Health and Well-being


| Empowering young mothers | Terre des Hommes Switzerland

In the spring of 2021, Tanzanian Vice President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, became the first ever woman to head an East African country, after the surprising death of the controversial John Magufuli. The new government reversed its COVID-19 policy and set an example in favour of political dialogue and democracy. This revived the debate on socially controversial issues such as the exclusion of pregnant girls and women from school, family planning and the legal age for marriage. There is now hope for positive change for girls and young women who become pregnant at an early age, as the President announced that young mothers would be allowed to return to school.

In 2021, our partner organisation, Education for Better Living Organisation (EBLI), helped more than 1,300 young people in and out of school gain access to information and services related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Girls and women are now speaking openly about sexuality, early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence. 100 teenage mothers who were excluded from school because of their pregnancy have completed EBLI’s apprenticeship program and started small businesses.

I went to school until the seventh grade, then it was over. When I got pregnant I was devastated and had no idea what to do. That’s when I found out about EBLI, which supports young mothers like me. I want a good life and a job to help my family. I would like to strengthen women who, like me, had children at an early age and were abandoned by their husbands.

Agnes Alphoncy

From sex education to access to health services

In 2021 a total of:

  • 52,541 young people in Nicaragua, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa have benefited from sex education
  • 23,693 or 46 per cent of them were able to develop knowledge and skills in workshops and other learning activities to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancies and communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS
  • More than 15,000 young people used health services such as an HIV test, contraceptives or psychosocial support after a rape

Learn more about our work on promoting the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents.

2. Nicaragua

| The Art of Survival | Terre des Hommes Switzerland

Our partner organisation, FUNARTE (Fundación de Apoyo al Arte Creador Infantil), uses art as a form of therapy to help young people affected by violence to express themselves freely, improve their self-esteem and recognise their potential. Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America with half of the young population having limited access to educational opportunities. Young girls are disproportionately disadvantaged facing issues such as child pregnancy and violence: often having nowhere to turn. With the help of creative therapy, together with psychologists, young people can start their healing process through murals and exhibitions. They learn how to express their needs and demands for society and the state on important issues such as widespread gender-specific violence.

Learn more about our therapy methods here.

3. Burkina Faso

Our digital innovation, IeDA-Maternity, helps healthcare workers during medical consultations and has substantially strengthened health systems. In 2021, we reached more than four million children and members of their communities, directly and indirectly – 30% more than in 2020.  For mothers and babies in Africa, birth is a critical and life-threatening moment due to a lack of quality care. The app has improved the quality of diagnosis, care and follow-up of women and newborns during pregnancy, delivery and after birth. IeDA-Maternity has been used in 5.2 million consultations in Africa and is fast becoming one of the most valued new technologies for rural primary health workers. In Burkina Faso alone, our IeDA-Maternity tool is being used in 85% of primary healthcare facilities, and the application also supports health workers in Guinea, India, Mali, and Niger.

©Tdh/Désirée Kanyala
©Tdh/Désirée Kanyala

The midwives take a more serious look at us, and we benefit from a better choice of family planning methods suitable to our needs.

Toe, a housewife from Biba

Learn more about project IeDA-maternity.

4. Nepal

©Tdh/Sajana Shrestha
©Tdh/Sajana Shrestha

Together with the Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium, we have created the Blue Schools project, a unique approach that makes students aware of the water cycle, as well as the importance of taking care of the ecosystem and hygiene. The effects of climate change are already a daily reality in Nepal, where increased floods and monsoon rains impede food production. Droughts and landslides caused by deforestation are also growing threats. Through training integrated into the school curriculum, we inspire students to promote sustainable solutions which make better use of resources and protect the environment. In Nepal, six schools of two municipalities in the Bardiya district have already become Blue Schools. Thanks to this project, children and young people e-learn how to construct raised keyhole gardens, which act as an organic recycling tank and withstand flooding. They have also planted trees and been trained in effective recycling practices. The girls have also learnt about menstrual hygiene and how to make reusable sanitary pads, an affordable quality solution which reduces waste.

Learn more about the Blue School Project.

5. Libya

| Roll your sleeves up | Terre des Hommes Italy

In 2021, more than 10,000 people in Libya benefitted from our COVID-19 vaccination campaign Roll your sleeves up , supporting the Libyan health system together with Helpcode and the local organisation.  The programme worked to ensure that the vaccines reach all Libyan communities, including the most remote in the Sahara and vulnerable groups such as Libyan Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), refugees and migrants. The project included the training of health workers, the supply of medical equipment, and a communication campaign throughout the country through radio messages, billboards and awareness-raising activities.  Following the Libyan government’s decision to include 12 to 17-year-olds in the vaccination programme, due to the high cases of the Omicron variant, the consortium prepared an awareness-raising campaign in public schools. The campaign reached an estimated 11,000 children and young people.


6. Italy

| for the wellbeing of young children  | Terre des Hommes Italy

In 2021, a web series was made by director Stefano Girardi with MovieOn production company, aimed at parents acing new everyday challenges in caring for and raising their children. Parents starring in the videos, discuss topics from nutrition to the use of smartphones and other technology, the importance of rules and the risk of excessive care and more. The web series was hosted on an information portal, created in 2020 by Terre des Hommes Italia, ATS (Agenzia della Tutela della Salute) and Città Metropolitana di Milano for parents and for training family service operators. The aim was to create a territorial network to support nurseries and micro-nurseries and develop new formulas to support parenting in families with children from 0 – 3 years old, preventing violence against minors. Each episode of the web series is accompanied by video clips with the contribution of experts, psychologists, educators and paediatricians. In 2021, the psycho-pedagogical counselling service supported more than 500 school managers, teachers and parents.

7. Italy

| Spazio Indifesa (Indifesa Space) | Terre des Hommes Italy

Following the successful results of our Support Family Centre in Param, in July 2021, we inaugurated a new space called Spazio Indifesa, located in a suburban and multicultural neighbourhood of Milan. It is a multifunctional centre situated in a building granted by the Milan City Council and it was refurbished thanks to the Milan Foundation donation. This centre is designed following a model that is similar to the neighbourhood hubs fighting food waste of the Food Policy Milan and Milan Polytechnic and provides multi-services to address family fragility and social inclusion. With an innovative mix of interventions, food support (provided by the hub and by a solidarity market) is supplemented by activities specifically aimed at supporting and empowering women and girls. Since its opening, 250 people have used the centre’s services. There are plans to expand these services further in 2022 in Parma and Milan – as well as opening a third centre in the South of Italy.

Tdh staff outside the new Spazio Indifesa | ©Tdh_Italy
Tdh staff outside the new Spazio Indifesa | ©Tdh_Italy