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March 2009 iYAN Newsletter

March 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.

Sharing Our Passion

Networking: A great tool for advocacy

By Numfor Alennwi, Bamenda, Cameroon

Human beings were born free with liberties to enjoy their childhood, adolescence, youth and old age. Helping young people prevent unintended pregnancies, STIs, including HIV, is essential to the human rights movement. Motivating youth to adopt changes in attitudes and behaviors that support informed and healthy choices is the greatest form of advocacy one can pursue for a better youth generation in Cameroon and other parts of the world–that is what my organization and I stand for.

I am a member of the Cameroon Youth Network (CYN) for which I serve as the National Vice President. CYN seeks to connect youth movements and associations that have copmpatible goals to share diverse strategies in social marketing for the greater achievement of youth. We started in 2005 with 60 youth bodies drawn from six Regions of Cameroon. Today, the network is comprised of about 200 Member Associations. As we have advocated for young people to be educated and practice safer sex, nothing is compared to the spirit of networking.

To read more about the Cameroon Youth Network, click here:

Before the creation of this youth syndicate, the government and International Agencies planned and executed many social marketing projects for youth development with poor objectivity and results. They were not very close to the target audience nor mindful of the complex attitudes and behaviors of Cameroonian youth. The coming of a network was partly to improve the situation.

When Youth Action Movement brought up this idea of networking among Youth movements and associations, it sounded very infeasible to the government. When one stood up and another stood up until there were 25 standing, their voice was still as weak as that of one. The Government minimized our capacity and capability. We attempted many reforms, which the Government discarded. We then sought the assistance of international agencies such as UNICEF and UNAIDS, with which we wrote a telegram to the Ministry of Youth Affairs announcing our strength.

Today, the State Departments have accepted CYN as a partner in development especially in Sexual and Reproductive Health issues. Before the Government carries out projects to enhance new behaviors among youths, the government now recognizes us as influential stakeholders from initiation to implementation.

As a member of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of CYN, I have the responsibility to link the Government and the Member Associations of CYN. Thus the achievements of our advocacy movement are beneficial at an organizational level, but now individuals of CYN are able to work in partnership with the government to ensure a better future for the youth of Cameroon!

To find out more about Alenwi, you can email him at numforx2000@yahoo.com!

Rape and Women’s Sexual Health Rights in Nigeria

By Nura Iro Ma’Aji, Nigeria

The issue of rape in Nigeria has attracted the attention of not only human right activists and feminists from non-governmental organization here in Nigeria, but also from international non-governmental organizations. There is a high incidence of rape in Nigeria; yet actions have not been taken to address the urgency of the situation. Rape is a form of Gender-Based Violence (GBV) against women. According to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, violence against women is “any act of GBV that result in or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women [and Girls], including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.” Among the forms of sexual violence against women, rape is the most prevalent and disturbing in Nigeria.

To read more from Nura about rape and women’s sexual health rights in Nigeria, click here:

Nigeria has never been able to document accurate data that provides the exact incidence rate of rape occurring daily or annually in the country. However, some Nigerian NGOs, with the assistance of international NGOs, have conducted research with the aim of knowing the incidence rate of rape cases in the country, so that we can evaluate, develop solutions, and educate and empower communities to formulate effective strategies to reduce rape. For example, CLEEN Foundation, an NGO that promotes public safety, security, and justice, reviewed a nation-wide survey undertaken in 2005 and found that only 18.1% – less than one in five of some 10,000 respondents who had been raped – reported the rape to the police. Also, figures from the CLEEN Foundation report the following cases of rape and indecent assault per year: 2,241 cases in 1999; 1,500 cases in 2000; 2,284 cases in 2001; 2,084 cases in 2002; 2,250 cases in 2003, 1,626 cases in 2004; and 1,835 cases in 2005.

Furthermore, in 2005 The Punch newspaper reported that only one in fifty rape cases were actually reported. Fear of reporting rape cases in Nigeria today is based on several different factors. Some of these factors include the heavy social stigma attached to rape; fear of rejection by family members and communities, or the belief that police will believe the sex was consensual. Also, people have to understand that rape causes a lot of social, emotional, and physical damage to women, and can even increase their risk of becoming infected with STIs, including HIV. Research shows that rape can cause mental trauma and/or feelings of low self esteem, thus affecting one’s performance in academia and/or employment.

We need to educate people to understand that Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). According to CEDAW, rape violates the principles of equality of right and respect for human dignity and also violates women’s sexual health rights. Women have the rights to consensual sexual activity, the right to an autonomous life within one’s context of social ethics and values, and the right to a life free of violence, discrimination and without hindrance to relationships based on equality, respect and justice.

Fact: Rape is a crime and it violates women’s sexual health rights. Conclusively, women and girls should not be taken for granted, they should not be raped and they should not be relegated to all kinds of treatment; rather, they should be granted the equal rights and opportunities that any human being is entitled to to have to live a productive and healthy life.

My Voice Counts!

IGLYO Conference, “This Is Who We Are”, July 19-23, 2009 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The International Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Youth and Student Organization (IGLYO) was created in 1984 as a reaction to the need for better cooperation among local, regional, and national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) organizations.

