Developing Youth Leaders for Reproductive Health


GOJoven trains young leaders to catalyze social change and vastly expand adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights in Mesoamerica.

82K youth reached with accurate sexual and reproductive health information from GoJoven and its Fellows

403 GoJoven Fellows who have become expert trainers, leaders and advocates in their Central American communities

3.3K health, education and service providers trained to deliver accurate, engaging sexual and reproductive health information

As a young Mestiza girl from rural northern Guatemala, Esther always dreamed of earning an advanced degree in public health. But when her older sister got pregnant her father cut off educational resources for his ten children, and when her mother fell ill Esther had to support the family and act as a parent to her younger siblings. Without education, Esther seemed destined to follow in her older sister’s footsteps. 

For Esther and thousands of young people in Mesoamerica, PHI’s GOJoven International program brings hope. Since 2004 GOJoven has been training young leaders to catalyze social change and vastly expand adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights choices, services, policies, and programs in Mesoamerica. 

Beginning with nine cohorts of young male and female leaders (ages 18-30) from Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Quintana Roo, Mexico, GOJoven and its alumni trained and supported nearly 640 GOJoven Fellows who have reached more than 130,000 youth and adolescents, and more than 5,000 health, education & social service providers.  GOJoven’s advocacy for legislation and policy changes have also improved the reproductive rights and sexual health of nearly ten million adolescents. For example, advocacy by GOJoven alumni helped enact Guatemala’s Child Marriage Ban and Honduras’ National Sexual & Reproductive Health Policy. 

The GOJoven Training Model has been recognized as one of the top youth leadership development programs by the USAID-funded Leadership, Management and Governance project and the YIELD Research Project (a consortium led by a steering committee comprised of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, The Summit Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation).

With the support of GOJoven, four local, independent youth-led and youth-serving non-governmental organizations (NGO) have been founded and led by GOJoven Alumni Fellows. These GOJoven Alumni Associations in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico are continuing the vital work for sexual and reproductive health and rights.

For young women like Esther, a 2006 GOJoven Fellow, this work is truly life-changing. See Esther’s story below, and see videos from other GOJoven Fellows here.  

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