We work with our donors and partners on a range of projects outside of our clinics, including specialist services for young people.
There are 27.7 million adolescents aged 10-19 years in Bangladesh – 13.7 million girls and 14 million boys – making up about one fifth of the total population. Most adolescents have limited scope for acquiring knowledge and skills for their self-development and protection.
Adolescent groups in Bangladesh are considered as the most important segment for health care issues. Adolescent period is remarkably a sensitive period for boys and girls. This is the time when most of them commit mistakes due to curiosity and ignorance. Changes in their body structure and hormonal activity surprise them unless proper knowledge on physiology is imparted to them.
Marie Stopes implemented many projects in Bangladesh and one of them is MoniMuktarAshor. This project targeted the adolescents and youths within the age of10 to 20 years, in selected six slums of Dhaka and Chittagong. MSCS launched the programme in June 2002 in two slums under Dhaka I clinic and replicated phase wise in two other slums under Dhaka III clinic and two slums under Chittagong II clinic. A total of 12 units (six for girls and six for boys) are running in these six slums. Each of these units or clubs is named ‘Moni-Mukta Ashor’.
The MSCS’ model of slum-based model intervention for the adolescents adopts a youth friendly approach; “Moni-MuktoAshor” Centres are managed by peer educators who come to the centres after school. The centres for girls are set-up within the clinics and those for boys are established at facilities that are rented. Reproductive healthcare, family planning, medical services are provided by MSCS and outreach-communication activities are conducted by the “Mishuks” or peer educators. Peer educators disseminate information on reproductive healthcare and family planning issues among their friends, families and local community, promote the young people friendly services at the MoniMuktaAshor and themselves underwent training and extra curricular activities to build up their personality and skills. Extra-curricular activities include music, drama, games and a library. Performing activities like music and drama address socio-cultural-political issues like dowry, drug abuse, and early marriage. Under the framework of skill building programmes, candles, paper bags, soaps and incense sticks are manufactured. The local community is involved in accessing the project through monthly meetings.
Beginning from March, 2006 the initiative was incorporated under EC Block Grant support. This funding l continued till February, 2009. EC-Block Grant has further consolidated the YP programme with introduction of services in 12 spots for the adolescents living in slums but employed in hazardous occupations. .
However, the 4 RHIYA SDPs have now come under the core Moni-Mukta programme of MSCS since closure of the RHIYA at the end of last reporting year. Although no finding could yet be sourced for these 4 SDPs, MSCS decided to continue the youth-friendly spaces at these 4 clinics in a smaller scale.
During the year, 144 peer educators of Dhaka I, III and Chittagong, were graduated, who were with centre for a period of six months. Every new batch are undergoing peer development programme by means of health education, peer education, and life skill activities. These peers are regularly organizing community meetings and meetings with parents in the community and promoting healthy reproductive and sexual lives.
Reproductive Health Initiatives for Youths in Asia (RHIYA)
This is the second phase of EC/UNFPA support with a focus to bring about positive changes by creating an enabling environment for the young people through socially and culturally appropriate strategies and approaches. Starting September 2003, the project aimed to improve the SRH status of the young people in selected districts of Bangladesh. Major activities under the project included a generalized awareness building on the need of SRH services and information by the young people through peer approach. The project ended in September 2006.
A joint initiative of Canadian International Development agency (CIDA) and Plan Bangladesh, the Strengthening Adolescent Reproductive Health (ARH) project, focusing on young people specially the adolescents, will contribute to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for maternal and child health. The project has been being implemented by Marie Stopes Bangladesh since December 2007.
MSB also implemented another project named WHO MR project during the period 2008-2009 where MSB worked with the adolescents along with other stake holders. MSB developed the capacity of teachers by providing training and teachers worked for the students on adolescents issue. Besides these MSB facilitators also directly worked with the students.
During the period 2010-20132 MSB implemented another project named Growing Safe funded by EKN. These project was implemented in 3 slums of Dhaka city where direct intervention was given to the adolescent through group formation.
MSB Is implementing one project named Nirapod funded by EKN. This project works for 48,000 adolescents along with other stake holders. This project is working in 6 districts with the adolescent in developing the knowledge and awareness, improving the practices on adolescents on SRHR, FP, personal hygiene, early marriage, VAW, etc.; helps and promotes safe motherhood among them and manages referral with NGO and GO service centers.
MB is implementing one project named SHOKHI funded by EKN. In this project MSB works with the adolescent along with other stake holders. IN this project MSB work through Group formation and Change Maker approach. A change maker is a representative of the community who has got some leadership capacity and who leads a team of 10 members.