Youth & Adolescent Health/OVCJSI is committed to the protection, well-being, and development of children and adolescents. From essential newborn care to under-five child health, to working with refugee children and older adolescents impacted by HIV, JSI has championed community, health facility, and health systems’ efforts to help young people live longer and healthier lives. Our work focuses on building institutions from within, and supporting nationally-owned systems. Inherent in our approach is a commitment to strengthening families and communities.
Our work to support children and adolescents is multisectoral, often bridging the health, education, child protection, and social welfare sectors, and taking into account local perspectives on well-being.
JSI serves the specific needs of children and adolescents by promoting accessible, family-friendly health services and financing; providing essential education for youth on prevention of HIV, STIs, and unintended pregnancies; reducing alcohol and drug abuse; and addressing post-rape care of children and adolescents. We also support and train cadres of peer educators; promote early childhood education; address the special healthcare needs of various youth population segments (including children living with HIV, pre-teens, married youth, children with disabilities, out-of-school youth, and street children); strengthen supply chains for necessary medical supplies and medicines; and much more.
For adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV), JSI has deep expertise in building capacity among health providers, caregivers, and adolescents for managing the transition from pediatric care and treatment of HIV to adult care. JSI fully recognizes that adolescents’ special needs related to the virus—psychosocial, developmental, related to sexuality, alcohol and drug use, relationships with parents and other family members, a growing sense of independence, etc.—need to be addressed to enhance overall treatment outcomes for ALHIV, especially adherence to treatment.
In working with ALHIV, JSI has provided programmatic and policy guidance to program implementers and policymakers in 10 sub-Saharan African countries who work with ALHIV. The exercise highlighted service gaps, innovative approaches, areas of prioritization and opportunities for integration, providing guidance for program planners and policy makers globally.
JSI builds the capacity and monitors the progress of 46 organizations that received DREAMS Innovation Challenge sub-awards to reduce HIV infection in young women in Africa who have limited or no access to health care services.
A coordinator for the BARAA project's orphaned and vulnerable children program in Kenya receives support from the New Partners Initiative and connects youth and children with essential HIV services.
Live, Learn, and Play trains young people between the ages of 13 and 18 in leadership, gender awareness, and equality, as well as community participation through basketball.
A young man's life is changed when he visits a drop-in center sponsored by the Turkmenistan Youth Centers project.
JSI is working at the community level to build the skills, networks, linkages, and referrals necessary to create an integrated network of essential service provision for vulnerable children and families in northern Tanzania.
Young expectant mothers in Uganda receive counseling and get tested for HIV at a popular and successful youth center sponsored by the Uganda Program for Human and Holistic Development.
JSI built technical capacity in both the public and private sectors to provide quality reproductive health and family planning services to reduce the number of abortions, unintended pregnancies, and incidence of sexually transmitted infections.