About us

RWANDA HEALTH INITIATIVE FOR YOUTH AND WOMEN (RHIYW)

Rwanda Health Initiative for youth and women is a non-governmental, non-profit organization focusing specifically on improving the lives of adolescents, young people and women.

1. Background

RHIYW was born out of the passion and involvement of young volunteers and Rwandan public health experts; former staff of Bixby Center and Venture Strategies Innovations (VSI), American nonprofit organisations that were committed to improving women's health in developing countries.

RHIYW is continuing the essential work started by these two organizations through the implementation of comprehensive SRHR services in youth centers, and conducting community outreach for SRHR provision for people living in rural areas, with a special focus on adolescent girls and young women. RHIYW builds upon the work started by these organizations by utilizing the same effective and sustainable approaches and strategies, and collaborating with the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Youth, District Health Units and public health facilities in all aspects of our work. In addition to the local team of public health experts and youth volunteers, RHIYW’s advisory committee is made up of global experts in the fields of SRHR, public health, and advocacy.

2. Goals

The goal is to ensure adolescents, young people and women receive quality comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights services, and live healthy lives. RHIYW aims to prevent unintended pregnancies and sexual violence among adolescents and young mothers, reduce maternal deaths and disabilities, and prevent STIs and HIV/AIDS among adolescents and youth. RHIYW also aims to help young people and women make informed choices about their own lives. RHIYW is particularly committed to empowering adolescents’ girls and young women in a holistic approach.

3. Mission & Vision

Rwanda Health Initiative for youth and women’s mission is to enable adolescents, young people and women to lead interventions in sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR). We involve youth in every aspect of our programs and provide them with the knowledge and skills to take charge of their health.

4. Our Values

  • Gender equality
  • Equity
  • Accountability
  • Partnership
  • Transparency
  • Sustainability
  • Integrity
  • Creativity/Innovation
  • Excellence

5. Partners

  • Rwanda Ministry of Health
  • Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC)/ Maternal Child and Community Health Division
  • Ministry of Youth and Culture
  • Musanze District
  • Preston Werner Ventures
  • Healthy People Rwanda (HPR)
  • Bixby center for Population, Health and Sustainability, University of California
  • Venture Strategies for Health and Development(VSHD)
  • Hesperian Health Guides
  • The David and Lucile and Packard Foundation
  • Great Lakes Initiatives for Human rights and Development (GLIHD )
  • Rwanda Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (RSOG)
  • Action of Men Engage for Gender Equality in Rwanda (AMEGERWA).

6. Our Priorities

  1. To deliver trusted, confidential, comprehensive sexual reproductive health and rights education and services in youth centers including provision of methods for prevention of unwanted pregnancy (modern contraception), HIV/AIDs counselling & testing, treatment of sexually transmitted infections, and basic GBV services and linking victims with Isange One Stop Centers for further care.
  2. To provide comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) to young people visiting youth centers focusing on menstrual health, prevention of unwanted pregnancy, STIs and HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, behavior change communication etc...
  3. To provide technical support to the Rwanda Ministry of Health to implement strategies for reducing maternal mortality rate including Postabortion care (PAC), and provision of safe abortion within Rwanda legal framework.
  4. To implement socio-economic strategies for teenage single mothers (and other groups of vulnerable young women) including empowerment and social reintegration programs, SRHR education, income-generating activities, technical and vocational training, psychosocial support and counseling.
  5. To build the capacity of rural health facilities and family planning health posts to provide integrated SRHR/FP services to young women, and to increase coverage in areas served by faith-based health facilities.
  6. To strengthen the leadership capacity of young people in SRHR programs, especially those for girls and young women, and to build the confidence and self-esteem of girls to take responsibility for and assert their SRHR.
  7. To conduct monitoring and evaluation of programs and operations research to guide policy and practices in sexual and reproductive health.
  8. To mobilize young people and women to use sexual and reproductive health services.
  9. To create opportunities/platforms for discussions, sharing ideas and best practices in SRHR services and provisions.
  10. To build the capacity of community health workers in the provision of RH services including family planning.
  11. To implement effective measures to prevent unsafe abortion including comprehensive sexuality education, fighting gender discrimination and sexual violence, addressing stigma and barriers to safe abortions within Rwanda legal framework, and accelerate access to modern contraceptives.
  12. To create program that tap into the aspirations, interests and vocational needs of young people, including desire for entertainment and use of Information and communications technology (ICT).
  13. To improve knowledge of health providers in provision of youth friendly SRH services.
  14. To implement other innovative interventions for effective provision of youth-friendly SRHR/FP services.

7. Our Approach

  1. Involve and promote youth participation.
  2. Implement peer education activities.
  3. Provide integrated, youth-friendly services that are in accordance with national policies using a client-centered approach.
  4. Using modern information and communication technologies (ICTS) in provision SRH of education and services.
  5. Prioritize confidentiality and privacy.
  6. Mobile outreach in rural areas.
  7. Support government institutions in program implementation.
  8. Collaborate with local and international NGOs.
  9. Establish strong partnerships with local public health facilities.
  10. Community involvement.
  11. Improve access to services for vulnerable groups.
  12. Inclusion