The Make Way Programme is a consortium of six organisations, that is, Akina Mama wa Africa, The Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians, Forum for African Women Educationalists, Liliane Foundation, VSO Netherlands and Wemos jointly implementing a five year programme (2021-2025) to mobilise a mass of civil society intersectional advocates of Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in five countries namely Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Zambia. This is in partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ANDY is one of the implementing partners of this program within the Cheshire Disability Services Kenya partnership supported under the Liliane Foundation.
Adolescents, youth and women with disabilities are often excluded from mainstream assistance due to social, physical and communication barriers which have historically seen them deprived of their Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
This vulnerable group also has limited access to important information, leaving them uninformed and in harm’s way. This puts them at risk of domestic abuse, sexual violence as well as physical assault, especially for persons with intellectual impairments. Low levels of knowledge of their SRHR leads to teenage pregnancies, HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Infections.
Among barriers to accessing SRHR include underfunded healthcare systems, stigma, discrimination and exclusion in major activities. The Make Way Programme seeks to develop innovative tools and build the capacities of other civil society organizations to advocate for inclusive policies and societal changes.
These changes include;
- Marginalised youth to speak out collectively to defend their SRHR and hold duty bearers accountable.
- Duty bearers at (sub) national, regional and global levels need to formulate and implement strategies, policies and plans with an intersectional lens that lead to quality, available, affordable and accessible SRHR services.
- Society at large needs to respect the SRHR of all including marginalized youth.
What Make Way Entails.
The five-year programme actively promotes innovative practices in intersectional SRHR advocacy by;
- Adapting and developing new types of tools to reveal and analyse the complexity of SRHR inequities, and identify solutions to the interrelated barriers that marginalised youth face.
- Selecting, mentoring and training a wide range of organisations and their youth representatives -from community to global level- to take up intersectional SRHR advocacy and push for the change they want to see in their communities and amongst local, national, regional and global decision-makers.
The program aims to encourage many organizations at all levels to adopt and implement an intersectional SRHR approach in their advocacy and create opportunities within the civic space for marginal youth to stand up for their SRHR by offering mentorship and guidance.