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.
Pathfinder believes every girl deserves a childhood. If her childhood is stolen from her, she needs access to high quality sexual and reproductive health care. This issue of Pathways explores Pathfinder's innovative work to address the urgent health needs of married girls and young women in West Africa—an extremely underserved group.
The Characteristics and Experiences of Women Supported to Receive Fistula Repair through IFHP in Ethiopia
This study aimed to describe the characteristics of women supported by the Integrated Family Health Project in Ethiopia to obtain fistula repair services, in particular their experience in reaching repair services and their wiliness to participate in efforts to prevent and treat fistula.
The complex constellation of factors that underlie and reinforce gender-based violence warrants a strong multi-level and multisectoral response.
We believe change starts with expertly trained providers and pharmacies that never run out of supplies. It starts with open conversations among women, young people, men, religious leaders, mothers-in-law, policymakers, and others, joining to discuss their beliefs and remove barriers to their health and well-being. Our 2014 Annual Report shows a few highlights of how Pathfinder has served as a catalyst for change over the past year.
One well-documented initiative is Mozambique’s “Geracao Biz” (“Busy Generation”) program, which included refurbishing adolescent-only clinics, developing training materials for workers, and recruiting peer activists to welcome and educate clients in the waiting room.