Health and wellbeing

EMpower believes in a future where young people are equipped with the information and support they need to safeguard their health, such that youth can live a life free of violence and have the power to decide if and when to become parents.

Adolescence ushers in a new set of health challenges for young people, given their emergent sexuality, reproductive capacity, and increased vulnerability to a range of health risks and social and family pressures. As they navigate the transition from childhood to adulthood, adolescents often must shoulder adult responsibilities and grapple with adult decisions, yet many lack access to the comprehensive information and services—as well as the social safety nets—that would allow them to reach adulthood in good health.

Adolescence is also a time when behaviors are often set for life, and when the consequences of risks taken can be life-changing; up to 70 percent of all preventable deaths globally result from health-related patterns and behaviors that began during adolescence. In addition, half of all new HIV infections occur among young people between 15 and 24 years of age, with young women facing infection rates 1.6 times higher than young men.

EMpower supports programs that:

  • Provide health education or preventive services in key areas of adolescent health (for example, sexual health, substance use).
  • Include HIV prevention strategies and combat stigma associated with HIV and AIDS.
  • Promote wellbeing through nutrition; safe spaces for youth to socialize; play sports or other activities where they gain confidence and skill, and that raise awareness about and decrease violence.