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December 2016 iYAN

Advocates for Youth Newsletter

December 2016 iYAN

Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network (iYAN) consists of youth activists and adult allies from low and middle-income countries who are working to influence policies and programs in their countries and internationally to support improved youth reproductive and sexual health. Members of the iYAN connect to share information about their work; are provided information about scholarships and networking opportunities; get up-to-date information on downloadable advocacy materials and tool kits; and receive a monthly newsletter with information on advocacy, youth activism, and mobilization on important issues like sex education, access to contraception, and prevention of adolescent maternal mortality and HIV.


What’s Going on at Advocates for Youth?

Second Round of Teacher Training for Sexuality Education Completed in Burkina Faso

Advocates and its partner organizations, Mwangaza Action and the Association des Jeunes pour le Développement de Leo, continue efforts in the province of Sissili in Burkina Faso, to improve access to sexual and reproductive health education and services through community mobilization and in and out-of school sexuality education with linkages to services.

Last year, teachers had approached project partners to request support for implementing sexuality education at the primary school level as they had heard about the work underway to reach out-of-school youth. In response, project partners surveyed teachers and students to inform the development of sexuality education lesson plans. Partners subsequently identified priority content, informed by these findings as well by UNESCO’s International Techincal Guidance on Sexuality Education, resulting in 18 lesson plans for ages 10-12. Advocates and Mwangaza then trained primary school teachers drawing from the training module Advocates was developing with UNESCO for East and Southern Africa, which has since been published.

With 2016 coming to an end, partners conducted a second training for 35 teachers from 10 participating schools, many of whom had been newly assigned to the schools. Advocates and Mwangaza will be following-up with support for teachers as they implement the lesson plans and will be developing student booklets, which have been requested by teachers to reinforce concepts from the lesson plans.

Advocates Presents on a Panel at the ILGA World Conference

Advocates attended and presented at the ILGA World Conference, one of the largest convenings of LGBTI human rights defenders in the world. Advocates’ staff spoke at the interfaith pre-conference on the intersections of religious and LGBTI organizing, highlighting the importance of long term relationship building and intergenerational organizing. Other panelists from Indonesia and Kyrgyzstan talked about making sure that the religious narrative is not only defined by the right wing. Emerging issues raised during the conference included the continued importance of trans* and intersex organizing, indigenous organizing, emerging trends around research and data collection and the role of the United States within LGBTI international work given the results of the most recent election. Advocates also had the opportunity to hear from Professor Vitit Muntarbhorn, the first ever UN Independent Expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

My Voice Counts!

Join a webinar discussion on condoms for prevention, January 18, 2017

The World Health Organization’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research is pleased to convene this webinar exploring the multipurpose prevention role of condoms in the context of sexual and reproductive health and HIV linkages. The male and female latex condom is the single, most efficient, available technology to reduce the sexual transmission of HIV and prevent unintended pregnancy. The search for new preventive and treatment technologies such as Pre Exposure Prophylaxis (PReP), HIV vaccines, microbicides and male hormonal contraceptives continue to make progress, but condoms remain a key component of combination prevention strategies individuals can choose at different times in their lives to reduce their risks of sexual exposure to HIV and prevent unintended pregnancy.

The webinar will be held January 18th, 2017, from 14:30 -16:00(Geneva time). You can register here!

Join the Global Health Corps

The Global Health Corps is recruiting young leaders (ages 21-30) who bring a diversity of skills to the field of global health for their 2017-2018 class of 150 fellows. Applications are due January 18, 2017. Through a one year paid fellowship, GHC provides intensive leadership training while fellows work within high impact roles at health-focused partner organizations in Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, the United States, and Zambia. Go here for more information.

Apply to become a Youth Champion for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (in India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, United States)

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Public Health Institute have partnered to launch a second cohort of the Youth Champions Initiative. The Youth Champions Initiative invests in visionary young leaders to advance innovation and quality in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights globally.

The Youth Champions Initiative will select a total of 18 champions ages 18-29 who are working to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights issues in India (Bihar, Uttar Pradesh,or New Delhi), Ethiopia(Oromiyaor Addis Ababa), Pakistan (Karachi), or the United States (Louisiana or Mississippi).

Selected champions will receive intensive training, leadership development, mentoring, project funding, and technical assistance to launch their own sexual and reproductive health and rights initiatives in their home countries. The deadline to apply is January 15, 2017. For more information, go here: here.

Last Call to Enter the World in Your Hands Art Contest

The Coalition for Adolescent Girls and Together for Girls invite adolescents and young people around the world to submit artwork that illustrates the artists’ understanding of ‘influence.’ The contest organizers encourage interested adolescents and young people to use their creativity and talent to create a piece of art that is built around one of the following questions:

  • Who influences you in a positive way?

  • How do you want to influence others or change other people’s lives?

