Local ownership Participatory Culture-sensitive
Our focus is to empower young people in making own informed decisions in whatever cultural context. Our belief is that young people everywhere in the world are capable to do so. We do not prescribe and impose, but support and empower. Young people are experts in their own right and cultural agents of change.
No intervention can be made by people who do not know the context. Local participation and local experts are key in our work. Our main task is to bring evidence and train in all what works. We train the capacity to do the work oneself. We strive becoming redundant.
Our work is interactive. We do not teach, but facilitate. Using existent knowledge of our partners is the base of our work. Our inspiration is their own learning process. In trainings we are not a magnet, but a mirror. Participatory working has proven to be most effective in how to apply lessons learned into practice.
Interventions have to fit into a cultural context. This is a precondition for effective implementation. Cultural norms and values have to be taken into account. But cultures are not static; cultural boundaries can be pushed. Wording is crucial in communicating sexuality and sexual health, but not at the expense of being clear in messages.
Sexual health is best achieved and enjoyed in equality. Gender equality is an integral concept in all the work we do. However, most cultures do not reflect gender equality. Gender-sensitivity is good, but not enough. A gender transformation is needed to ensure decisions of all sexes are taken equally seriously.
Evidence and values
Informed decisions have to be based on correct and up to date facts and not on myths. Evidence have to help value development. Central in our support of decision-making is the ability to make a clear distinction between facts and opinions. Part of this ability is being aware and learning to cope with social and legal influences. In our support we include to reflect on the values of the environment and culture as those are strongly influencing decision-making.
All people worldwide are entitled to human rights. Young people, disabled youth, people with HIV; everyone has the right to be, to self-determination, to be supported and to express themselves and their sexuality in the way they want and feel comfortable. Using international agreements about human rights is the main principle in our way of working.
Effectiveness requires a planned and systematic approach. We develop and implement interventions according to the 6 steps of Intervention Mapping: involvement, situation analysis/needs assessment, sound objectives and methods, design and pilot, implementation and sustainability; monitoring and evaluation.