Together with YWCA South Sudan, Horyzon is building up the new project "My Body, My Right, My Future" and supports young people on their way out of poverty. Through sexual education, provision of hygiene articles and access to contraceptives, youth pregnancies are reduced and thus future prospects are created.
Background South sudan and Programme Environment
South Sudan - The youngest state in the world has already had a turbulent history. After more than 20 years of civil war, South Sudan separated from Sudan in 2011 and constituted itself as a separate state. However, just one year after the founding of the state, the country sank into a severe civil war in which rival ethnic groups fought for the political leadership of the young country. Between 2013 and 2018, according to official figures, almost 400,000 people were killed and almost 2.5 million South Sudanese were displaced to neighbouring countries. In the midst of this humanitarian crisis, famine further exacerbates the suffering of the population. People in South Sudan live from agriculture, but displacement and flooding have resulted in hardly any food being grown or livestock being kept.
Hunger is not the only consequence of the conflict. Due to the lack of prospects and the many cases of sexual violence, as well as cultural and social taboos on the subject of sexual education, teenage pregnancies are widespread. These are highly problematic for both mothers and children: around 80% of maternal deaths in South Sudan are due to teenage pregnancies and infant mortality is around 50% higher for teenage pregnancies than for pregnant women between the ages of 20 and 29. However, such early pregnancies also entail economic risks. For example, girls from the poorest social classes in Yambio are three times more likely to become pregnant before their 18th birthday. This, in turn, means that girls usually do not complete their schooling and lack appropriate future prospects. Underage mothers are thus disadvantaged throughout their lives.
The project "My body, My Right, My Future" by YWCA South Sudan and Horyzon breaks this cycle. Young people in Yambio learn what sexual and health rights they have and what family planning methods they can use. Through better access to contraceptives and hygiene products, taboos are broken down and the participation of the young people in school lessons is strengthened. Village talks and radio talk shows are used to sensitise further sections of the population to the issue of sexual violence and contraception.
Every year, around 6,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 19 from Yambio benefit directly from the programme. In addition, teachers, village elders and staff of health facilities as well as children who have dropped out of school are also involved in the project activities. A further 250,000 or so people are reached through multiplication activities such as village talks or radio talk shows.
In the long term, the programme will enable young people to make more autonomous decisions in their life planning. They are encouraged to continue attending school and to use family planning methods in a responsible way. In addition, they are empowered to recognize sexual and gender-based violence and to lead equal relationships.
- Motherhood in childhood; Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy, UNFPA 2013
- Analysis YWCA South Sudan
- Women Deliver and The Population Council. Having a Child Before Becoming an Adult: Exploring the Economic Impact in a Multi-Country Analysis. New York: Women Deliver, 2019.
Sexual and gender-based violence
- Conversations with community members about sexual violence
- Training of social workers in the treatment of victims of sexual violence
- Training young people in methods of safe sexual intercourse
- Psycho-social support for victims of sexual violence
Sexual and gender-based violence is reduced
Education and sexual and reproductive health rights
- Installation of water tanks at schools and provision of sanitary napkins
- Education of girls and boys in (menstrual) hygiene and sexual education
- Training of caretakers and teachers youth friendly treatment and communication
- Organization of intergenerational dialogues on the topic of sexual and reproductive health rights
- Vocational counselling at various schools
- Dialogues with government representatives and village leaders on their role in promoting youth rights.
- Training village leaders as ambassadors for sexual and reproductive health rights
- Radio talk shows on sexual and reproductive health rights
- Capacity building for basic human rights
Youth know their sexual and reproductive health right and build up long term livelihoods
- Training of health staff in communication, counselling and support in family planning
- Radio talk show sensitization for the use of contraceptives
- Provision of contraceptives and demonstration of condom use
Young people have access to good health care (including prevention measures) provided by qualified staff.