India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. And yet the vast majority of young people in India still face unacceptable challenges to living healthy and productive lives, including:
In India, we have been working with young people in Tamil Nadu on health issues such as nutrition, sanitation, HIV and AIDS, and livelihoods since 1985.
Our Youth Empowerment Programme trains young people in rural government schools and communities to take lead roles in decision-making, to make responsible decisions about their sexual reproductive health and to improve their livelihood opportunities.
Our Sustainable Livelihoods Programme also addresses sexual and reproductive health issues as part of a broader view of sustainable livelihoods. In Thandayankottai village, our Eco Trail project raised environmental awareness and improved the livelihoods of their tribal community by using forest resources as capital. This project was carried out in partnership with the District Forest Department.
In total, we have been able to reach out to more than 100,000 school youth and 250 rural communities in the districts of Vellore, Kancheepuram and Thiruvallur. In all these districts, we work in close partnership with the District Education and Health Departments.
We are now on an exciting path of expansion. In our recent strategic review we have developed a plan to reach all five states in South India by 2015. As part of the strategy we will expand our capacity building work of other youth-focused organisations, and also develop an evidence base of youth-led methods for addressing poverty, HIV and livelihoods for young people.
Please note that in India, we still operate under the name SPW India.