Protect Our Youth Program: Developing skills to navigate harmful gender norms and reduce gender-based vulnerabilities
The 24-session, evidence-based POY program is a skills-based curriculum that leveraged Population Council’s Building Assets Toolkit to identify and develop assets most needed by vulnerable Swazi AGYW. Girls develop a 5-year life plan (and identify barriers and responses to achieving it), and practice communication and negotiation skills to become more empowered around gender, sex, education, career, and more.
AGYW experienced statistically significant improvements across several composites, including positive gender norms, self-esteem, self-determination, peer pressure, desire to remain in school longer, and willingness to report GBV.
In our school, 20 girls dropped out of school due to pregnancy in 2013, but that has reduced to only 1 in the past year since the project was introduced and this girl was not part of the POY Club. I can safely say WEI/B has helped us a lot on that aspect - POY Peer Educator
A teen mom shares her journey