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Rise Up’s Youth Champions Initiative invests in powerful young leaders ages 18-29 who are leading the sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice movement in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the United States. Our externally validated model enables young leaders to create large-scale change through leadership development, technology, innovation, and advocacy.

Youth Champions Initiative improves the lives of young people by advancing innovation and quality in the field of sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice globally. Recent successes include:

  • Leveraging WhatsApp in India to deliver youth-friendly mobile instant messaging on SRH;
  • Developing an animated television series in Ethiopia about girl super heroines fighting for girls’ health and rights;
  • Creating comic books in Pakistan to deliver healthy menstrual hygiene information to girls and their families;
  • Teaching youth in the United States to use art, dance, and spoken word poetry to advocate for comprehensive sexuality education.

Click here to learn more about our leaders and grantees, and click here to view a one-page overview of the Youth Champions Initiative.


We are now accepting applications!

Following a competitive selection process, Rise Up will select visionary young leaders to join a cohort of 22 Youth Champions from India, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Pakistan, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Rise Up has developed an innovative virtual incubator model that integrates intensive capacity building, leadership development, advocacy, project funding, and technical support to enable the Youth Champions to launch creative new initiatives to improve SRHR in their countries. Rise Up will competitively award $12,000 USD grants to participating Youth Champions and their organizations to launch innovative sexual and reproductive health and rights projects they develop during the Incubator.

Before applying, please review the Youth Champions Initiative FactsheetSelection Criteria, and Frequently Asked Questions.

The deadline to submit applications is July 15, 2021.

Apply Now


Rise Up partnered with the Packard Foundation to launch the Youth Champions Initiative – an exciting initiative to advance innovation and quality in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights globally. The Youth Champions Initiative (YCI) invests in visionary young champions who will lead the sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice (SRHRJ) movement for the next generation.

YCI is already creating important impacts in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, and the U.S. South. Ongoing monitoring and evaluation demonstrates that the Youth Champions have significantly strengthened their leadership, and that their innovative projects are already improving SRHRJ in their communities.

View a summary of the funded projects for our 2015-2016 YCI cohort.

View a summary of the funded projects for our 2017-2018 YCI cohort.

Learn more about Rise Up’s Youth Champion delegation for the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning.

For more information please open this link

Youth Champions Initiative


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