Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health

Executive Order 141, declared in June 2021, has not just emphasized but ignited a national imperative to combat teenage pregnancies. The Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), a trailblazer even before this mandate, champions initiatives that don’t just address but actively reshape the landscape for adolescents and youth. Their focus: cultivating an environment that nurtures, unlocks leadership potential, and mobilizes communities with one resolute purpose—to quell adolescent pregnancies.

At the core of this formidable mission is the Youth Leadership and Governance Program (YLGP), a powerhouse collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). YLGP is a precision instrument, honed to empower youth leaders, propelling initiatives that not only demand attention but command action in Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH). In the provinces of Sarangani, Sultan Kudarat, and Lanao del Sur, 10 Sangguniang Kabataan Federation presidents are not just participants but architects of change. The impact is tangible—8 out of 10 municipalities are eclipsing the mandated 6% national average decrease in adolescent birth rates (ABRs).

“The nucleus of this expansion lies in leadership and governance training, a blueprint for the genesis of adolescent youth-friendly cities nationwide.”

Enter The Challenge Initiative (TCI), unveiled in 2020—a five-year global platform, co-funded and co-managed with the William S. Gates Sr. Institute for Population and Reproductive Health. TCI doesn’t just declare a mission; it radiates clarity—reducing adolescent pregnancies by infusing positive health-seeking behavior and revolutionizing access to family planning services. With a vision to sculpt adolescent-friendly cities, TCI draws from proven practices across hubs in East Africa, Francophone West Africa, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the Philippines.

Cagayan de Oro (CDO), Dipolog, and Puerto Princesa are not just cities but crucibles for TCI’s transformative impact. Teaming up with the local government units and city leadership teams with support from local offices of the Department of Health (DOH) and Commission and Population and Development (CPD), TCI is poised to transcend limits, spanning 21 additional cities under ZFF’s purview., and an additional 12 under PopCom. The nucleus of this expansion lies in leadership and governance training, a blueprint for the genesis of adolescent and youth-friendly cities nationwide. It’s not merely about programs; it’s a revolutionary shift in how we empower and safeguard the generations to come.

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