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Center Staging the Power of Youth

Young people drive compelling and positive changes in their families and communities. Their voice has the power to shape the nation’s present and future, and their aspirations can drive the transformation of the entire country.

At Jhpiego, we prioritize the health and well-being of youth, and steer meaningful youth engagement at multiple platforms across Indian states with a diverse group of partners – national and state governments, the private sector, young entrepreneurs, innovators, academia, communities, local youth organizations, and NGOs, to enable and empower them, so that they realize their true potential.

This work is supported by USAID MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash, USAID NISHTHA, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, University of Manitoba, and forms an integral part of several projects across our thematic landscape.

During the celebrations of International Youth Day, we observed Jhpiego’s growing presence in the youth programming space in India and across our diverse health portfolios. Jhpiego has been consistently supporting & strengthening the healthcare system by addressing the needs of young people and young couples (WHO defines young people as those under 24 years), from antenatal care, labor and delivery care, postnatal care, family planning, sexual and reproductive health, anemia reduction, and maternal nutrition to adolescent immunization and paramedical education.

What defines us is not WHAT we do but HOW we do it. In recent years, we’ve transitioned from advocating a youth-friendly to adopting a youth-responsive approach to respond to the health needs and aspirations of young people.

The shift from Youth-Friendly to Youth-Responsive Approach

This shift involves moving our focus beyond just addressing the health needs of young people to considering their broader aspirations. Today’s young people aspire to be informed, connected, heard, and included in decision-making and action. They desire a safe, non-judgmental world and aim for higher education and economic opportunities. When health systems go beyond health outcomes and address all these young people’s aspirations, they become truly ‘youth-responsive.’ For example, we are working closely with the Government of Uttar Pradesh in their Mission Niramaya, to transform pre-service nursing education. Mission Niramaya is rapidly transforming the quality of pre-service nursing education with a focus on fulfilling the aspirations of young people.

Collaborations enabling the young and youth for social impact

We’re collaborating with the Government of India on various programs, including school health, adolescent health, menstrual hygiene management, and other reproductive and child health initiatives. Importantly, we ensured that young voices were heard, as demonstrated at the G20 co-branded youth event in Delhi.

Under USAID India’s MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership: India-Yash project, implemented by Jhpiego, we have curated and implemented initiatives like the Delhi Learning Lab with Restless Development, where young individuals provide advice, conduct demonstrations, and contribute valuable insights on family planning and reproductive health issues. We’ve also created platforms like #BaateinUnlocked to connect youth voices, and the Yash Fellowship Program with the International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) to amplify grassroots efforts on these issues and break stereotypes. MOMENTUM proudly hosts a Youth Advisory Council comprising young people advocating the change they want to see.

Nursing students from multiple nursing colleges across Uttar Pradesh gathered at the 2nd Career Counselling Webinar

This project also engages with the private sector, supporting young entrepreneurs dedicated to serving young people through the Yash Entrepreneurs Program with Villgro. We’re also developing platforms for directly addressing young people’s health needs through private-sector partnerships and digital innovation.

Another significant area of our work is young couple engagement to influence the adoption of reproductive health behaviors. With support from USAID NISHTHA, a comprehensive primary healthcare project implemented by Jhpiego, we are empowering young couples in Meghalaya (northeast India) to make informed family planning decisions through five innovative solutions tested at the Health and Wellness Centers (HWCs).

Last but not the least, Jhpiego also supports India’s Universal Immunization Program that provides vaccination for adolescents against Tetanus and Diphtheria, ensuring our youth have the best possible start in life.

These initiatives underscore our substantial strides in transforming into a genuinely youth-focused organization dedicated to shaping the future of India.

Jhpiego believes that when women are healthy, families and communities are strong. We won’t rest until all women and their families—no matter where they live—can access the health care they need to pursue happy and productive lives.

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