Woman at a radio station (Photo by Jeroen van Loon)

Dutch Government approves funding for a national programme in support of adolescents and young people in Burundi

The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Burundi has today approved EUR 17.4 million in funding for a joint national programme “Improving the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and youth in Burundi” (2016-2020). Over a period of five years the programme will be gradually scaled-up nation-wide.

Cover_French_WSWMYoung people (girls and boys) aged 10-24 are the final beneficiaries of this joint programme. By investing in the human capital of adolescents and young people, with respect for their rights to health and education and supporting them to fulfill their potential, this programme contributes not only to a reduction in early and unwanted pregnancies and a reduction in population growth but also to stability, and an inclusive, fair, equitable and sustainable development for the well-being of the population as a whole.

Challenges

In Burundi, adolescents and youth face serious challenges. These challenges include a lack of access to sexual and reproductive health information and services. The recent reform of the education system initiated by the government of Burundi provided an opportunity for partners that support sexual and reproductive health and rights to review existing curricula and education tools to ensure that sexuality education is provided as extensively and comprehensively as possible. 

Comprehensive sexuality education

To address adolescent pregnancy and inspired by the approach “The World Starts With Me” that has been a success in many other countries, including in the region, this joint programme will institutionalize comprehensive sexuality education in the school environment in Burundi. It will help young people to better understand puberty, and the physical, emotional and relational changes that occur in this period of their lives, and acquire knowledge and life skills, including with regard to gender equality

Potential

When young people are empowered and able to fulfill their potential, when they can access education and health care – particularly comprehensive sexuality education and sexual and reproductive health services – they are better able to make healthy decisions for their future and contribute to the development of their country.

Joint Programme

The joint programme is designed as a multi-sectoral partnership at national and decentralized level. The programme will be implemented by a consortium consisting of UNFPA, CARE (consortium lead), Rutgers and Cordaid in collaboration with the Burundian Ministry of Public Health through its National Reproductive Health Programme and the Ministry of Education, Higher Education and Scientific Research as well as national partners in Burnundi. 

Through a community social networking approach, this programme focuses on adolescents and young people’s direct environment: schools, communities and health centres. Over a period of five years the programme will be gradually scaled-up nation-wide.

Read also: Burundi embraces comprehensive sexuality education

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