Bringing Health Care to Street Youth in Peru

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90 Day Report

Making a difference in the lives of vulnerable youth

posted Oct 24, 2013 by Rati Bishnoi

Progress

Successfully reaching vulnerable youth requires strong partnerships with clinics, youth organizations, and governments. It also entails empowering young people themselves to demand their rights. INPPARES is working closely the Cesar López Silva Health Clinic, a center with services tailored specifically to adolescents, to ensure they can meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of vulnerable youth in the Villa El Salvador District of Lima, Peru.

We have also reached out to youth groups such as “Entre Amigos” (Between Friends), who already have an established presence in the community and intimately know the challenges young people face. So far, we have reached 450 vulnerable youth with a survey about their knowledge of important topics like HIV/AIDS and adolescent pregnancy. Information gathered from this survey will ensure that the interventions we use are designed with young people's needs in mind.

Risks and challenges

A firm handshake might secure a partnership in Hollywood movies, but partnerships in real life require a lot more paperwork! INPPARES has learned the importance of drafting detailed contracts with partner organizations that outline exactly who is responsible for what activities. Unfortunately, these contracts sometimes get stuck in long bureaucratic processes, and the progress on these contracts has been made slower than anticipated.

Up Close

When I started as a health educator at INPPARES' youth center, I was interested in promoting the sexual and reproductive rights of youth in Peru. I was concerned about young people who face discrimination, neglect, violence, and addiction. I am very grateful to our project's supporters because your funds allows us to expand our work with these youth. We see our efforts result in significant changes and positive results that contribute to the development of our society.” - Cynthia Cano Andrade

Next steps

In the coming months, INPPARES will continue to train medical staff on how to best provide rights-based care to vulnerable young women. We will also organize working groups with the youth themselves to solidify their involvement in this project. Of course, funds will be used to continue to purchase contraceptives, HIV tests, and other critical supplies to ensure young women’s sexual and reproductive health.

 

  • Health
  • Orphans
  • Reproductive rights

We provide young women living on the streets of Peru with critical health care.

Why we care: With no trusted adults to turn to, gang violence, sex trafficking, and sexual assault are a constant danger for street youth.

How we're solving this: Our local partner in Peru supports vulnerable young women in accessing the health services they want, need, and deserve.

“We cannot develop as a country without addressing the poverty and discrimination that adolescents face.” - Giovanna Sofía Carrillo, INPPARES

Marisol is a 17-year-old living in Villa El Salvador, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lima, Peru. After becoming pregnant two years ago, she was abandoned by her boyfriend and family. Fearing a life with a child on the streets, she found her way to INPPARES, our local partner in Peru, where she was able to access the health services she needed.

In a country where more than half the population lives in poverty, Marisol’s story is not unique. It’s hard enough for young women to access sexual and reproductive health information and care. Now imagine the added challenges faced by a girl in the slums of Lima.

With no trusted adults to turn to, gang violence, sex trafficking, and sexual assault are a constant danger. Many have no money to pay for food, much less health care, and the risk of unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections is high.

“They don’t have resources,” says 24-year-old Bernado, a peer leader who works with street youth at INPPARES. “Sometimes people tell me someone got killed. Or I see a young girl who hasn’t finished high school and is already pregnant. It’s tough.”

INPPARES has a proven track record of reaching vulnerable youth with crucial information and services, but they don’t limit their work to simply providing contraceptives or testing for HIV. Young people in vulnerable circumstances are also supported in becoming agents of change in their own lives and in their communities.

Your support will support the expansion of INPPARES’ work with young women living on the streets in Villa El Salvador. The funds will cover the cost of providing high quality sexual and reproductive health services – including contraceptives, HIV and STI testing, and counseling – and trainings for health providers to ensure the needs of vulnerable youth are adequately met.

Will you help get young women off the streets of Peru?

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