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Community outreach programmes entertained through coordinated partnerships are key to holistic empowerment of adolescents and the youth, a charity organization asserts. The number of youth in Ethiopia is estimated to account for about 40 per cent of the total population. However, the youth is highly vulnerable to a number of social and economic problems ranging from unemployment to sexual and reproductive health complications. Hence, the government of Ethiopia is working on a new Youth Development Policy and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health Strategy. Besides, 10 billion Birr youth revolving fund has been established nationally targeting to fight the economic problems of the youth.

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In the meantime, German Foundation for World Population (DSW) Country Director said consorted effort of the government, charity organizations, clubs and associations is very crucial to empower young people and enable them challenge the social and economic problems they are facing today, speaking at the annual performance review recently conducted at DSW/BONITA Youth Development Training Center in Bishoftu Town.

Matiyas Tesfaye from Ministry Of Youth and Sports also said: "Advancing youth privilege being at the heart of ministry's mission, we demand partnership from all stakeholders. Hence, the role of non-governmental organizations is crucial. DSW is working on the youth by launching peer discussion programme and lately started a community engagement programme to ensure the youth engagement in various income generating activities." Henock Dejene is Wabi Jiregna Sexual Reproductive Health Club chairperson, one of the clients of DSW funded youth programme. Henock believes Youth-to-Youth programmes are enabling a number of young boys and girls like himself learn life skills with regard to Sexual Reproductive Health issues and income generating activities.

According to Henock, many young people benefited from training and material support provided by the organization and are changing their lives. He added that these youngsters are also influencing hundreds of other youth in their respective villages. Moreover, the youth are fighting idleness engaging in easily available small scale income generating activities. DSW, an international development organization that focuses on the needs and potential of the youth commits itself to creating demand for and access to SRH information, services and supplies, engaged in advocacy, capacity development, and family planning initiatives to empower youth to lead healthy and self-determined lives.

Source: All Africa