Since 2003, PPGNW has worked in partnership with and provided technical and financial support to the Youth Development Foundation(YDF) in Cameroon. As its mission states, YDF strongly believes that “youth can take charge of their future and become an influential voice of change.” By creating a space for youth to receive education and services, YDF is also enabling young Cameroonians, young women in particular, to find their voice and make a difference in their communities and individual lives.
PPGNW and YDF understand that basic health care is central to accessing higher education, creating financial stability, and promoting healthy families. For eleven years, YDF has worked diligently with limited resources to break down barriers that prevent youth from talking with their parents and families about sexual and reproductive health and other topics. Conversations between family members on the subject of puberty, sexually transmitted diseases, and birth control chip away at the long standing taboo regarding sexuality, and continue to empower communities to make decisions that are right for them. The youth in Cameroon truly are a “voice of change”.
Because of YDF’s commitment to improving the reproductive health of youth, Suzanne’s International Program has supported education programs to 120 peer educators ages 12-18, who have reached over 1,200 youth each year. YDF’s educational presentations and one-on-one sessions have been very effective. Due in part to PPGNW’s support, YDF opened a fourth clinic in a rapidly growing suburb of Yaoundé. YDF’s ability to provide free or low cost tests for sexually transmitted infections as well as contraceptives and condoms,continues to grow. In addition, YDF has been able to leverage PPGNW support by attracting other funding, including the Clinton foundation and Cameroonian Government, thereby increasing its long term sustainability. Building YDF’s capacity in Cameroon furthers PPGNW’s overall goal of increasing sexual and reproductive access for all.