Sexual & Reproductive Health & Economic Empowerment Supporting Out of School Adolescent Girls’ Rights & Skills.
The SHE SOARS project is a seven-year program implemented by CSA with the support of CARE. Out-of-school adolescent girls face significant challenges related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) outcomes. Factors such as gender inequality, child, early, and forced marriage (CEFM), pregnancy, poverty, and the impact of COVID-19 contribute to their marginalisation and vulnerability. The closure of schools has further exacerbated issues, including increased adolescent pregnancies and limited access to SRHR services. Policy gaps, including the criminalization of consensual sexual conduct among adolescents, hinder adolescent access to SRHR services across the three countries.
SHE SOARS utilizes a theory of change that focuses on improving the awareness, knowledge, and agency of young people, challenging discriminatory social norms, and transforming power relations. The project targets out-of-school girls, their families, communities, and national laws and policies to address barriers to SRHR services and opportunities. It integrates a holistic package of interventions, including advocacy, comprehensive sexuality education, family planning, and abortion, co-designed with adolescent girls and boys.
The project directly benefits out-of-school adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 19 in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. It also aims to create a supportive environment for girls through engagement with families, communities, and national laws and policies.
The project aims to bring about gender transformative and sustainable change by improving the accessibility, availability, affordability, and quality of SRH services for out-of-school adolescent girls. It seeks to prevent future dropouts and support girls in returning to school, while also increasing their access to livelihood opportunities and decision-making. By addressing neglected SRHR topics and engaging the public through a youth-led Public Engagement initiative, SHE SOARS aims to raise awareness and understanding of SRHR issues. Ultimately, the project aims to empower adolescent girls to exercise their rights, improve their health, complete their education, and positively impact future generations. There are 1080 young people enrolled on the project who have been able to form 61 Youth Savings Associations each with between 15-20 members having a total saving of Ksh 1,710,000.