In 2012 Y Care International partnered with a YWCA and YMCAs in Liberia, Madagascar, Senegal, Togo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, the African Alliance of YMCAs and Sweden YWCA-YMCA to ensure that relevant and quality health information and services respond to the needs of hard to reach young people in six sub Saharan African countries.”

The stigmatisation of young people living with disease has had a huge impact on how health care for young people has developed in Africa. Lack of funding in health services and weak governance has led to inadequate health care services on many levels. Poor treatment from adults and health care workers has meant these services have not responded to the specific health needs and rights of young people.

We worked with local YMCAs and YWCAs to actively engage young people to raise awareness about neglected health issues in their communities, and campaign for youth friendly health services.

How we helped:

Young people researched health issues that affect themselves and their communities, and used their findings to create a national media campaigns involving each YMCA and YWCA. They also spread their message to 30,000 young people across six countries by training peer educators , hosting events like the mini-Olympics in Togo, and produced a music singles championing their rights for health care.

Young people reached local and national decision makers by forming and supporting youth advocacy groups to campaign for more youth-friendly health services, and develop medical report cards and as well as working with other organisations in-country.

The YMCA and YWCAs are also targeted vulnerable young people across Africa to improve their access to and quality of health care through referring 600 hard to reach young people to specialist health care services, providing training for local health care providers and setting up ‘beacon’ youth-friendly health care centres, and provided training for 450 service providers to reduce stigma and discrimination.

What we achieved:

  • 30,000 young people in six African countries have an increased awareness of neglected health issues and STIs, and are committed to addressing them with their peer groups in the future
  • There is an increased capacity of young people to advocate for youth friendly health care services
  • At least 3,000 vulnerable young people have improved health status through improved access to youth-friendly health care services.

More about our work here


Young people in Liberia have grown up in a country scarred by civil war. The conflict claimed more than 200,000 lives and destroyed the economy, the education system, and most of the country’s infrastructure.

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