READY Teens focuses on 10-19 year olds living with and most affected by HIV in Burundi, Ethiopia and Uganda.
It builds on the Alliance’s experience of working with the same partners in the groundbreaking SRHR and HIV integration project Link Up (2013-2016).
Why focus on adolescents?
Adolescents are unique in their development and their health and social needs, and thus require specialised services. Puberty, the transition from childhood to adulthood, and a desire to form relationships and explore sexuality contribute to making adolescence one of the most rapidly changing stages of life.
These changes affect adolescents’ health, not only during adolescence but also across their lifetime. Poor access to health services, and poor quality of those services, during this important time impact the way that adolescents engage with services and, ultimately, affect their health and wellbeing.
About READY Teens
READY Teens recognises that adolescence is a distinct time of life with specific needs that requires targeted programmes and services. READY Teens particularly recognises the vulnerabilities and marginalisation experienced by adolescents from key populations, including adolescents living with HIV, selling sex, using drugs and from sexual minorities.
READY Teens provides safe spaces for adolescents and young people to:
- develop their knowledge about HIV, SRHR and their mental health
- learn about puberty, relationships, sexuality and drug use
- develop skills in decision-making and making healthy choices
- participate in peer programmes to discuss the issues that matter most to them
The project also works with:
- communities to promote dialogue between young people and their parents and carers
- wider society and gatekeepers on the rights of young people and how they can better support the growing autonomy of their children and young people and respect their diversity
- service providers to understand the development of adolescents and define specific service packages and interventions that are sensitive to their needs and stage of development; and to provide training on difficult issues such as gender, sexuality and rights, and on how to deliver confidential and non-judgmental services to keep young people engaged in services and in their health
- government and other stakeholders to promote greater attention to the health and rights of adolescents and young people
READY Teens is implemented by Alliance Linking Organisations Alliance Burundaise contre le SIDA (ABS), Community Health Alliance Uganda (CHAU) and Organisation for Social Services, Health and Development (OSSHD) and their youth partners in Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia.
READY Teens is part of a portfolio of projects focusing on adolescents and young people called READY. READY stands for Resilient and Empowered ADolescents and Young People.