World Starts with Me in Ethiopia

In Depth: The World Starts with Me

The Worlds Starts With Me (WSWM) combines sexuality education with learning IT skills. This comprehensive programme helps young people to address sensitive issues around love, sexuality and relations. The issues vary from the development of their bodies to pregnancy, contraceptives, HIV and sexual abuse. Sexuality, reproductive health and loving relationships are beautiful parts of being human and we approach these serious topics positively.

We discuss how men and women differ from each other, but also how they are equal . We support young people in working with them towards a bright future for themselves, their partners and their children.


Currently, the World Starts With Me is used in 13 countries in Africa and Asia. In every country, we adapt the curriculum to young people’s needs in that specific culture and setting. Where necessary, additional lessons on specific topics are added. This is why the original Ugandan version differs from the one in Indonesia. Not only do the main characters look different, the content is different too. We continually focus on how to make sure the programme is effective, how to respect local culture, and protect human rights.


What makes the World Starts With Me comprehensive? The World Starts With Me: 

  • Is based on evidence;
  • Emphasises the importance of forming healthy relationships;
  • Builds self-esteem;
  • Teaches young people how to protect their physical and emotional well-being;
  • Teaches them the consequences of having sex and the importance of safe sex; 
  • Explains about their sexual health rights.

Target groups

The World Starts With Me targets in- and out-of-school youth between 12 and 19 years old. For example, in Uganda and Ethiopia a special adaptation of The World Starts With Me is used in the highest classes of primary schools. Also in Uganda WSWM+ is tailor-made for young people born and living with HIV. In Indonesia specific adaptations were made for both hearing- and visually impaired youth. And in Vietnam The World Starts With Me is taught at teacher training colleges.

13 countries

Currently the programme is running in 13 countries in Africa and Asia. In Asia young people in Indonesia, Papua,  Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam and Pakistan follow the programme. In Africa the countries are: Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Malawi. In 2014 we started adaptation of The World Starts With Me for Burundi and Zambia.

Different versions and settings

All versions and settings in which WSWM is used is shown below. For more information you can also download our factsheet.

Where do we teach the World Starts with Me?
Country Primary schools Secondary schools (junior and high, incl. religious schools)

Special education (students with hearing/ visual impairments)

Teacher Training Colleges Out of school settings
Bangladesh   2014      
Burundi   2014      
Ethiopia 2013/2014 2012      
Ghana 2014 2014      
Indonesia   2007 2009  

Prisoners (2008)

Indonesia Papua   2011      
Kenya 2014 2005     Slums (2004)
Malawi 2015     2014  
Pakistan   2011      
Thailand   2007      
Uganda Currently prohibited
2004 and 2014
    Young people living with HIV (2014)

High school : 2011; Junior high school: 2013

Zambia 2014 2014   2014 Youth centres (2014)


In 2010 UNESCO’s International Technical Guidance on Sexuality Education recommended The World Starts With Me as one of 18 programmes worldwide that is truly comprehensive.


During an artweek in Ethiopia we asked 20 students to explain in drawings how The World Starts With Me changed their lives. Supported by two art teachers, the students (eight girls and twelve boys from 15 to 17 years old) visualised their experiences using linocuts. Each image is a very personal vision on how sexuality education helped them to become confident and articulate young men and women.



Online curriculum

Curious how the World Starts With Me looks like in Ethiopia?

Check the website