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July 2016 iYAN

July 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?

Advocates’ Partner Organization in Ghana Educates Young People through Clubs, Peer Educators, and Queen Mothers

Advocates for Youth’s partner in Ghana, the Youth Development, Research and Innovation Center (YOUDRIC) has been implementing in-school Youth Reproductive Health Clubs in 15 schools in the Central region. The workshops are designed to equip students with knowledge and skills to be able to understand and assert their sexual and reproductive health rights.

The Youth Reproductive Health Club members have also, in turn, been serving as peer educators, to inform others about sexual and reproductive health, including sexually transmitted infections, use of contraceptives, especially condoms for the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies, and how to access sexual and reproductive health services, such as for early treatment of sexually transmitted infections and comprehensive abortion care offered by youth-friendly clinics. The peer educators use small group discussions and drama, too, at community gatherings and schools.

YOUDRIC has also done a lot of ground work to engage community stakeholders in its efforts, such as through meetings with key leaders and with Parent Teachers Associations (PTA). YOUDRIC is planning to train “Queen Mothers,” who are local leaders within the community, on youth sexual and reproductive health issues so that they can be well- informed to better influence other community stakeholders.

My Voice Counts!

Call for Entries: Animation Project on Sexual Health

Concept: AMAZE is a collaboration between Advocates for Youth, Answer, and Youth Tech Health working to create an engaging, age appropriate, online sex education resource for young adolescents. While focused towards youth, it is also designed to help facilitate parents and teachers having a healthy discussion with adolescents about these important but sensitive subjects.

Goal: We are in the process of creating 30 videos on different sexual health topics. We have been working with a number of young animators and are looking to partner with up to 10 additional animators for our second phase of animations. The selected animators would work closely with the production team to create storyboards and rough cuts before going into full production. We are looking for young animators who are interested to use their talent to educate 10-14 year olds. Their work should be creative, colorful and fun and incorporate educational information along with humor to keep our young target audience engaged.

The selected animators will be invited to produce short original animations on a specific topic area in conjunction with a subject matter expert. Each animator will receive a stipend of $5000 and be entered into a contest to win an additional $15,000. Prize winning animators have the opportunity to be funded to create ongoing animation projects in their unique animation style.


  • Our team is currently seeking talented young animators

  • In early August, the project team will select 10 potential animators for the project.

  • In early September, we hope to manage and finalize the production

  • In early October, we hope to have finalized videos to share on YouTube

For More Details please look at our site: www.AMAZE.org

Please Complete This Form To Apply: here!

Coming up

International Youth Day, August 12, 2016. On December, 17, 1999, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth that August 12th be declared International Youth Day. There are 1.8 billion young people ages 10-24 in the world. Now more than ever, with the new 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, this International Youth Day is an opportunity to bring attention to young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and demand that these be prioritized by governments around the world. It is high time to invest in young people!

What can you do?

  • Host a community event to raise awareness about the importance of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights and how they relate to the new Sustainable Development Goals.

  • Engage with coalitions or organizations working in your community to advance young people’s rights and well-being.

  • Identify and request a meeting with community leaders and/or decision-makers to inform them about the importance of investing in young people and ensuring that they have the information and services to lead healthy lives.

  • Blog on Advocates’ youth activist website, amplifyyourvoice.org, and write about why you think International Youth Day is important, how you and your peers are making a difference in your community, or what you think policy makers and leaders need to be doing to support young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in your country.

To read about sexual and reproductive health and rights issues impacting young people around the world, check out these facts sheets:

New! –Youth and the Global HIV Pandemic
Read here (English)

The Reproductive and Sexual Health of Young People in Low and Middle Income Countries – Read here (English)

The Reproductive and Sexual Health of Adolescent Girls in Low and Middle Income Countries Read here (English)

Youth and Unsafe Abortion English | French

Gender Inequality and Violence Against Women and Girls Around the WorldEnglish | Spanish

Young People Living with HIV around the World – English | French

Tools You Can Use

New global database/map of sexual rights laws and policies
By the Sexual Rights Initiative

This database of national sexual rights related laws and policies is now live and includes laws/policies, based on the lack of availability of comprehensive information online on these topics : marital rape, adultery, crimes committed in the name of honour and passion, adult sex work, age of sexual consent, contraception, parental consent requirements, spousal consent requirements, conscientious objection, and sexuality education. Resources for other sexual rights issues such as abortion, HIV, and transgender rights, among others, are listed on the ‘Related resources’ page.

