Every two years youths from Kaiserin – Friedrich – Gymnasium, Germany have an opportunity to visit Kenya. This year’s mission was concluded on Friday 24th October, 2014 with a visit to the GIZ Health Sector Programme where they were hosted by the Programme Manager, Dr. Heide Richter-Airijoki and her team.
16 youth accompanied by two teachers and a counsellor/guide Mrs. Susan Korte concluded the visit which included visiting the Germany Embassy in Kenya.
They also visited and experienced the Kenyan rural life, urban life and wildlife.
The discussion on youth empowerment cannot be complete without health. The youth were most amazed at the high rate of teenage pregnancy in country, citing media coverage in the week and their rural experience.
GIZ Health Sector Programme implements programmes targeting Quality and increasing financial access to healthcare especially for the poor and vulnerable groups. In the past the programme has collaborated with the Government of Kenya in promoting youth friendly services. It has also supported the fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) and Anti Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
Globally, an estimated 2500 youth become newly infected with HIV every day. This translates into 40 per cent of new HIV infections annually. (UNFPA, 2010). In Kenya, 1 in 5 youth aged 15-24 reported sexual debut before age 15. (KAIS, 2012)
Increasing investment in Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) has the advantage of helping young people achieve their potential while supporting the achievement of MDGs 1 – 6.
A recent analysis of Kenya’s population situation, (NCPD, 2013) indicates that youth (15-24) make up 36.2 per cent of the population.
The GIZ Health Sector Programme promotes access to quality FP/RH information and services to vulnerable populations, especially the youth and urban poor. For this reason, a number of innovative interventions were piloted to increase access to reproductive health services and information for the youth including.
Assessing needs and mobilization; training peer and community educators; design and production of IEC materials; roll-out of the school peer education programme; construction of ventilated improved pit latrines; communities involvement; and monitoring and evaluation.
The programme was implemented in 40 public schools.
Youth living with disabilities face a myriad of challenges in terms of services access, provider attitude and rights violation. Working with KUB, GIZ installed multi-format conversion software capable of converting materials to text, MP3, digital talking books, large print and Braille; Set up a Reproductive Health, Gender Based Violence and Human Rights Resource Centre for the visually impaired
49 percent of all sexual and gender based violence cases are report by youth below 20 years.
GIZ provided financial and technical support to the revision of the guidelines and development of standard operation procedures to address client needs in the medico-legal and psychosocial systems
Starehe Girls High School provides quality education targeting bright students from poor households across Kenya.
GIZ supported the construction of a school-based healthcare sanatorium providing comprehensive and integrated services and information on SRH including HIV/AIDS. In addition, an ICT laboratory was set up to promote mentorship
Empowering Disadvantaged Girls through Life Skills and Soccer
Leadership, organisational and other life skills were imparted to young girls on and off the soccer pitch in Kilifi and Nairobi. Girls were also trained in peer education, coaching and refereeing
The JiC was a model developed in Germany in the 80s for prevention of HIV among youth.
In Kenya, the Ministry of Health adapted the model for youth SRH and dubbed it “Elimika”. Just like JiC, Elimika uses an interactive approach with six playstations reaching youth with a wealth of SRH information and life skills
Implementation of Elimika on a pilot level formed the basis for an operational research using qualitative methods.
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