The Youth-to-Youth Initiative empowers young people to improve their sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as well as their socio-economic situation. To achieve this goal the Initiative is based on a holistic and integrated approach. Activities are implemented in the framework of 4 main components.
Enabling youth-led peer education on SRH matters and strengthening social skills
Members of the Y2Y youth club networks receive trainings in peer education, SRH and Rights (SRHR), life skills, club management and leadership skills. The acquired knowledge and skills enable them to successfully manager their clubs and to provide quality youth-friendly SRHR information and educational materials to their peer club members and young people visiting the clubs. In peer-to-peer learning groups trained members educate others on issues, such as contraceptives, HIV and Aids, family planning, unwanted pregnancies, life skills, gender, and responsible sexual behaviour. Youth clubs offer leisure activites, such as drama and music groups, football games or acrobatic rehearsals in order to attract local youth from the community and to encourage positive behavioural change through team work and sports.
Creating community support for young people
Youth clubs conduct community outreach activities designed to raise awareness, change attitudes and strengthen community life. These activities include youth-led edutainment (music, drama, dance) shows; community dialogue event with local leaders decision-makers and community members; community services and environmental work. As such, youth clubs increase awareness on sensitive topics related to youth SRH. Not only the club but also their members gain local acceptance and improve their social status as local change agents.
Strengthening youth-friendly and quality sexual and reproductive health services
Trained peer educators offer individual SRH-counselling services, e.g. on contraceptives or HIV and Aids testing in a confidential setting. Moreover, each clubs is linked to a surrounding health facility and a referral system is set up. As such, young people with SRH-related problems requiring professional treatment and counselling are referred from club members to health service providers. Health personnel often receive particular training in order to ensure that these services are youth-friendly.
Enhancing economic development of young people
As the relationship between the SRH and economic situation of young people is mutually reinforcing, young people get access to informal livelihood education: youth club members are trained in entrepreneurship and business skills which they share in their youth clubs and use to develop, set up and sustain income generating activities (IGA) within and outside the youth clubs. Based on needs- based and market analyses they create small businesses such as poultry, goat keeping, arts and craft, hiring of chairs or public address systems, small retail stores, cafeteria, or vegetable cultivation. They are linked to local microfinance institutions to acquire group or individuals loans to improve their businesses and support their sustainability. Youth clubs who conduct successful IGA not only enable involved members to gain livelihood but also to strengthen their governance structure and to support SRH activities. Strong youth clubs are trained in resource mobilisation and organisational development in order to become youth-led community organisations and to mobilise diverse resources.