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More than 40 percent of the world’s population is under the age of 25. In sub-Saharan Africa, it’s nearly 60 percent.
The challenges young people face are many: poverty, unemployment, inequality, lack of access to health care. Our work helps young people build on their inner and community strengths and get the support they need to blaze promising paths forward.
How do we do this? We invite young people into the process, following their lead as we design programs together for maximum impact. We forge spaces where they can access and share the information they need – from HIV education to understanding the benefits of modern contraception – to make the best possible decisions. We create support groups where they can discuss their successes and their failures, where they can learn from those who have been in their shoes. We meet them where they are – and help them become leaders of a future that may have seemed out of reach just yesterday.
In French-speaking parts of Africa, CCP found a lack of productive communication between adults and adolescents and young adults about reproductive health needs and family planning questions. Certain social and gender norms made these topics off-limits and uncomfortable for both generations, endangering healthy youth development.
Working with a team of youth consultants, CCP developed the empathy-centered Merci Mon Héro campaign, which includes videos, marketing strategies and more to encourage young people to speak their truths about family planning and reproductive health – and lets youth celebrate the adults in their lives who overcame difficult taboos to support rather than scold them for seeking the information they need. To date, more than 1.7 million people have been reached through content posted on the Merci Mon Heros Facebook page – and countless more have been reached through campaign radio, TV and community activities.