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Education on Reproductive and Sexual Health  (SRH) for children and adolescents

The most important figures of this project, which was carried out in cooperation between PLAN International and the Breuckmann Foundation are:

Region:      District Mzimba, see map, nr. 13

Duration:   Dec.  2018 to Nov. 2021 ( extended until February 2022 )

Budget:      1.763.429 €

Which goals we wanted to achieve

improving the sexual and reproductive health and rights of children and adolescents

   raising awareness of sexual and reproductive health and rights for this group of people

improving access to quality, youth-friendly and free health care and contraceptives

What had awaited us

The new Red List of Endangered Species also includes the Chambo, a food fish whose population in Lake Malawi is now on the verge of collapse, not at least because of the increasing consumption of the rapidly growing population in Malawi. This shows in an impressive and depressing manner the fatal connection between the exploitation of available resources and growing poverty and hunger. Although the average birth rate has decreased from more than 6 per woman to almost 4 in recent years, the population growth rate remains at about 3% per year, because  about 46 % of Malawi's population is younger than 15 years, and another quarter of the population is between 15 and 29 years old.

Due to the poor economic situation, most children and young people grow up in poverty and precarious living conditions. This also affects their health care situation, which affects their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Early sexual activity combined with a lack of information and contraception contributes to a high HIV infection rate and early pregnancies. This represents a major risk especially for girls and young women. 54 % of all Malawian women marry before their 18th birthday, 8.8 % even before their 15th birthday. This tradition of child marriage, although actually forbidden, significantly increases the risk of early and unwanted pregnancy.

What we wanted to achieve

In cooperation with the local partners, Plan International and the Breuckmann Foundation would like to contribute to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights of children and adolescents aged 10 - 24 in the district of Mzimba. With this project we want to give 55,000 children and adolescents, 33,000 of them girls, access to age-appropriate and high-quality information and health services.

To achieve this goal we shall train 200 employees of local health facilities such as doctors and nurses in youth-friendly, gender-sensitive and inclusive health care.

Training and work of Youth Agents

Within the frame of this project, the Breuckmann Foundation focus on the training and work of so-called Youth Agents. A total of 108 young people will be educated and intensively trained in their communities as part of a 14-day training course. These Youth Agents are then contact persons in the communities for questions on reproductive health and contraception, they have access to contraceptives and have a direct connection to the health centres through which the contraceptives are distributed.

We will provide bicycles to these Youth Agents and other voluntary community members for their work, to reach the population living in remote areas, in a country where public transport is extremly poor, and to maintain contact with health centres.