The Alliance Zambia Country Office will implement the “Together we will grow up happy, healthy and safe” programme through two community-based partners: Young, Happy, Healthy and Safe (YHHS) in Zambia, and the Family Life Association (FLAS) in Swaziland.
In both countries, integrated services for sexual and reproductive health and HIV are often unavailable in rural areas. Where they do exist, access is often limited by social, logistical and financial barriers.
Many young people find it difficult to obtain condoms due to stigmatising attitudes related to sexual activity among young people, especially girls, and the association between condoms and HIV.
In Zambia, by the age of 18 more than 40% of girls have had their first pregnancy.
The programme will respond by increasing the number and quality of interventions to improve the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of young people aged 10-20 years.
It will also strengthen the capacity of community systems, civil society organisations, health services and education institutions to respond to young people’s SRH needs.
On 28-30 April the implementing partners attended a start-up workshop in Lusaka, Zambia to share their experiences and lessons learnt on integrating SRH and HIV and working with young people.
Exchange visits between the two countries will continue to ensure that the partners learn from each other’s ways of working.
The best practices, processes and outcomes of this innovative programme will be documented and disseminated through the Alliance and the International Planned Parenthood Foundation, of which FLAS is an affiliate.