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Safe vacation! Safe trip! An innovative campaign to reach Ethiopian university students

DKT completed an innovative campaign to help university students stay safe during the summer months.

The campaign was developed in response to input from university health officials that many students return from a break with sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy.

Called “Safe Vacation! Safe Trip!” the campaign was held at eight (8) universities: Adama, Wollo, Wachemo, Arba Minch, Dilla, Addis Ababa Science and Technology, Dire Dawa, and Hawassa Universities, and included large and small-group sessions.

Students were also asked to sign pledge cards stating their commitment to remaining safe and productive during the summer months. More than 5,000 students participated.

DKT also used the occasion to train 2,000 graduating seniors on the sexual health challenges they might encounter after leaving university.

“University life is complex and fast,” said Shemelis Gebeyehu, Program Manager for DKT’s Higher Education Institutes (HEI) Initiative.

“By equipping students at key points during their education, we can influence long-term behavior and health outcomes.”

The Higher Education Institutes (HEI) Initiative is one of DKT’s signature projects. Started in 2009, HEI has trained 83,000 students and campus members and reached 750,000 more through large-group events. HEI is also known for its social media website,, which is one of the largest indigenous social media sites in Ethiopia with more than 65,000 registered users.

Contact Shemeles Gebeyehu, Director of the HEI Initiative.