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.
Sharing Our Passion
Global Fund for HIV & AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Youth Leadership and Involvement:
25 Youth Leaders Convened at the Global Fund Youth Training
By Igor, Philippines
“Being a huge financial mechanism that supports programs for HIV & AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria across the world, without proper understanding of the Global Fund, it can be confusing and overwhelming to a lot of young people, including youth leaders and advocates.”
– Participant, GF-ATM Youth Training
From May 22-24, 2010, the Youth Coalition for Reproductive Health and Sexual Rights (YC) in partnership with the World AIDS Campaign (WAC), held a three-day training for twenty-five HIV & AIDS youth leaders and advocates (excluding facilitators) from at least fifteen countries. Entitled “Youth Leaders’ Training: Understanding the Global Fund,” the training sought to build youth leadership and support the meaningful involvement of young people at the global and country levels of the Global Fund for HIV & AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (GF-ATM).
The training, held in Cape Town, South Africa, , included presentations, discussions, and workshops for participants to understand the Global Fund. Participants developed a deeper understanding and were empowered to implement their action plans about the Global Fund ATM at their respective regions or countries to increase awareness, participation, and inclusion of young people and their issues at various levels of the Global Fund ATM processes.
The first day of the training focused on the structure of the Global Fund ATM, during which participants learned about the different components from the top level down to grassroots level. Activities included learning about the different roles of the Global Fund ATM governing bodies and implementers, such as the Global Fund Secretariat, the Global Fund Board, the Country Coordinating Mechanism (CCM) at each country level, and the principal recipients versus sub-recipients of Global Fund ATM projects worldwide. Participants were given opportunities to experience how meetings and discussions are conducted at various levels of the Global Fund through experiential learning and fun games. After presenting some examples and lessons from CCMs around the world, participants participated in role-playing exercises and shared their experiences working with the Global Fund within their communities at the grassroots level.
The second day of the training included presentations and discussions regarding the roles of United Nations agencies such as UNAIDS, the World Health Organisation, and the World Bank within the Global Fund. Contents of memorandum of agreements between the Global Fund and these agencies were presented to youth leaders to improve their awareness of resources available for them. These resources include technical assistance provided by these organisations, which can support young people and other civil society groups, in the development and implementation of their Global Fund proposals and/or projects. The roles and information about other partners and organisations, including civil society and international agencies such as Roll Back Malaria, Stop TB, and Friends of the Global Fund, were also among the topics that were discussed.
A space was also provided for young leaders who are currently involved with the Global Fund Board and those who attended some of its meetings and initiatives at the global level. One such youth leader is Shantih van Hoog from The Netherlands, the current youth representative of Point 7 (one of the voting members of the Global Fund ATM Board representing Norway-Denmark, Ireland, Luxemburg, Netherlands, and Sweden). She shared her experiences joining Point 7 this year. “I hope to see other young people at the Global Fund Board, representing other members or delegations,” Shantih said to the group. She encouraged other youth participants and youth advocates around the world to work with her by sharing experiences and insights, and for them to get involved with the Global Fund ATM, particularly in policy and decision-making processes.
To give equal attention to the other two diseases, information about the Global Fund as it pertains to malaria and tuberculosis was also presented during the third day of the training. In addition, the integration of reproductive health and sexual rights in Global Fund country proposals was tackled. Participants discussed the guidelines and principles set by the Global Fund and some examples of incorporating sexual orientation and gender identities (SOGI) strategies in Global Fund proposals. SOGI strategies focus on addressing the epidemic among key affected populations, such as but not limited to men who have sex with men, members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Intersex (LGBTQI) communities, and sex workers.
This article does not cover a report of the whole activities of the training and is solely intended to share some information about the training to youth leaders, advocates, and other interested parties. For questions or comments, e-mail the writer at mightyigor_RN@yahoo.com
What’s New at Advocates for Youth?
