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Break Free! – Young people advocate for their sexual and reproductive health and rights

Countries
Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sudan, and Zambia.
Status
Ongoing
Duration
2021-2025

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) are critical to the healthy development of young people, but many young people must find their way with inaccurate information, poor access to health services, and harmful gender norms that prevent girls from having a say in decisions that affect them. In many African countries, young girls face the challenges of child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and female genital mutilation/cutting, all of which influence their health, education, employment, and empowerment.

The Break Free! programme aims to strengthen young people’s SRHR and promote gender equality in nine African countries so that young people can make informed decisions about their future.

Break Free! Objectives:

  1. Strengthen the SRHR of young people by providing them with accurate information and enabling access to appropriate health care services
  2. Promote better decision-making and effective implementation of laws and policies that address the needs of young people
  3. Ensure proper and safe education for girls at risk of child marriage and teenage pregnancy.

Working together with African Partners and Youth

The programme is implemented by Plan International and the African organizations SRHR Africa Trust and Forum for African Women Educationalists in strategic partnership with the funder, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Together with Rosaria Memorial Trust, KIT is one of the technical partners of this consortium.

KIT works together with the consortium and in-country experts to conduct research about young people’s SRHR. This involves desk studies, qualitative, quantitative or mixed-methods studies, most of which involve young people during different parts of the research. We conduct studies to understand young people’s SRHR needs, access to education and SRHR information, and their role in advocacy, and the findings are used for lobby and advocacy towards governments and donors. KIT also supports the programme’s Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (PMEL) and will facilitate the midterm review, which will take place in 2023.

Our Activities

The Break Free! programme is implemented in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sudan, and Zambia.

2021     

Desk review on Sexual and Reproductive Health Education in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger – French (Complete)

Executive Summary – Sexual and Reproductive Health Education in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger – English (Complete)

Understanding the nature of public and political polemics on comprehensive sexuality education in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia

2022                

Evaluation of the YouthWyze platform, a digital platform that connects young people, provides SRHR information and links young people to SRH services in Malawi and Zambia

Unravelling the chain of youth-led advocacy for SRHR – a study in three Break Free! countries about young people’s involvement in advocacy and what we can learn from it

Responsiveness of local laws to adolescents’ SRHR needs in two Break Free! countries

Publications

  • Youth-led Advocacy in Ethiopia

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Young people on their successes, challenges, and motivations for youth-led SRHR advocacy in Ethiopia Youth-led advocacy as a concept is becoming increasingly familiar in development programmes, and in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) programmes specifically. Yet, research on this topic is rather scarce. Youth-led advocacy is usually understood as young people meaningfully involved […]

  • Youth-led Advocacy in Mali

    • Institute
    • Publication

    “Any action done without me is against me”. Modalities and conditions for the development of youth-led advocacy in Mali. An exploratory study on the modalities, success factors and constraints of youth-led advocacy. The meaningful involvement of young people in the development of programmes and policies that affect them is crucial for the success of programmes […]

  • ‘I Trust YouthWyze’

    • Institute
    • Publication

    Learning from the implementation of the YouthWyze intervention in Malawi and Zambia YouthWyze is an intervention implemented under the Break Free! programme by SRHR Africa Trust (SAT). It aims to disseminate information and education around SRHR and establish linkages to SRH services for young people. This study areas included urban and rural areas as the […]

  • Community bylaws concerning sexual and reproductive health and rights in Traditional Authority Chiwalo, Machinga district, southern Malawi

    • Institute
    • Publication

    To what extent are they responsive to young people’s needs? Community bylaws are commonly accepted mechanisms to influence behaviour change to achieve better health and development outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa. However, the uses, benefits, and potential downsides of community bylaws are largely unclear, especially regarding sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people. […]

Services Offered

  • Applied research

    KIT Royal Tropical Institute addresses development challenges at local, regional and global levels through research that generates new insights and knowledge in our areas of expertise: health, sustainable economic development and gender.

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Related Work

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    • Institute
    • Project

    The RISE programme aimed to strengthen the capacity of NGO (health) professionals and academic institutions to meet the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of groups displaced by conflict and the climate crisis in southern Bangladesh. Tailor-made Training Together with our partners, KIT delivered a two-module tailor-made training programme to 30 health professionals from Family Planning Association Bangladesh […]

  • Power To You(th)

    • Institute
    • Project

    The Power to You(th) programme focuses on harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and child marriage, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) and unintended pregnancies. All of these are persistent ‘key issues’ where insufficient progress has been made in recent years. Funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the programme is led by […]

  • FORCE (Education on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights) – Mali

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    Education on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: A collaboration of public and private education for the integration of adolescent and youth reproductive health into the basic curriculum of health technicians and senior health technicians. In Mali, specifically in Mopti and Sikasso, young people and adolescents have difficulty exercising their sexual and reproductive health rights […]