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Empowering 3,800 adolescent girls in Huaphanh and Oudoumxay. Ministry of Education and Sports receives support from UNFPA and SNV for Gender

Vientiane, 18/02/2021. In support of the Ministry of Education and Sports priorities, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and SNV Netherlands Development Organization signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate through the “Noi” approach.

 

This new partnership initiated just before the International Women’s Day, will over the next two years cover a range of interventions focusing on gender equality and the wellbeing of adolescent girls. This strategic partnership will implement the commitments of the Lao Government for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25)  and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It focuses on increasing investments for adolescents girls through ‘Noi 2030 Framework’, ending gender based violence, teenage pregnancy  and child marriage. 

 

Adolescent girls constitute an important demographic group in the Lao PDR but they suffer from multiple vulnerabilities and socio-economic inequalities. Girls are affected by harmful practices such as early marriage, early pregnancy, domestic violence and harmful cultural and social beliefs that expose them to increased risks of dropping out from school, informal work, malnutrition. All these challenges lead to adverse reproductive and sexual health outcomes, disability and even death. Community based, innovative and inclusive interventions are essential for addressing these challenges.

 

Mr. Visanh Somphong, Deputy Director General of the Non-Formal Education Department, Ministry of Education and Sports said that “Adolescent girls in rural areas face many problems and challenges that hamper their healthy development. They require tailored responses. The priorities of the 9th National Socio-economic Development Plan include expanding access to education and skills for adolescent boys and girls from vulnerable groups and ethnic populations in rural areas.  The Nang-Noi Girls Groups programme jointly developed by the UNFPA and Ministry of Education and Sports is one of the effective interventions for addressing the needs of adolescent girls and achieving the results of 9th NSEDP.” 

 

 

UNFPA and SNV will collaborate to promote good health, education, nutrition and essential life Skills among 3,860 adolescent girls in Oudomxay and Houaphanh provinces through Nang-Noi Girl Groups using the materials jointly developed by UNFPA and the Non-Formal Education Department of the MOES. This would help adolescent girls to build their social, health, cognitive and economic assets to conduct a self-determined life, stay in or re-enroll in the school and delay early pregnancy or marriage.

 

“The collaboration between UNFPA and SNV builds on the existing work of UNFPA and the Ministry of Education and Sports. The Nang-Noi Girls Groups will expand to new sites utilizing the materials developed by the UNFPA and MOES through SNV’s financial resources and programmes. I thank the leadership of the Ministry of Education, the willingness of partners from the SNV and SDC, the teams that allowed this to happen.” said Ms. Mariam A. Khan, UNFPA Representative to Lao PDR.

 

UNFPA and SNV will also work together for increasing access of adolescent girls to youth friendly information and services on sexual and reproductive health and psychosocial support through Noi-Yakhoo Mobile App and UNFPA supported telephone helplines.

 

Mr. Allert Van Den Ham, SNV Country Director said that “It is a great opportunity for SNV to implement the Noi approach that will be applied in the context of our interventions to empower adolescent girls with good health, education, nutrition and essential life-skills. We aim to make a lasting difference in the lives of people living in poverty by helping them raise incomes and access to essential services.”

 

Other areas of cooperation will include joint advocacy for increasing investment in adolescent girls, promoting the rights of adolescent girls, increasing youth participation in decision making and promoting the campaign ‘Me, My Body, My Planet, My Future’ by engaging young people to take action on the environment, their health, bodies and nutrition.

 

 

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UNFPA, the UN's sexual and reproductive health agency, works in over 150 countries including Lao PDR, to achieve zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning and zero gender-based

 

For more information please contact:

Miss Phetmany Viyadeth,

National Communication Consultant UNFPA Lao PDR

Email: viyadeth@unfpa.org