Our Work in Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health (ASRH)

Adolescence represents a critical window of opportunity when young people learn to make independent decisions and form their own attitudes and beliefs. Save the Children works to ensure that adolescents, regardless of gender, have access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services, and the supportive and gender-equitable families and communities that they need to be the leaders of today and tomorrow. 

Our global ASRH programs are age- and life-stage tailored, with particular attention to the needs of “very young adolescents” (10- to 14–year-olds) and first-time adolescents and young parents. In addition, we prioritize strengthening health systems to provide integrated health services to adolescents and implement innovative positive youth development approaches that integrate health, education, and economic empowerment. 

What We Do

Age- and Life-Stage Tailored Sexual and Reproductive Health Approaches

Our programs target adolescents in critical periods of their lives: during young adolescence and as first-time and young parents. Very young adolescents (VYAs; ages 10-14), are a group often neglected in global health programs. 

Our programs fill a critical information and service gap and equip young adolescents with the ability to navigate challenges and opportunities during puberty. We work with first-time and young parents, and their families and communities, to improve their health and well-being.

All of our life-stage programs foster the development of positive social and gender norms, build linkages to health systems, and increase access to reproductive, maternal, and newborn health services.

Equitable Social and Gender Norms and Healthy Behaviors

Save the Children leads the way in developing innovative social and behavior change activities that engage adolescents and their parents, partners, and communities to inspire reflection and dialogue on gender and SRH. 

These activities drive changes in SRH behaviors and social norms, such as equitably distributing household chores, prioritizing completion of education before marriage, and joint decision-making on when and if to have a child and use family planning.

A teenage girl smiles at the camera. Three girls are out of focus standing behind her.

Adolescent-Responsive Health Systems

Adolescents face a range of barriers to accessing SRH services, including providers who are unwilling or uncomfortable providing services, fear of being seen or mistreated, and distance to and cost of services. 

Our programs address these barriers by strengthening the health systems’ ability to provide quality community- and facility-based services to adolescents, including a full range of contraceptive methods.

Where We Work

Our ASHR work spans 25 countries around the globe.

  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • North America, Latin American & the Carribbean

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