Adolescents & Youth

In 2013, young people made nearly 700,000 visits for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services through Pathfinder-supported programs.

In Bihar, one of India’s least developed, most populous states, a peer educator discusses contraception with a group of captivated young men.

In Ethiopia, Pathfinder trains providers to measure the reproductive health services young people are using, so they can learn from and improve their work.

Pathfinder develops programs that address adolescent girls unique vulnerabilities, such as early marriage and gender-based violence, which mainstream youth programs often overlook.

Pathfinder trains young people to advocate on their own behalf and we use our relationships with government and civil society partners to create entry points for these powerful new leaders.

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.


MY METHOD, MY CHOICE Do you believe contraception is a basic right? Explore the #mymethodmychoice campaign. Share your story by taking the pledge! »

Related Projects

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Ghana

PAST PROJECT: The project aimed to increase the provision of AYSRH 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.

African Youth Alliance

PAST PROJECT: This project worked 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.

Ending Female Genital Cutting in Guinea

This USAID-funded project was a Pathfinder-led initiative to reduce and eliminate the practice of female genital cutting in Guinea.


Related Publications

January 2016

Young People Living with HIV: A Collection and Review of the Resources for Health Workers Around the World

This compendium was developed to identify and facilitate access to useful resources that will help field teams and organizations around the world improve service provision for young people living with HIV. The compendium includes resources for PLHIV related to: HIV care; HIV treatment; positive, health, dignity, and prevention; sexual and reproductive health; and disclosure.

December 2015

Without Fear or Boundary: Pathfinder International's 2015 Annual Report

Forging a new path is part of Pathfinder’s DNA. Last year, in 26 developing countries, we pushed through barriers to ensure millions of women, men, and young people are able to access critical sexual and reproductive health care and choose their own paths forward. Read more in our 2015 Annual Report.

August 2015

Project Iniciativa: Findings from End-of-Project Qualitative Evaluation

This report summarizes the findings from an end-of-project qualitative evaluation conducted in November and December of 2014.

July 2015

Reaching Young Married Women and First-time Parents for Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancies in Burkina Faso

This technical brief discusses Pathfinder’s experience in Burkina Faso, implementing a project to reach young married women, first-time parents, and their key influencers, for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancy through contraceptive use.


Related News

International conference stresses youth's reproductive health rights

Youths are deprived of information and services related to sexual or reproductive health. These issues are considered taboo due to social, cultural or religious norms in the developing and middle-income countries, speakers discussed on the third day of the International Conference on Family Planning, held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre in Indonesia.

"This is our way of calling on the national governments, civil society, and local communities to ensure that long-acting reversible contraceptives are available and accessible to sexually active adolescents and youths, without barriers or bias,” said Dr. Purnima Mane, CEO of Pathfinder International.

Give Youth a Right to Contraceptives

More than 40 leading global health and development organisations attending an international conference on family planning in Bali, Indonesia, have endorsed a statement that calls for the expansion of contraceptive choice for young people to include long acting reversible contraceptives.

Meeting Contraceptive Needs: Long-Term Associations Of the PRACHAR Project with Married Women’s Awareness and Behavior in Bihar

This article presents findings from an evaluation that sought to shed light on whether the improvements in contraceptive awareness and use observed following the implementation of the PRACHAR project were still evident four to eight years after its completion. Specifically, we examined whether women who were building families in areas where the PRACHAR project had been implemented—many of whom had not been directly exposed to the intervention—reported different contraceptive experiences than did those in comparison areas where the program had not been implemented.

Angola and Ethiopia Take On Family Planning in Latest Learning Exchange

Learning Exchange
The Adolescent Youth Sexual Reproductive Health Learning Exchange Trip brought key Angolan stakeholders to visit their counterparts in Ethiopia in July 2015.
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