Young women in western Kenya lack agency for sexual and reproductive health (SRH) decision-making, including becoming pregnant when they choose. High rates of early sexual debut and adolescent pregnancy in the region demonstrate the ongoing struggle. Cultural and religious norms around SRH and early pregnancy are stigmatizing and often influenced by parents. Additionally, sexual decision-making remains largely male-dominated. In combination, these barriers impact the ability of young women to access and use family planning methods, which requires deeper understanding and thoughtful intervention. The overall goal of our project is to design, implement, and evaluate a new program called, Stepping Up! Kuwa na msimamo tahidi jenga msingi bora (Take a strong stand and build a good foundation). Stepping Up! aims to improve the quality of life and delay childbearing among adolescent women in western Kenya by delaying sexual initiation and increasing use of family planning methods. This program will specifically work towards improving knowledge, attitudes and skills related to SRH and family planning; reducing stigma related to SRH; improving communication between youth and their parents; and improving gender power dynamics among youth. To accomplish this we will adapt two widely used, theory-informed curricula (Stepping Stones for youth and Family Matters! for parents); hire and train 50 community facilitators to implement this program reaching 800 youth and 400-800 parents; and perform baseline and endline assessments through a cluster-randomized trial to determine program impact. With careful design and thorough implementation, we believe that the Stepping Up! program will prove effective and has the potential to be scaled up throughout Kenya. If successful, this project will shape the beliefs and practices among youth and their parents, which will delay sexual initiation, increase the use of family planning, and enhance quality of life for adolescents in western Kenya.
Templeton.org is in English. Only a few pages are translated into other languages.
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