Click here to go to the map view.
Click here to browse the list of countries.

Unmet Need for Contraception in Developing Countries: Examining Women’s Reasons for Not Using a Method
By the Guttmacher Institute

While access to contraceptives is a major problem globally, two more significant reasons for them not being used are a dearth of options and information, a new study by the Guttmacher Institute reveals. Only 5 percent of women across 52 countries cited access as the reason for not using contraceptives, while half cited health concerns and infrequent sex, according to data collected between 2005 and 2014 in 32 African countries, 13 Asian countries and 7 in Latin America and the Caribbean. here.

The State of the World’s Children 2016: A fair chance for every child

Each year, UNICEF’s flagship publication, The State of the World’s Children, closely examines a key issue affecting children. Every child has the right to health, education and protection, and every society has a stake in expanding children’s opportunities in life. Yet, around the world, millions of children are denied a fair chance for no reason other than the country, gender or circumstances into which they are born. The State of the World’s Children 2016 argues that progress for the most disadvantaged children is not only a moral, but also a strategic imperative. Stakeholders have a clear choice to make: invest in accelerated progress for the children being left behind, or face the consequences of a far more divided world by 2030.

To access the report, available in English, Spanish, French, Arabic, go here.

To access the report in English, go here.

Building Evidence to Guide PREP Introduction for Adolescent Girls and Young Women
By the Population Council

This document was developed by the Population Council, with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to provide DREAMS country teams with practical guidance on building evidence to guide PrEP introduction for adolescent girls and young women. The primary audiences for this document are health policy makers and program planners who will be making decisions about how PrEP is introduced to adolescent girls and young women as well as the researchers who will assess their specific needs and experiences. To access this publication, go here.

Strengthening Linkages between Clinical and Social Services for Children and Adolescents who Have Experienced Sexual Violence: A Companion Guide

This document serves as a companion guide to the 2012 Clinical Management of Children and Adolescents Who Have Experienced Sexual Violence: Technical Considerations for PEPFAR Programs, which provides step-by-step guidance on the appropriate clinical/forensic care for children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence and exploitation. The companion guide provides a basic framework, examples, resources, and contact information for health providers and managers to better understand and facilitate linkages with critical social and community services for comprehensive care of children and adolescents who have experienced sexual violence.

To view this resource, go here.

To view the original technical considerations document, available in multiple languages, go here.

Youth-Led Accountability for the SDGs
By the Commonwealth Secretariat and Restless Development

This report is for young people to support their participation in the monitoring and implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals. Highlighting the central role that young people should play in overseeing the sustainable development agenda, one of the report’s contributors, Kishva Ambigapathy, Chairperson at the Commonwealth Youth Council, commented: “It is vital to expand the enabling environment for young people’s engagement in decision-making, and to mainstream youth-led engagement at national and regional levels. The insights in this report provide an effective means to deliver this participation.” To access the report, go here.

Mapping & Appraisal of HIV Prevention & Care Interventions for Men Who Have Sex with Men (MSM) in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Zimbabwe
By the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

This report summarizes the rationale, methods and findings of an in-depth appraisal of targeted HIV prevention and care interventions for men who have sex with men. The appraisal was commissioned in support of a four-country initiative called the Sexual Health and Rights Programme(SHARP), coordinated by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, which seeks to build capacity among community based organizations to deliver targeted HIV prevention and care interventions for MSM. The report is a useful for people designing and delivering similar program and includes contextual information, case studies, what worked well, and recommendations. To access the report, go here.

MAAYGO and Advocates for Youth: Advancing the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of LGBT-Youth in Kisumu County, Kenya
By Advocates for Youth

This program overview describes Advocates for Youth’s partnership with Men Against AIDS Youth Group (MAAYGO) and their work focused on training health care workers on how to better serve LGBT youth, reaching LGBT young people with HIV prevention materials and links to services, and strengthening organizational leadership in coalitions and partnerships with others working with young people. To read this document, go here.