Youth Speak Out at Women Deliver! This past month, the second ever Women Deliver Conference was held in Washington, D.C. from June 7-9, 2010. Women Deliver works globally to generate political commitment and financial investment for fulfilling Millennium Development Goal #5 — to improve maternal health by significantly reducing maternal mortality and achieving universal access to reproductive health. The initiative builds on commitments, partnerships, and networks mobilized at the conference, thereby fighting to end the deluge of preventable maternal deaths that kill between 350,000 – 500,000 girls and women from pregnancy-related causes every year. Women Deliver’s message is that maternal health is both a human right and a practical necessity for sustainable development.
Women Deliver also hosted a one-day youth pre-conference immediately prior to the conference where approximately 100 young people from all over the world came together to discuss important issues affecting young people’s sexual and reproductive health, including safe and legal abortion, gender violence, GLBTQ rights, and comprehensive sex education. In addition, participants discussed and participated in workshops to develop skills such as creating effective messages, community organizing and new media to better mobilize youth activists and adult allies to join their campaigns.
This year Advocates served on the main conference Advisory Board, the youth advisory group, and the communications advisory group for the conference. In addition, Advocates, in partnership with the Youth Coalition, coordinated eight youth sessions for the conference, which included the following themes:
- Adolescent maternal mortality
- Community mobilization for youth reproductive and sexual health
- Quality sexual and reproductive health services for youth
- Youth leadership and advocacy
- Youth and their environments
- Gender-based violence
- Sexuality education (in collaboration with UNFPA)
- Reaching marginalized adolescent girls (in collaboration with UNFPA)
At the Main Conference, members of Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network from Jamaica and Nigeria presented and moderated panels on youth leadership and advocacy and community mobilization. These youth leaders also participated in the pre-conference and a lobby day following the conference that focused on encouraging increased U.S. leadership for global sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Lastly, youth leaders from Jamaica and Nigeria also presented at other meetings while they were in DC, including a technical youth working group meeting focused on adolescent girls (primarily for contracting agencies supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development) and a panel on youth-led advocacy in the global south that held at the National Press Club and directed at Hill staff and colleague organizations.
To watch videos of sessions that took place at Women Deliver, click here: http://www.womendeliver.org/conferences/-2010-conference/webcast/
To access materials focused on youth, click here: http://www.womendeliver.org/deliver-for-youth/
Celebrate International Youth Day and the International Year of Youth! Blog and Take Action on Amplify’s International Youth Day Blog-a-thon, August 8-14, 2010
Today, nearly half the world’s population—more than 3 billion people—are under the age of 25. Together, we as young people can work together to leverage our voices on program and policy decision-making bodies that determine whether young people have access to comprehensive youth sexual and reproductive health information and services.
Globally: – Each year, 15 million young women ages 15 to 19 give birth, of which 13 million are in developing countries. – Pregnancy-related complications are the leading cause of death for young women ages 15 through 19. – At the same time, almost half of all new HIV infections worldwide occur among young people ages 15 to 24. – Young women are more vulnerable to the HIV epidemic than men–62 percent of infected youth are female.
From August 8-14, Amplify will host the FIRST International Youth Day Blog-a-thon to commemorate International Youth Day AND the launch of the International Year of Youth, which starts August 12 and runs through August 11, 2011!
The theme for this year’s International Youth Day is “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding.” Here are some questions to help you write. How are young people participating in the design, implementation and evaluation of programs and policies affecting your community? How do socio-cultural issues play a role in shaping attitudes about young people and their perceived role within society? How are young leaders actively working to improve the sexual and reproductive health of their peers? What is needed to address young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights around the world?
And don’t miss checking out these publications that talk about these important issues:
To learn about “Youth’s Reproductive Health: Key to Achieving the Millennium Development Goals,” click here:
To learn about “Affirming the Rights of Young People at UN World Summits and Meetings, click here:
To learn about “Adolescent Maternal Mortality: An Overlooked Crisis,” click here:
To learn about “Youth and the Global HIV/AIDS Epidemic,” click here:
To learn about “Gender Inequality and Violence Against Women and Girls Around the World,” click here:
Advocates is launching an e-consultation on sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change mitigation—-be a part of it and RSVP today!
