The Population Council and the Ethiopian Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs designed Addis Birhan Wendoch to impart life skills and promote gender-equitable, nonviolent, and healthy behaviors among boys and young men aged 10 to 24. The program helps out-of school boys and young men in Ethiopia navigate toward a healthier future by providing them with trained, compassionate mentors and safe environments in which they can find the support needed to share ideas and take positive actions. Through frank and open discussions, boys have the opportunity to get the facts on a range of essential topics from financial literacy to reproductive health issues, including HIV/AIDS and family planning. Mentors share strategies for building vital interpersonal skills and Wendoch participants also reflect on serious social concerns that are widely prevalent yet rarely discussed in a meaningful way, including violence and substance abuse. Boys report changed behavior and attitudes after participating in Addis Birhan Wendoch and their mentors agree with these optimistic assessments.
Girma, Woldemariam, Diane Rubino, Annabel Erulkar, Worku Ambelu, and Ayenechew Kerie. 2012. "Addis Birhan Wendoch ('New Light Boys'): Working with boys and young men to create healthier futures," program brief. Addis Ababa: Population Council.