When Reprolatina arrived in Barro Alto, a city in Goiás State, Brazil, 40 percent of pregnancies were teen pregnancies, twice that of the national rate. The root of the problem quickly became evident: There was no sexuality education in schools and a lack of access to contraception. This, coupled with an influx of mine workers employed at a newly opened nickel mine in the city, led to skyrocketing teen pregnancy rates.
To address this challenge, Reprolatina worked with adolescents, health care providers, and educators to integrate information about sexual health and contraception into school curricula, and to make sure adolescents had access to non-judgmental, youth-friendly health services. At the same time, the organization partnered with the mining company to provide education and services to employees. As a result, the percentage of births to adolescent girls dropped from 40 percent in 2010 to 10 percent in 2012.
The success in Barro Alto is only one example of why Reprolatina is an innovative leader for adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. Located in Campinas, Sao Paulo, Reprolatina has replicated its effective programs in communities across Brazil. Its reach is magnified exponentially through the popular website: Vivendo a Adolescência. With support from the International Women’s Health Coalition, Reprolatina grew the site to a premier source of information for adolescents to ask questions about sexuality, contraception, violence, and other issues. At its peak, the website receives nearly two million visitors a month.
In the video above, Reprolatina staff discuss the organization’s philosophy and how they approach working with young people.