RHRN II is a global partnership implemented in 10 countries so that young people in all their diversity enjoy their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in gender-just societies. In Kenya, the coalition is made up of 7 civil society organizations with expertise and experience spanning over 25 Years of collective experience in programming, policy influencing and advocacy. These coalition partners are progressive, youth-led or youth-serving, working with marginalized groups, working around SRHR and deploying innovative approaches in programming and advocacy. Guided by a Theory of Change, the RHRN II Program is built on experiences of Right Here Right Now 1 (RHRN), Get Up Speak Up (GUSO) and Yes I Do Alliance (YIDA) programmes. The Program is being implemented in Mombasa, Nairobi and Kisumu Counties from 2021 to 2025.
Girls Voices Initiative (GVI)
In Kenya, girls are disproportionately affected by harmful cultural practices, such as child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). FGM is prevalent in Kajiado County with 46% of girls aged 15-19 years reporting that they have undergone FGM. This is four times higher than the national level (11.4%) (KDHS, 2014). FGM is closely tied to child marriage, teenage pregnancies, and high dropout rates for girls in schools in Kenya. To tackle these challenges, The Centre for the Study of Adolescence (CSA) funded by Rise Up based at the Public Health Institute in the US has been implementing a program dedicated to girls’ empowerment, known as Girls Voices Initiative (GVI). CSA has equipped girl leaders, from Kajiado West Sub- County, who have gone through sexuality education with additional skills in public speaking and decision-maker education, while creating spaces at the local, County and National level for these girls to amplify their voices and fight for girls’ rights.
Supporting Access for Adolescents to Integrated Sexual and Reproductive Health Services (Safire) is a four-year programme (2018–2022) which aims to reduce morbidity and mortality associated with unintended pregnancies among girls (10 – 19 years of age) in Kenya and Nigeria. It will achieve this by improving girls’ access to quality Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) information and services in the private sector, addressing community barriers through stigma reduction and community referrals, and using existing technology such as social media and hotlines. The programme and interventions are informed by Human Centred Design Research conducted in 2018 – 2019 to ensure our approach is based on innovative solutions informed by girls’ insights. The programme is implemented in Bungoma, Uasin Gishu and Kiambu Counties. CSA supports SAFIRE implementation in Kiambu County on the outskirts of Nairobi.
Teens Advisory Group- Kisumu
The UKRI GCRF Accelerating Achievement for Africa’s Adolescents Research (Accelerate) Hub is a collaboration of researchers who work with policy makers, NGOs and adolescents to discover which combinations of services/ programmes can most efficiently and cost-effectively help adolescents achieve their potential across multiple life domains and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).In Kenya CSA is working with a team of researchers from Oxford university and cape town university to establish a Teen Advisory Group in Kisumu. Teen Advisory Groups aim to generate evidence to understand the needs, challenges and contexts of young people in Kenya.
Improved well being and protection of orphans and vulnerable children in Busia County- (OVC support Project)
Busia County is one of the regions in Kenya where children continue to face numerous health and development challenges including high rates of orphanhood, teenage pregnancy, sexual violence, poverty among others. Since 2019, CSA has been supported by the German charity Kindernothilfe to work towards a supportive policy environment for a right based approach to improve capacity of local systems including government departments, local civil society and communities to support care and effectively address the needs of OVCs in the county. Results are aimed at informing county and national level policy changes for improving children welfare in Kenya.
Self Help Group Approach project in Kakamega County
The SHG Approach is a rights-based approach which views poverty as the denial of rights and poverty alleviation as a process of reclaiming one’s rights. Given the multi-dimensional nature of poverty, however, the SHG Approach puts equal emphasis on the goals of economic, social and political empowerment. In order to achieve these goals, it offers a framework and guidance for establishing a ‘People’s Institution ‘which provides an environment of trust and cooperation in which people come to realise they are able to help themselves to achieve the economic, social and political goals that they themselves define. Since 2019, CSA has deployed this methodology by focusing on the poorest women and their children and then broadening the focus to entire families and communities in Mumias sub County of Kakamega County in western Kenya.
Sustaining access to Comprehensive ASRH information and Services to Adolescents and young people in selected sites of Bungoma County, Western Kenya (Funded by DFPA)
CSA has received funding from the Danish family Planning Association (DFPA) to implement an innovative 12 months SRHR/CSE Delivery project in selected sites in Bungoma County of western Kenya. The project targets adolescents 10-19 years with SRH Information and services in Government health facilities with county level advocacy activities that include increased budgetary allocation for ASRHR, improved policy frameworks and linkages to other national and global advocacy processes including UPR.
Increasing knowledge of civil society organizations, young people and decision makers on harmful SRH policies (Funded by PAI)
CSA has received an advocacy award from her long time partner PAI to influence policy makers at high level government spaces for increased support on CSE, galvanize support from Civil Society Groups to challenge and address harmful SRH policies and to sustain and strengthen capacities of youth champions for active engagement in CSE and AYSRH Advocacy. This Action is building on previous work funded by PAI to address the effects of the global Gag rule in Kenya.
Repositioning CSE in Kenya (Funded by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU)
Since 2018 CSA has been funded by the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU) to implement an innovative Advocacy project in Kenya focused on supporting young people’s access to sexuality education, establishment of mechanisms to support delivery of CSE and engagement of duty bearers to sanction inclusion of CSE in the Kenyan national curriculum. This 5 year framework has already established national CSE networks and caucus and created partnership with religious leaders to broaden the national CSE support base in Kenya.