Social norms and cultural barriers that prevent AGYW from participating effectively in community and economic life are a key barrier for young women and girls to succeed. HELP Uganda work with AGYW, building upon their inherent resilience and strengths with the awareness, knowledge and skills needed to navigate the complex transition from adolescence to adulthood, and enabling them to exercise their agency as independent actors. We work with AGYW to strengthen their life skills through a comprehensive curriculum that builds their confidence, inter- and intra-personal skills, knowledge, and ability on key areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), gender, safeguarding, and planning for the future.
In addition to ensuring young girls safely transition through early adolescence, we put AGYW on a viable financial trajectory by fostering the development of marketable skills and linking AGYW to necessary resources and networks. We break down barriers for AGYW to take up decent work opportunities and provide training and support to build sustainable livelihoods.
To create long-lasting impact, we also focus on the structural barriers affecting AGYW’s advancement, creating a supportive and enabling environment for them to thrive. We partner with local actors to support AGYW to advocate for their rights and facilitate their access into decision-making forums through creating new and leveraging existing platforms, to address the structural and systemic issues that hinder AGYW’s ability to take up decent livelihood options and engage meaningfully in society
As youth voice is critical in bringing their lived experience to bear, the program raise awareness amongst AGYW of all ages about their rights, with customized training to older adolescents and young women to voice their demands and concerns through compelling storytelling. As part of collective advocacy with other organizations, HELP Uganda explore internships and shadowing opportunities with local advocacy-focused organizations for older adolescents and young women, so they are exposed to the formal and informal mechanisms behind policymaking and influencing, enabling their development as youth advocates, and also helping them gain valuable work experience.
The three outcome areas - Social Empowerment, Economic Empowerment, and Evidence-based Advocacy for an Enabling Environment - are inherently interlinked. AGYW exercising their voice and agency to act on their aspirations impact on their ability to engage in income generating activities or formal employment. Likewise, with AGYW more economically empowered they are able to navigate the complex societal and traditional norms present in communities and have the confidence and increased agency to act on their aspirations and play a more meaningful role in society