Advocates for Youth is launching an e-consultation for youth activists around the world working in the fields of sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change/environmental sustainability to gather input on how these two movements connect, ongoing efforts to advance either/both movements, and recommendations for possible collective movement building via an internet-based advocacy campaign. The e-consultation will take place from July 26 through August 10, 2010.
We’d like to hear from all of you about existing efforts to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and climate change mitigation/environmental sustainability. We are interested in hearing what you think about the possibility of bringing these two movements together for greater collective action and what your recommendations would be if and how to get there. If you would like to be a part of this important and timely discussion, this is your chance! We have extended the RSVP period to July 26, so please send an email to: Arianne Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org to participate. We would greatly appreciate your contributions and recommendations!
Once you RSVP for the e-consultation, you will receive an email containing a series of questions which you will have a total of four working business days to respond to. When you have responded to the first series of questions you will receive another email with the next set of questions. The third and final email will be sent out as soon as you have completed the previous ones, or by Aug 5 at the latest. The last round of responses will be due no later than August 10. Your contributions will be summarized generally with other responses that will be shared with e-consultation participants at the end of the consultation.
Please join us for this important online consultation and RSVP today!
Read All About It
Protecting Yourself at the World Cup!
In South Africa, an estimated 5.7 million people are living with HIV/AIDS (2009)—more than in any other country. At the same time, the country has poured 33 billion rand into preparations for the World Cup. The London-based Terrence Higgens Trust published a World Cup guide for football fans on its website to help prevent the spread of infections both abroad and in the UK. Warriner from the Trust said, “We are urging people to take condoms with them—have fun—but look after yourself.” To read more, check out this BBC news article: Aids and HIV warning to South Africa World Cup fans
Where are the condoms in Uganda?
In Uganda, the population needs over 220 million condoms annually, yet between 80-120 million condoms are actually imported. “It means if all men were to use condoms, each would get a ration of three.” Donors fund up to 95% of the reproductive health commodities budget and this is happening while the current contraceptive funding gap is about $3 million dollars. Dr. Betty Kyaddondo, the head of the family health department of the population secretariat said, “What will happen when donors pull out? Where would people seek refuge?”
To read more, click here: Uganda: Condom Shortage Worries Health Experts
Emergency Contraception: India’s Most Popular Contraceptive
In India, 49% of women use modern contraceptives and of these, only 3% are on the pill. Rather, India’s increasingly educated and independent women reach for “morning after” pill brands, which are readily accessible over-the-counter drugs throughout India. Dr. Rishma Pai, a consultant gynecologist said, “where a product is cheap, available over the counter completely anonymous, and is something you don’t have to plan for, it’s extremely convenient. But extreme convenience doesn’t mean extreme safety or extreme rationality.” To read more, check out this Time article: In India, Banking on the Morning After
Case against Gay Activists in Zimbabwe
Two activists of the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe were arrested in late May following a search of the group’s offices in Milton Park, Harare. They also faced charges of “denigrating president Robert Mugabe” for criticizing his denunciation of homosexuality by posting a letter in their office from Willie Lewis, former mayor of San Francisco. Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights will represent them in the case. To read more, click here: Zimbabwe Judge Declines to Make Urgent Ruling on Charges Against Gay Activists
Challenges of Equality in Pakistan’s Transgender Community
Pakistani hijras, transgender men, face frequent violence and discrimination. Hijras are marginalized, forced to earn a living as beggars, commercial sex workers, and dancers. Hijras engaged in commercial sex are particularly vulnerable to STIs and sexual abuse by their customers. In spite of the indignities that hijras face, there is some progress towards upholding the rights of transgender Pakistanis as equal citizens. Last year Pakistan’s supreme court called on authorities to recognize hijras as a distinct gender that are entitled to inherit property, employment and to vote. While such reforms will likely face stiff resistance, it is a start. To learn more about the transgender community in Pakistan, check out this article: Pakistan’s hijras deserve acceptance
My Voice Counts!
The UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegation is currently recruiting new members!
PCB NGO Delegates represent the perspectives of civil society, including people living with HIV, within UNAIDS policies and programming. NGO delegates actively seek input from their respective communities on key issues related to UNAIDS policies and programs, and advocate with members states (governments) and cosponsoring organizations (the United Nations organizations that make up the UNAIDS ‘family’) for meaningful improvements in the implementation and evaluation of AIDS policies and programs.
Which seats on the NGO Delegation are open?
The NGO Delegation to the UNAIDS PCB has vacancies for two-year terms beginning January 1, 2011, and ending December 31, 2012, for the following positions:
North America: Main Delegate
North America: Alternate Delegate
Latin America and the Caribbean: Alternate Delegate
Africa: Alternate Delegate
Asia: Alternate Delegate
Where can I get an application?
Please visit http://unaidspcbngo.org/?page_id=7427 for a complete description and online application in English.
What is the deadline?
Please fill in the online application and submit all required documents (see http://unaidspcbngo.org/?page_id=7427) for more details) by August 2, 2010, 18:00 Geneva Time.
Where can I get more information?
You can contact the Communications Facility for additional information by emailing Natalie Siniora at email@example.com.
To read the entire PCB Newsletter, go to: K:\ID\iYSO\iYSO project materials\iYAN\iYAN 2010\July iYAN\UNAIDS PCB NGO Delegation Update_June142010.pdf
Global Fund to Emphasize Maternal and Child Health, Family Planning
The Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria is urging countries to invest in maternal and child health (MCH) programming as it prepares to launch its next round of funding later this month.
The Global Fund’s Board decided at its April meeting to highlight the critical importance of MCH, including comprehensive family planning, in the fight against HIV, TB and Malaria. The decision, documented in Exploring Options for Optimizing Synergies with Maternal and Child Health,marks the first time that the Board has so strongly acknowledged the links between Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 4 (reducing child mortality), MDG 5 (improving maternal health) and the Global Fund’s core mandate of MDG 6 (combating HIV, malaria, and TB).
“The Board encourages countries and partners, as a matter of urgency, to work together in the context of opportunities presented through grant reprogramming, Round 10, and changes to the Global Fund grant architecture to urgently scale up investments in MCH in the context of Global Fund’s core mandate.”
The Global Fund will launch the Round 10 call for proposals on May 20, 2010. In Round 10, the Global Fund is encouraging Country Coordinating Mechanisms to look for opportunities to include MCH in their applications for HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and Health Systems Strengthening.
While this is the first time the Board has specifically supported financing MCH integrated programming within a particular Round of funding, it builds upon the Global Fund’s history of supporting country-led integrated health responses. Prior Board strategies gave recipient countries the mandate to develop integrated interventions to address gaps in health delivery. Last year’s Gender Equality Strategy, for instance, encouraged countries to develop interventions, including the integration of sexual and reproductive health and HIV, to promote gender equality and equity. The recent decision notes that some areas along the continuum of care in maternal and child health—including comprehensive family planning—need special attention in order to meet the 2015 MDG goals.
Access to comprehensive voluntary family planning greatly improves outcomes for maternal health, child health and HIV/AIDS. The integration of family planning and HIV/AIDS services is a vital and cost-effective way to prevent HIV infection, including through mother-to-child transmission. At the same cost, family planning services can avert nearly 30 percent more HIV-positive births than use of nevirapine, an antiretroviral drug, by HIV-positive pregnant women.
The Global Fund has demonstrated it will finance family planning interventions and reproductive health supplies as critical components of HIV, TB, Malaria and Health Systems Strengthening applications. Rwanda, Nigeria, Ghana and Zambia represent a few of the countries that are currently being financed by the Global Fund for these programs.
