Early sexual debut and pregnancy contribute to a lot of reproductive health issues among adolescent girls and boys in Uganda. Traditional practices, beliefs and negative attitudes limit adolescents’ use of reproductive health services.Akamutuha Coviiren18-year-old Ugandan woman
‘What young people want, what young people need’
Too often there are no youth-friendly services and young people are prevented from accessing those that are available. The ASK programme – Access, Services, Knowledge – targets key elements in meeting young people’s needs: information and education; youth-targeted and youth-friendly services; and raising awareness and acceptance of young people’s sexuality.
In the seven ASK countries our analysis has shown how young people’s sexual and reproductive health is put at risk:
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Rutgers is the lead in a major international alliance funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, €29.6m over three years (2012-2015).
Young people at the centre
ASK begins with involving young people (10 – 24 years old) and establishing what they want and need, putting them at the centre of the programme and building their individual strengths. Together we create a more enabling environment, challenging stigma and taboos. We develop and adapt services that answer the needs that young people defined. And we make practical links between communication and education to the real services available.
Targeting underserved groups
Within the target group of 10 to 24 year olds, ASK has identified some groups as particularly underserved. So the programme includes strategies to work with young people who are under sixteen, living with HIV, LGBTQI, living in remote areas, mothers, or disabled.
The strength of the ASK partnership is in the complimentary focus and expertise of our eight organisations: Rutgers, AMREF Flying Doctors, CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, dance4life, the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), Simavi, and Stop AIDS Now! – plus the technical partner Child Helpline International (CHI).