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Provision of Youth Friendly Services to Hard to Reach People: Story of Uganda Youth Development Link (UYDEL)

UYDEL is a non-governmental organization whose mission is to empower disadvantaged youth with the skills needed to live happy and meaningful lives and to contribute to and become better citizens of Uganda. Under the 3-year Health Matters for Vulnerable Children project, UYDEL aimed to reduce HIV/STI transmission, sexual exploitation, and incidence of unwanted pregnancies among street children and Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs) between the ages of 12 and 24 by increasing their access to high-quality youth friendly services. UYDEL provided services through five youth friendly drop-in centers, 17 mobile clinic outreach posts, and through Peer Service Providers (PSPs) in five divisions of Kampala District: Rubaga, Central, Makindye, Nakawa and Kawempe. Youth received family planning, Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) services, treatment of STIs, and counseling and guidance services. Because many of the target group are ineligible for health care benefits, unfamiliar with youthfriendly services and programmes and are unable to easily obtain information, UYDEL also established a strong referral system for legal aid, counseling, health care and other social support services in the five divisions of operation.

In April-June 2004, Pathfinder undertook the initiative of documenting UYDEL’s experiences to highlight best practices and lessons learned for stakeholders throughout Uganda and globally. This document summarizes interviews held with individuals and groups and highlights personal experiences and views of the target group from a human-interest angle.

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