Read All About It!

Stigma prolongs global HIV epidemic among gays. High rates of HIV among gay and bisexual men continue in many regions of the world because of discriminatory laws and lack of access to preventive services, a new study finds. “While HIV rates have flattened overall in recent years, we’re really concerned that the HIV epidemic is continuing among gay men and we’re going in the wrong direction,” said study leader Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of public health and human rights at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. To read this article, go here.

Latin American Development Depends On Investing In Teenage Girls. Latin America’s teenage girls are a crucial force for change and for promoting sustainable development, if the region invests in their rights and the correction of unequal opportunities, according to Luiza Carvalho, the regional head of UN Women. “An empowered adolescent will know her rights and will stand up for them; she has tools for success and is a driving force for positive change in her community,” Carvalho told IPS in an interview from the regional headquarters of UN Women in Panama City. To read this article, go here.

Tanzania launches crackdown on child marriage with 30-year jail terms.. Tanzanian men who marry schoolgirls or get them pregnant now face 30 years in prison as the government takes tougher measures to tackle child marriage and teenage pregnancy. The east African nation has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy and birth rates in the world, and 21 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 have given birth, according to a 2015/16 survey conducted by the Tanzania Bureau of Statistics. To read this article, go here.

Kenya seeks tech alternatives to break taboo over sex education in schools. When Kenyan teenager Rosemary Olale found out she was pregnant, her guardians threw her out of their home in shame, despite the fact no one taught her about safe sex. She didn’t dare tell them she was also HIV positive. “You just feel like everybody doesn’t want you,” said Olale, sitting with a dozen other HIV positive women, each with a small child on her lap, in a small home in Nairobi’s Saika slums. To read this article, go here.

Making El Salvador’s abortion law more punitive would compound injustice. A conservative political party in El Salvador wants jail terms for women accused of having abortions increased to up to 50 years. The dangerous proposed amendment to the country’s penal code, discussions on which begin in Congress on Thursday, would also increase sanctions and jail times for healthcare providers and others accused of “promoting” abortion services. To read this article, go here.

The CDC and WHO are teaming up to end the ‘contagious disease’ of child violence. The world can be a dark place for many children: the “lost boys” from Sudan, refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria, child sex workers in Brazil, baby girls abandoned in China, kids pulled into gang drug wars in the United States. Such suffering by children is more common than most people might think and represents what some believe to be one of our biggest public-health crises of all time. A study published in January in the journal Pediatrics puts that violence into stark perspective by estimating that as many as half of the world’s 2 billion children experienced physical, sexual or emotional violence in the previous year. To read this article, go here.

FEATURE-From cleaning corpses to sex with strangers, widow rituals fuel disease in Africa. When Clarisse’s husband died of malaria last year in the Cameroonian city of Douala, she was kicked out of their home by his family and forced to marry his brother. After having sex with her new husband, the 34-year-old discovered she had syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease that can lead to blindness and stroke if untreated. “He accused me of infidelity. He called a meeting of our families and told them I was a prostitute,” she said tearfully, fiddling with the gold wedding ring from her first marriage. To read this article, go here.

Malawi: Teenage Pregnancies Undermining Efforts in Safe Motherhood. African Medical Research Foundation (AMREF) Health Africa, an international non — governmental organization has said continued efforts were required to prevent early and teenage pregnancies since the two elements undermine efforts of improving maternal and child health. To read this article, go here.

Philippines only country in Asia where teen pregnancy rising. The Philippines is the only Asia-Pacific country where the rate of teen pregnancies rose over the last two decades and the slow decline of its overall fertility rate may deprive the country of the faster economic growth expected in places that have more working-age people than younger and older dependents, the U.N. Population Fund said Thursday. To read this article, go here.

Pakistan’s transgender community cautiously welcomes marriage fatwa. The decree, or fatwa, was passed on Sunday by a group of clerics. It said that according to Islam transgender people with “visible signs” of being male or female may marry someone of the opposite sex. But those with “visible signs of both genders” may not marry, it said. To read this article, go here.


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