  • How do you use your influence, or your voice, to make the world a better, brighter place?

RULES: All individuals between the ages of 12-24 may enter. Entries can be photographs, paintings, drawings, sculpture, or poetry. For full contest rules click here.

INSTRUCTIONS: Instructions on how to photograph your art work is available here. PRIZES: The top entries will be featured in Together for Girls’ Safe Magazine and at an event at the 2017 Commission on the Status of Women.

DEADLINE: January 20, 2017 (Winners will be announced in March 2017) Click here to enter the contest! Have questions? Contact Sacha Green-Atchley, CAG Coordinator, at CAGartcontest@gmail.com

Tools You Can Use

Mapping the Global Goals for Sustainable Development and the Convention on the Rights of the Child

To support the implementation of the SDGs and to make sure every child receives a fair chance, UNICEF has launched this new, interactive tool, which shows how all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets are crucial to the well-being of children. The tool also lets users discover the specific ways in which the SDGs are linked to the Convention on the Rights of the Child—the global community’s commitment to advancing children’s rights.

To access the tool, go here.

Get on the Fast-Track: The Life-Cycle Approach to HIV

This new report shows that countries are getting on the Fast-Track and that there are 18.2 million people who now have access to HIV treatment, providing hope for achieving the target of 30 million people on treatment by 2020. At the same time, the report provides concerning data on the complexities of HIV, revealing that girls’ transition to womanhood is a very dangerous time, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Data from studies in East and Southern Africa reveal that girls in southern Africa ages 15 to 19 accounted for 90% of all new HIV infections among 10–19-year-olds. The report notes the high numbers of AIDS related deaths among adolescents and that adolescents living with HIV, many of whom were infected through mother-to-child transmission, have the highest rates of poor medication adherence and treatment failure. The report also notes that new HIV infections are continuing to rise among gay men and other men who have sex with men and are not declining among transgender people.

To access the report, go here.

JAIDS Supplement on the Impact of Health Communication on the HIV Continuum of Care
By Martin, K. a supplement of the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), December 2016

This supplement highlights the effectiveness of health communication in keeping people engaged and on treatment throughout the HIV continuum of care – leading to more positive health outcomes. It presents a series of 10 articles that make the case for using health communication in highly diverse HIV contexts in low- and middle-income settings.

To access the supplement, go here.

Making Content Meaningful: A Guide to Adapting Existing Global Health Content for Different Audiences
By KidsHealth

This guide is intended for program managers and implementers working in the health and development sectors who are interested in taking advantage of openly accessible health content—without having to develop content from scratch—to better serve their clients and communities. Open health content, however, is not sufficient by itself. This guide outlines a framework with key steps and questions for consideration, accompanied by activity sheets, illustrative examples, and real-life case studies to guide users in making informed decisions in the content adaptation process.

To access this guide, go here.

Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use
By the World Health Organization

The third edition of the WHO guideline, Selected practice recommendations for contraceptive use, provides new and updated practice recommendations present evidence-based guidance on the safe provision of contraceptive methods for both women and men. The guidelines cover method initiation/continuation, incorrect use, problems during use and programmatic issues.

To access this document, go go here.

Cue Cards for Counseling Adults on Contraception
By Pathfinder International

These new updated contraceptive counseling cue cards for adolescents and adults are available in both English and French. The cue cards are designed to help a range of community- and facility-based providers to counsel clients on their contraceptive options. The cards reflect changes in the WHO’s Medical Eligibility Criteria (MEC) and a new card on the Levonorgestrel IUD has been added.

To access the cue cards, go here.

Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in Niger
By Performance Monitoring and Accountability 2020 (PMA2020)

This brief provides results from survey data collected in Niger, which indicate that only 44% of women have everything they need for proper MHM – such as clean materials, a facility, pain medication, and places to dispose of used products. Additionally, rural women in Niger are consistently less likely to have safe, clean and private MHM facilities compared to those in urban settings. Findings also include which environments women are using for MHM including the bush/backyard, sleeping area, or various types of sanitation facilities.

To access the brief in English, go here. and in French, go here.

A tool for strengthening gender-sensitive national HIV and SRH monitoring and evaluation systems
By the World Health Organization and UNAIDS

This tool for strengthening gender-sensitive national HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) monitoring and evaluation systems provides step-by-step guidance on how to:

– ask the right questions in order to uncover gender inequalities and their influence on health;

– identify and select gender-sensitive indicators;

– conduct gender-analysis of SRH and HIV data; and

– strengthen monitoring and evaluation systems to enable appropriate data collection and gender analysis.

To access the tool, go here.

