Adolescent Mothers Against All Odds (AMAL) Initiative - CARE
FIGHT COVID-19: Families already in crisis are now threatened by COVID-19. Donate now to provide hand washing stations and hygiene kits to help save lives >>

AMAL Initiative

The Adolescent Mothers Against All Odds (AMAL) Initiative was designed to meet the needs of pregnant adolescents and first-time mothers in areas affected by crisis, while simultaneously addressing the communities’ understandings of gender, power, and social norms.

Background

The crisis in Syria has led to an increase in early marriage and adolescent pregnancy, which has highlighted a critical gap in pregnant adolescents’ access to life-saving sexual and reproductive health information and services. The AMAL initiative was designed to fill this gap, improving the sexual and reproductive health and wellbeing of adolescent mothers in Syria and other humanitarian settings.

Intervention

The AMAL Initiative includes three main components:

  1. Young mothers’ clubs: A set of eight sessions developed for pregnant adolescents and first-time mothers in crisis-affected Syria to improve their knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and life skills.
  2. Engaging healthcare providers: Recognizing the unique needs of adolescents and the specific barriers they face in seeking services at health facilities, this component provides interactive training for health service providers to transform their attitudes and biases toward providing sexual reproductive health services, including family planning, to adolescents. These sessions include participatory exercises based on CARE’s Social Analysis and Action (SAA) approach that promote communication skills, adolescent-friendly health services, and family planning counseling with a focus on the individual’s rights. These sessions were adapted from CARE’s IMAGINE program.
  3. Community engagement: This component offers training sessions for community members that use reflection, exploration, and action to rally community and household support for vulnerable adolescents (married, pregnant, and first-time mothers), with a long-term goal of challenging and transforming inequitable power and gender dynamics. These sessions were adapted from CARE’s TESFA program.

 

Program achievements

Of 182 young mothers’ club participants who were surveyed after going through AMAL:

said they had high self-esteem

said they had high self-esteem

were more confident in their ability to participate

were more confident in their ability to participate

The importance of AMAL

In crisis settings, emergency response efforts typically get the most resources, and the needs of adolescents – specifically adolescent mothers – fall through the cracks. AMAL not only fills this gap but also directly invites adolescents to participate and engage in leadership training. It is truly responsive.  

Resources

AMAL Initiative Toolkit

Facilitator guide, curriculum, and toolkit for program implementers.

Read More