For countries wishing to take advantage of the Global Fund’s willingness to fund integrated programming, Population Action International has developed a publication called, A Practical Guide to Integrating Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS into Grant Proposals to the Global Fund. This document will help CCMs, civil society organizations and others developing proposals to the Global Fund for programs that integrate reproductive health and HIV/AIDS. The document is available in English, French and Spanish and can be accessed here.
Tools You Can Use
The Global State of Harm Reduction, 2010
By the International Harm Reduction Association
“Key Issues for Broadening the Response” is the second major report in the series on the global state of harm reduction. It provides a region-by-region update of key developments in harm reduction since the first Global State report was released in 2008. It also explores several issues key to the response to drug-related harms worldwide, including:
increasing access to harm reduction in prisons and other places of detention,
reaching people who use drugs with diagnosis,
treatment and care for viral hepatitis and tuberculosis,
preventing overdose-related mortality among people who use drugs,
preventing and treating injecting-related bacterial infections,
expanding the response to harms related to amphetamine use, and
addressing the current shortage of funds for harm reduction worldwide.
It is designed to be an advocacy and reference tool for a wide range of audiences, including international donor organizations, multilateral and bilateral agencies, non-governmental and community-based organizations, including organizations and groups of people who use drugs, researchers, and the media. The report is the result of collaboration between International Harm Reduction Association’s (IHRA) Public Health Research and Policy program and harm reduction networks, researchers, and organizations of people who use drugs, whose input is essential to reflecting the situation around the world. In addition, chapters of the report were contributed by experts from civil society, academia and multilateral agencies.
Click here for the report: http://www.ihra.net/Assets/2522/1/GlobalState2010_Web.pdf
Facts on the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescent Women in the Developing World
By the Guttmacher Institute
This fact sheet compiles new analyses of data on young women’s lives, marriages, childbearing, education and contraceptive needs, and discusses the need to help them avoid unintended pregnancies and obtain appropriate methods of contraception. Each year, an estimated 6.1 million adolescent women in the developing world become pregnant unintentionally, the large majority after having used no method of contraception.
Facts on Satisfying the Need for Contraception in Developing Countries
By the Guttmacher Institute
This fact sheet takes an in-depth look at the need for improved contraceptive services worldwide and the global benefits of meeting those needs. About 818 million women of reproductive age want to avoid pregnancy; 140 million of these women are not using any form of contraception, and 75 million rely on less effective traditional methods.
Building on the global report Adding it Up, which documented the increased return when investments are made to sexual and reproductive health and maternal and newborn health programs simultaneously, these two, four-page fact sheets were developed to inform strategic planning among advocates, government agencies and donors in the development of new interventions.
Click here for Facts on the Sexual and Reproductive Health of Adolescent Women in the Developing World, also available in Arabic, French and Spanish.
Click here for Facts on Satisfying the Need for Contraception in Developing Countries, also available in Arabic, French and Spanish.
International Youth Day…and Year!
August 12, 2010-August 11, 2011
International Youth Day 2010
Dialogue and Mutual Understanding
This year’s International Youth Day is a particularly important day for youth around the world. In December 2009, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/64/134 proclaiming the Year commencing this International Youth Day (12 August 2010) as the International Year of Youth.
In line with the theme for the International Year, the theme for this year’s International Youth Day is “Dialogue and Mutual Understanding”. The choice of the theme reflects the General Assembly’s appreciation of the value of dialogue among youth from different cultures as well as among different generations.
International Youth Day will be celebrated at the United Nations headquarters in New York with the global launch event of the International Year of Youth. The event will be a celebration of young peoples’ energy, imagination and initiatives and will recognize their crucial contributions to enhancing peace and development. The event is an opportunity for the international community and the UN system to demonstrate their commitment to young people. There will be music and performances as well as a photo exhibit entitled “Visual Voices – Youth perspectives on Global Issues,” which will be inaugurated in the UN visitors lobby. The exhibit will be open to the public until early September.
In addition to the global launch event at the UN Headquarters, there will be celebrations all over the world, which will highlight opportunities and challenges for youth throughout the International Year of Youth in different regions and countries.
