Adolescents & Youth
In 2011, young people made almost 400,000 visits for youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services through Pathfinder-supported programs. (VIETNAM)
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.