Tell Me Where I Can Be Safe: The Impact of Nigeria’s Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition)
By Human Rights Watch

This report shows how the Same Sex Marriage (Prohibition) Act law prohibiting same sex marriage in Nigeria, which took effect in January 2014, is used by some police officers and members of the public to legitimize abuses against LGBT people, including widespread extortion, mob violence, arbitrary arrest, torture in detention, and physical and sexual violence. The law has created opportunities for people to engage in homophobic violence without fear of legal consequences, contributing significantly to a climate of impunity for crimes against LGBT people.

To read this report, go here.

Coming up

Warmest Wishes to You, Your Friends and Loved Ones from Advocates for Youth!

As 2016 draws to an end and with the new year upon us, we at Advocates for Youth would like to thank you for your continued partnership, leadership, and support for improving the lives of young people around the world. We hope that you can take some time to reflect and celebrate your accomplishments of 2016.

As we move into 2017, we can expect to continue to face challenges that get in the way young people staying health and thriving. While the challenges may seem overwhelming at times, we know that they are not unsurmountable and that we can make a difference. The power of young people and their allies to share their stories, speak out, make a demand, facilitate a connection, take an action, educate, provide a service, cover a cost, mobilize, sway, or comfort someone, is without limits.

We can educate young people about their sexual and reproductive health and rights; improve services to better serve the particular needs of young people; and shift social norms to be less harmful and more supportive of a gender-equitable society. We can provide tailored programming for marginalized young people, such as adolescent girls, young people living with HIV, LGBTQI youth, young people living with disabilities, young refugees, parenting young people, young people living in poverty, among many others. We can secure increased investments in young people. And we can improve policies to better support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Together, we can realize a world where all young people can access accurate and comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and confidential and affordable services; are valued and treated with respect; and are supported by a society that takes responsibility for ensuring an environment where young people can make healthy choices. We look forward to working with you in 2017 across communities, countries, and regions. Everyone can make a difference and collectively, we can make the world a more just, caring, and peaceful place.

Read All About It!

Young African women are especially vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Young women in sub-Saharan Africa are living through a “particularly dangerous time” when it comes to risk of HIV infection, according to the annual World AIDS Day report of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Geneva, Switzerland. About 19% of the estimated 2.1 million new cases worldwide in 2015—the most recent data for most analyses in the report—occurred in women between the ages of 15 and 24. And younger women in some places are at far higher risk than men of the same age; in southern Africa, for example, 91% of new infections in the 15- to 19-year-old group were in adolescent girls. “Young women are in an age group that is the least likely to have taken an HIV test and know their status. It’s really amazing,” says UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé. To read this article, go here.

HIV vaccine test hopes for breakthrough in combat against the virus. The first new trial of a potential vaccine against HIV in seven years has begun in South Africa, raising hopes that it will help bring about the end of the epidemic. Although fewer people are now dying from Aids because 18.2 million are on drug treatment for life to suppress the virus, efforts to prevent people from becoming infected have not been very successful. The infection rate has continued to rise and experts do not believe the epidemic will be ended without a vaccine. To read this article, go here.

A Young Woman Died In A Menstrual Hut In Nepal. On Nov. 18, Dambara Upadhyay slept in a hut outside her house. It’s a common practice in some villages in western Nepal — women who are menstruating sleep in a small hut or shed out of a fear they will contaminate the home or anger the Hindu gods if they remain indoors. Many people in this part of the country believe family members or livestock will get sick, or even die, if a menstruating woman doesn’t stick to the rules. To read this article, go here.

WHO declares end of Zika emergency but says virus remains a threat. The World Health Organization on Friday declared that Zika no longer constitutes an international emergency, but it stressed a need for a long-term effort to address the virus, which has been linked to birth defects and neurological complications. To read this article, go here.

Tanzania suspends some HIV programs for gay men, says health minister. Tanzania has suspended community-based HIV/AIDS prevention programs for gay men, the health minister said on Monday, in the latest crackdown on the high-risk group. Ummy Mwalimu, Tanzania’s minister for health said the government had received reports that some local non-governmental organizations (NGOs) were promoting and normalizing same-sex relationships as part of their HIV programs. To read this article, go here.

Young gay men at the frontline of AIDS prevention in China. Young gay men are the frontline of China’s battle to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, with new cases occurring at one of the fastest rates of any segment of the population. To read this article, go here.

‘It’s a crime to be young and pretty’: girls flee predatory Central America gangs. Sara Rincón was walking home from college in the capital of El Salvador when she was confronted by three heavily tattooed gang members who had been harassing her for weeks. The group’s leader – a man in his 30s, with the figure 18 etched on to his shaven head – threw her against a wall, and with his hands around her neck gave her one last warning. To read this article, go here.

RH Law advocates aim for 1M petition signatures for lifting of TRO on contraceptive implants. The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) is gathering one million signatures to convince Supreme Court justices to stop hampering the implementation of the Reproductive Health Law, its executive director Rom Dongeto said on Tue, Nov 8. To read this article, go here.


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