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:
- Strengthen the SRHR of young people by providing them with accurate information and enabling access to appropriate health care services
- Promote better decision-making and effective implementation of laws and policies that address the needs of young people
- 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.
The Break Free! programme is implemented in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Sudan, and Zambia.
Understanding the nature of public and political polemics on comprehensive sexuality education in Ethiopia, Kenya, and Zambia
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