On August 16, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation announced Pathfinder as one of the 2016 Quality Innovation Challenge awardees. The Quality Innovation Challenge is a global call for creative ideas to improve quality in sexual and reproductive health and rights for adolescents and youth.
Pathfinder’s India office is one of nine awardees chosen from more than 230 submissions from around the world. Pathfinder’s innovative project aims to improve youth-friendly contraceptive counseling and increase access to contraceptive methods for youth living in low income areas of New Delhi, India. Entitled ShaadiPhoto (meaning “wedding photos” in Hindi), the project leverages an untapped potential health service delivery point of contact—engagement, wedding, and newborn photography sessions. Pathfinder will identify young men and women living in New Delhi’s slums, train them on photography and family counseling, and then set up photography studios for them. The photographers will reach out to adolescents and youth in the community and offer them counseling and referral services using photography as a platform for interaction. The studios will then serve as hubs for family planning counseling, while also enabling the photographers to also incubate a sustainable business in photography. This approach will meet adolescents and youth where they are, and connect them to counseling and services during important life stages when informed reproductive choices and access to contraception are critical.