Reach a Hand Uganda Youth Fund

Summary

Empowering youth on their Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR)

RAHU in partnership with DoubleLoop and Cordaid will work with 4 local youth led community based organizations (CBOs) in Jinja, Wakiso, Mpigi and Mbarara. RAHU will provide sub-grants to the 4 CBOs to enable them reach up to 2,400 young people directly and 4,800 indirectly (600 young people directly and 1200 indirectly per CBO) with comprehensive SRHR information and skills.

Goals

  • Youth reached with SRHR information & receiving health care
  • Enhance capacity of 5 youth groups at community level
  • Develop organisational capacity of 5 youth-led CBOs

Background

Youth, especially those out-of-school, are often ill equipped with the life skills necessary to transition to adulthood, including navigating decisions about work, sexual relations, health choices, and assuming different roles and responsibilities.
Young people on the whole face greater sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) risks than adults, yet they remain on the fringes of the decision making process about critical SRHR issues. Lack of awareness, inadequate information, and significant barriers posed by the current state of most SRHR services are perceived as unwelcoming to young clients. In a country where 78% of the population are below the age of 30 with nearly 50% below the age of 15; where the sexual debut is as early as 10 -14 years , and where 3.7% of young women and men age 15-24 are HIV-positive , the need to empower youth with resources and skills to make healthy life choices becomes an issue of utmost urgency.

Initial situation

RAHU has been working to address the key issues that leave Ugandan youth vulnerable to health outcomes like, HIV, Sexual Transmittable Infections (STIs), and unintended pregnancy. RAHU also focuses on changing social norms and values that limit access to Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) services and information by designing effective communication strategies and campaigns to create awareness and mitigate these sexual health problems among the young people today.

Goals

The long term goal of the RAHU Youth Fund project is for male and female youth in the project districts to make informed and healthy SRHR choices. To enable the youth-led CBOs to respond to the SRHR information needs of young people in their locality. To develop organizational capacity of the 4 youth-led CBOs to sustain their SRHR activities beyond the life of the project. To enhance the capacity of at least 5 established youth groups per district to provide access to SRHR knowledge and information for youth in their localities.

Goals

  • Youth reached with SRHR information & receiving health care
  • Enhance capacity of 5 youth groups at community level
  • Develop organisational capacity of 5 youth-led CBOs

Target group

The project will target young people aged 12-24 years. These make up about 25 percent of Uganda’s population.

Project plan

Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU) in partnership with DoubleLoop will work with 4 local youth led community based organizations (CBOs) in the East Central and Western Uganda districts of Jinja, Wakiso, Mpigi and Mbarara. RAHU will provide sub-grants to the 4 CBOs to enable them reach up to 2,400 young people directly and 4,800 indirectly (600 young people directly and 1200 indirectly per CBO) with comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) information and skills.
RAHU and DoubleLoop will support the 4 CBOs to solidify their resources and expand their impact and reach at community level; and improve their technical, management and financial structures to better provide quality SRHR services to the young people. Partner CBOs will also be supported to reach youth with the same quality SRHR knowledge and information in line with RAHU standards. The project will target youth aged 12-24 years with up to 50% of the target youth being adolescent girls. The 4 CBOs will be selected through a competitive expression of interest process that will look out for CBOs applying innovative approaches to reach youth including experience working with local youth groups.
RAHU will work through local CBOs and youth groups that have already existing community structures, access to youth, linkages and networks with existing youth support structures and experience working with youth in the focus communities. Through this partnership, the project will prioritize:
• Sub granting to 4 youth-led CBOs in Mpigi, Jinja, Wakiso and Mbarara to enable them to respond to the SRHR information needs of young people in their locality.
• Developing organizational capacity of those sub-grantees s to sustain their SRHR activities beyond the life of the project.
• Strengthen the capacity of at least 5 established youth groups per district to provide access to SRHR knowledge and information for youth in their localities.
• Develop, test and document Youth Fund model that can be upscaled to CBOs in other districts in Uganda.

Sustainability

This project aims at developing systems and tools that are effective and appropriate to run a larger scale sub granting program. The year 2015 will be used to develop the systems and tools, and test them by using them with the 4 CBOs in the four districts. Based on the experiences and lessons learned the systems and tools will be further developed and improved.
The first year will also be used as a way to build the capacity of a RAHU team to implement the model, including the capacity development support that is part and parcel of the model. Whereas the role of Double Loop in this pilot year will be significant, it is expected that RAHU will be able to upscale the Youth Fund model to other districts without direct involvement of Double Loop. To ensure learning from experience and consequent upscaling, the project will invest in systematic monitoring and documentation.

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