Equality for Women and Girls
In 2004, the Public Health Institute (PHI), launched an experiment alongside local partners in Mesoamerica: a novel program focused on youth leadership to expand sexual and reproductive health and rights. Known as GOJoven, its mission is to develop and support young leaders and their organizations to advance health, particularly sexual and reproductive health, education, sustainable development and civic participation. PHI and local collaborators implemented GOJoven in four countries: Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico, training over 400 young leaders through 2019.
Using the GOJoven Theory of Change, the program developed a curriculum that uses a fellowship program and Training of Trainer (TOT) model to equip young leaders with skills, knowledge and abilities to catalyze social change and improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights, choices, policies and programs. The program transitioned in 2013 from PHI’s direct implementation to local implementation. Groups of GOJoven alumni (see below) founded independent, youth-led, and youth-serving NGOs in each of the four countries. PHI continued to provide technical and financial support with resources from Summit and a few other donors through 2019.
From 2004-2019, Summit provided over $8.5 million for the GOJoven program, including support to the new alumni led groups from 2012-2019. Summit continues to provide other direct and indirect support to the local groups, alongside numerous other donors.
Evaluations show that the GOJoven program has had positive impacts at the individual, organizational and community levels of the socioecological framework. It starts by transforming individuals, motivating and empowering them to work collectively to impact other levels.
Local GOJoven Alumni Associations:
GOBelize Alumni Association: GOBelize alumni are active in all six districts of Belize. GOBelize programs have a holistic approach to facilitate much needed services to youth. This includes providing leadership training and information to at-risk youth, developing Leadership Action Plans (LAPs) with cohorts of youth to address specific issues, and providing income-generating skills for young women, all while increasing community outreach. GOBelize’s advocacy efforts have lead to the development, creation and approval of Belize’s first comprehensive sexuality education curriculum.
GOJoven Guatemala: Its alumni are active in eleven departments in Guatemala. GOJoven Guatemala has trained over 700 primary and secondary teachers in comprehensive sexuality education and reached over 18,000 youth through trainings to reduce adolescent pregnancy, HIV and STIs. Its staff and alumni have advocated to address child marriage and early unions through national legal changes in 2015 and 2017, and local campaigns to address the issue.
GOJoven Honduras: GOJoven Honduras alumni are active in seven departments. Established in 2013, GOJoven Honduras is the only organization that works at the national level with the voice and perspective of youth. It builds leadership capacity among its youth so that they can make independent, informed and responsible decisions related to their emotional, sexual and reproductive health and, ultimately, influence public policies that will guarantee their sexual and reproductive rights. GOJoven Honduras has reached over 26,000 youth and adolescents in the country through sexual and reproductive health and rights trainings, workshops, health fairs and action campaigns to reduce adolescent pregnancy, HIV and STIs.
Mexico y Caribe Jovenes A.C.: Mexico y Caribe Jovenes alumni are active in six municipalities in the state of Quintana Roo, Mexico. Mexico y Caribe Jovenes has been active on sexual and reproductive health and rights advocacy and improving youth access to services and sexuality education. The organization secured a youth friendly space for indigenous youth in an underserved area, reaching about 1,000 youth.
Curriculum and Program Implementation
The GOJoven curriculum is now complete and available in English here. The Spanish curriculum is available through PHI or the local GOJovens through the contacts below. The curriculum is the product of a fifteen-year collaboration among GOJoven International staff, consultants and GOJoven fellow graduates, with inputs from many other local and international partners.
For access to the curriculum in Spanish, supplementary training materials or information on partnering with PHI to adapt and implement GOJoven, you can contact PHI directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To connect with GOJoven certified trainers who can help with replication, adaptation or implemention of the the GOJoven Program in Spanish or English, you are encouraged to contact the GOJoven Alumni Associations directly:
- GOBelize (email@example.com)
- GOJoven Guatemala (firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com)
- GOJoven Honduras (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mexico y Caribe Jovenes A.C./GOJoven Mexico (email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org).
During its lifetime, the GOJoven Program has been evaluated three times: once externally and in-depth in 2011 and again in 2015 and 2020, through GOJoven alumni surveys.
2020 GOJoven Results Scale-up information is available here.
GOJoven Alumni Survey 2015:
- Short summary of findings
- GOBelize Alumni Survey Infographic (2016)
- GOJoven Guatemala Alumni Survey Infographic (2016)
- GOJoven Honduras Alumni Survey Infographic (2016)
- Mexico y Caribe Jovenes A.C. Alumni Survey Infographic (2016)
GOJoven External Evaluation 2011:
In 2011, the Summit Foundation commissioned an external evaluation of the Public Health Institute’s GOJoven Program in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico. The Pogram, starting in 2004, worked to build young adult leaders’ and local organizations’ capacity to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights (ASRHR) in each country.
Results from the external evaluation are available in the following documents, published in 2012:
Banner and Title Image Courtesy of Asociación GOJoven Honduras
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