginning to form lifelong attitudes, values, and behaviors. Our programs capitalize on the vitality, potential, and dynamism of young people, including having them as active partners in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs.
Pathfinder's goal is to ensure young people have access to quality services that are tailored to effectively meet the diverse needs of adolescents and youth across countries and cultural contexts. Young people reached through Pathfinder's projects may be married, working, in school, or caring for younger siblings due to parents lost from AIDS.
Youth participation and community involvement are central to Pathfinder's adolescent programming as young people are the best poised to advocate for their needs. Given the sensitivities around adolescent sexual and reproductive health, we work with policy makers, parents, teachers, and health workers to recognize and support the special needs of this important and often vulnerable group.
Our key approaches for working with young people include:
- Increasing the availability of youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services including contraceptive information and services, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and HIV, antenatal and postnatal care, as well as safe abortion services.
- Fostering positive community and cultural norms, such as delaying the age of marriage and childbearing, as well as individual behavior change that lead to gender equality and improved sexual and reproductive health.
- Building local capacity and national ownership to ensure sustainable sexual and reproductive health policies and programs that reach large numbers of young people.Advocating for increased resources and supportive policies for adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health.
- Reaching diverse groups of young people with tailored interventions. This includes young people living with HIV, married adolescents, or adolescent girls.
Currently, Pathfinder has a range of projects dedicated to the needs of adolescents and youth around the world.
The Project aimed to increase the provision of ASRH services that could effectively attract young people, meet their needs comfortably and responsively and retain young clients for continuing care in eight facilities in four districts in the Volta Region.
This project sought to improve, scale up, and institutionalize HIV and AIDS prevention and youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services. Institutional capacity building was a key component of the project.
Pathfinder aims is to evaluate the strategies of the Geracao BIZ project, as well as transform the knowledge, attitudes and practices of primary school, high school, secondary education and technical education students in sexual reproductive health.
Substantial numbers of adolescents experience the negative health consequences of early, unprotected sexual activity as well as its social and economic costs.
In a year of remarkable achievement, including Pathfinder’s landmark victory at the US Supreme Court and our return to Bangladesh with a $53.8 million project, what was most exciting? The answer—integration—is the theme of Pathfinder’s 2013 Annual Report.
Sustainable Development in East Africa: Lessons from Four Population, Health, and Environment Projects
The integrated Population, Health, and Environment (PHE) approach is based on the premise that people’s health and the environments in which they live are inextricably linked.This publication features insights from four ongoing PHE projects in East Africa.
This Fall 2013 edition of Pathways explores Pathfinder's work with adolescents and youth, and in particular, providing those young people with choices when it comes to their contraception methods, their bodies, and their futures.
Pathfinder International recognises the importance of engaging with the wider community, including opening dialogues with religious leaders from different faiths as well as Hinduism. Encouraging them to advocate projects in their communities, such as Prachar which focuses on girls' reproductive health and empowerment in Haryana, they have found a shift in negative perceptions and reductions in early marriages and pregnancies.
An outstanding example of overcoming the barriers that adolescents face accessing contraception is Pathfinder International's PRACHAR project. Intended to promote change in reproductive behaviour of adolescents project in Bihar, India, events were held for newly married couples to celebrate their marriage and emphasise the benefits of delaying having children and provided couples with a small supply of oral contraceptive pills and condoms.
Behind the headlines of sexual violence is a culture where girls are forced into marriage and early motherhood. How will India's next generation break the cycle?