Join in the festivities and celebrate the International Youth Day and the International Youth Year with other young people from around the globe!
THIS IS YOUR DAY AND YOUR YEAR!
To guide the celebrations of the International Year of Youth, the United Nations has developed the Framework Approach highlighting three key objectives for the Year, namely: increased commitment and investment in youth, increased youth participation and partnerships, and increased intercultural understanding among youth. Use these objectives to guide your activities related to youth and apply them to your work on sexual and reproductive health and rights. The complete Framework Approach is available at http://social.un.org/youthyear/.
For example, to promote increased investment in youth, consider focusing on investment in young people’s sexual and reproductive health programming. How much is your government putting in to support your sexual and reproductive health and rights? Is there a specific line item for this in the national budget? Should there be one? How can you encourage your government to make sure that programs addressing young peoples’ sexual and reproductive health are implemented and responding effectively to the needs and realities of youth?
To promote increase understanding f the importance and benefits of youth participation, consider focusing on decision-making bodies that affect programs and policies on sexual and reproductive health and rights. How many young people are on decision-making bodies that influence funding or program design on sexual and reproductive health for youth?
To promote mutual understanding, consider focusing on promoting youth-adult partnerships in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights. Such partnerships are important–whereby both young people and adults work together, sharing knowledge, tools, and decision-making power while benefiting from youth leaders’ hands-on knowledge and understanding of the issues as well as adult expertise and long-term perspectives
Advocates is working with other partner organizations to explore opportunities for leveraging the Year of Youth to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights. Stay tuned for more information on related activities or opportunities in our next iYAN newsletter. Also, if you are planning events and would like to announce them in the iYAN newsletter or write about what you are doing, please email Mimi (firstname.lastname@example.org) right away so that we can get your information into the next issue!
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Put Youth on the Agenda
Organize activities in your community
Think about what you can do in you community and how you can effectively advance a youth agenda for sexual and reproductive health and rights during the Year of Youth. Make it fun and relatable and use all your channels to spread the message–think Amplifyyourvoice.org, Facebook, Twitter, listservs, university newsletters, and local newspapers!
Educational radio show. Contact popular local/national radio stations to request a slot to have a discussion about sexual and reproductive health issues with distinguished individuals and youth.
Organize a public meeting or debate to discuss young people’s contributions to advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights globally.
Initiate round table discussions among adults and young people to promote intergenerational understanding and knowledge-sharing around sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Organize a youth forum to exchange ideas and discuss cultural backgrounds in order to help young people accept others and popularize a culture of non-violence and acceptance that is inclusive of all young people regardless of age, gender, race, income, education, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity
Organize a concert to promote International Youth Day and the launch of the Year of Youth. Invite your local musicians and combine it with a panel discussion or invite a politician or policy maker to hold the key note speech.
Create an “info point” about youth sexual and reproductive health-related issues in the center of town/village, at high schools, or at university centers.
Organize an exhibition. Get permission to use a public space for an arts exhibit, which showcases the challenges of young people face today or how young people are contributing to improving their sexual and reproductive health and rights and overall development of their nations
Write to your Minister of Youth to inform him or her about the challenges young people face in their daily lives and to suggest solutions for improving sexual and reproductive health and rights. A list of Ministers of Youth can be found at www.un.org/youth.
The UN Program on Youth is currently working on an Activities Kit. It will provide a step-by-step guide on how to organize a simple and effective event or activity in your community. It will be available for download on the website of the UN Programme on Youth and the official website of the International Year of Youth soon.
INFORMATIONAL MATERIAL AND MEDIA TOOLS
A variety of informational material, such as the logo for the International Year of Youth, is available on the International Year of Youth website: social.un.org/youthyear. If you would like to use the logo for your event, read the guidelines for the logo and fill out the liability waiver form available for download on the site. Please check the International Year of Youth website for regular updates.
And please don’t forget to spread the word about the iYAN.
Advocates for Youth has a form to sign-up for the iYAN on our website. Send this link to your friends so they can sign-up too!