We empower young people, promote SRHR, and work to foster meaningful participation for young people.

We do this by advocating in local, national, and international political arenas. We make sure that young people’s voices are heard where needed.

Our Advocacy

Working in Berlin and Brussels, DSW engages with German and European Union policy-makers to educate and work with them to advance support for sexual and reproductive health, family planning, and the fight against diseases of poverty. Working with and through coalitions such as DSW’s All Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development (APPG), the European Week of Action for Girls, Countdown 2030, and the Global Health Technology Coalition, we continue to push for government and political buy-in to these vital issues. To read more about our work at EU level, visit our EU page.

Across east Africa, our country offices work in support of long-term financing plans for family planning – essential tools for advocacy that have the potential to save millions of lives. Together with our youth champions, we advocate for local and national sustainable change.

Find out more about our advocacy approach:

Our Youth Empowerment

– key elements of DSW’s holistic approach to young people – 

We are currently living in the largest generation of young people in history.

However, many of these young people still cannot access basic rights and services, like being able to use safe and affordable contraception free from social stigma, or information on how to best protect themselves from diseases such as HIV.

Since 1995, our youth-centred projects and clubs across east Africa have focused on empowering these young people.

Through these services, we work to give them the ability to access and exercise comprehensive sexuality education, voluntary family planning, and youth-friendly health services.


We work with young people to give them the skills to be peer educators, informing their friends on questions of sexuality and contraception.


Our clubs work with health professionals to make sure they can tailor their services and give young people the information they need.


By combining health education, life skills training, and financial support, members of our youth clubs can establish small businesses, generate income and start to become financially independent.


We work with parents, teachers, community members and local and religious opinion leaders to foster sustainable change. Youth club members collaborate with these influential groups, so the whole community can buy in to what we are doing.


We work together with them to develop the educational materials we use to reach tens of thousands of young people every year.


By convincing policy-makers of the value of investing in health – and youth-focused SRHR in particular – we can make sure that the successes we achieve are secure for future generations.


We focus on EU-Africa relations, advocating for a healthy and sustainable

future free from poverty-related and neglected diseases thanks to global health research and innovation

and where everyone can decide over their own body by securing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

Our Global Partners

To amplify our reach and create synergies, we collaborate with like-minded partners from civil society, foundations, governments, and the private sector. We are also an active member of a number of European and global networks and coalitions. The following is a non-exhaustive list of those that have, or continue to, support this work. For that, we are truly thankful!

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • The German Government (GIZ, KFW, and BMZ)
  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation
  • European Commission
  • Population Action International (PAI)
  • The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) 
  • The Guttmacher Institute 
  • Government of The Netherlands
  • The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

Project Focus: SLALE

In our project SLALE (Strengthening Local Advocacy Leadership in East Africa) we strengthen SRHR organizations across east Africa that are run by, or work with, young people. Our goals for youth? Full access to contraceptive methods, better healthcare, and the right to control their own destinies!

Family planning is important to me because it assures me that I will not have an unintended pregnancy. My goal in life is to successfully mentor other girls so that they don’t go through [the struggles] I experienced as a young mother.

– Lydia Kavata Mutia,Jubilated Young Mother’s Group

Find out more about SLALE

DID YOU KNOW… that one out of every two teenage pregnancies in developing countries is unintended?

We want to make sure that EVERY pregnancy is wanted.
Help us to make this a reality today!