In July 2009 IGLYO will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a landmark gathering of LGBTQ youth activists – their largest ever – for both existing IGLYO members and activists from around the world. The conference will offer an opportunity to reflect on the varied past of LGBTQ youth activism, celebrate its vibrant present, and focus on future challenges.

For the first time, IGLYO will be creating a global dialogue to explore the potential for future cooperation between LGBTQ youth activists in different regions of the world. The event will focus on best practices for LGBTQ youth relating to the Yogyakarta Principles – the application of human rights in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity.

IGLYO is working on this project with the support of a local partner, COC Amsterdam, and an international partner, the Youth Coalition.

In early April 2009, there will be a public call for participants for this unique event. In the meantime, we welcome your questions, comments or suggestions. Please email 2009@iglyo.com for further information.

Support for travel, visa and participation costs will be made available to a limited number of participants. For more information, please read the letter below.

To download the conference introduction, go to: IGLYO Conference Introduction

Staying Alive Foundation: Now Accepting Grant Applications!

The Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) has just opened its first 2009 call for proposals for grants that will be given out on the 1st of June.
Staying Alive Awards come with a financial grant, Staying Alive materials (including MTV Staying Alive programming and teaching kits), a small fund to buy technical media equipment, a local mentor, and a personal grants manager.

The SAF supports young people (15-27 years old) and youth-led organizations that work in the field of HIV prevention. If you apply as an individual, you should have the support of an associate organization as SAF will not deposit funds in an individual’s account. If you apply as an organization, the project that you seek to get funds for should be managed by a young person who is not older than 27 years old.

SAF seeks to support organizations and individuals that are start-ups and do not have much support, financial or otherwise. SAF is much more likely to fund an organization that has little or no existing funding to date, rather than those who already have several funders on board.
Applications are accepted in English, French and Spanish. Advocates for Youth recommends that you review the documents below (awards application, funding criteria, and FAQ’s documents) thoroughly, before submitting an application.

The deadline to apply is the 6th of April!

If you have any questions about the application process or the grants, do not hesitate to contact:
Sara Piot, Grant Manager at Staying Alive Foundation via: Tel: +44 (0)207 478 6688; Fax: +44 (0)207 478 6517 or go to the website at: www.staying-alive.org/foundation.

To review the documents, review and click on the message attachments:
Awards Application in English

Awards Application in French

Awards Application in Spanish

Funding Criteria in English

Funding Criteria in French

Funding Criteria in Spanish

Frequently Asked Questions in English

Frequently Asked Questions in French

Frequently Asked Questions in Spanish

Give Feedback to UNAIDS: Participate in their Web Survey
UNAIDS is trying to gain insight into their audience and better understand how users of their website feel about the site and content available there. The information you provide will help them to assess what additional features are needed and how to improve their web site to make it even more useful in the future.

To participate in the web survey, click here:

What’s Going On at Advocates for Youth?

Advocates’ staff get to know St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Advocates’ staff, with consultants from the Bahamas and Jamaica, recently traveled to St. Vincent and the Grenadines to conduct a needs assessment on youth reproductive and sexual health, education, and water and sanitation issues, in collaboration with partners from Water Missions International and the Coastal Community Foundation.

From January 11-18, 2009, the needs assessment team met with approximately 100 individuals across a total of six islands, including St. Vincent, Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, and Union.

Meetings were held with government representatives from various Ministries such as Health and the Environment, Education, and the Water and Sewage Administration; faith-based leaders; teachers; primary and secondary school students; non-governmental and community-based organization representatives; health clinic personnel; and youth leaders.

Sign in the Clifton Clinic on Union Island

Priority areas that emerged from the meetings included lack of access to sufficient water during the dry season on the islands of Mayreau, Union, and Canouan. Concerns related to education included literacy, numeracy, the challenge of attending and staying in secondary school on another island, lack of professional development for teachers, and lack of materials. Lack of youth development programs and opportunities was one of the greatest concerns across islands and groups with many indicating a need for youth development programs. Teen pregnancy was also a significant concern, with particular references to early onset of sexual activity and the need for more reproductive and sexual health education and counseling.

Cisterns next to a house on the island of Mayreau

Next steps for Advocates include documenting findings from the needs assessment, identifying potential areas of support given the identified needs and existing resources, and exploring partnerships for Advocates for Youth, Water Missions International, and the Coastal Community Foundation with government and non-governmental organizations on St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

For more information about Advocates trip and findings in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, email Nicole@advocatesforyouth.org

Advocates for Youth Hosts State Summit III to Develop Advocacy Strategies for U.S. State Policies

On February 4- 6, 2009, advocates met in Washington, DC, for State Summit III. The Summit was a meeting of community leaders who work on sex education advocacy in the United States. The advocates work to influence local and state-level policy change in order to improve sex education for youth. Fifty people came from twenty-five different states all across the U.S. Participants came from a number of different community-based organizations that do work on HIV/AIDS, teen pregnancy prevention, women’s health, and sex education.

The Summit was hosted by Advocates for Youth, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Ms. Foundation for Women, Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS). Advocates helped to plan the conference and brought a number of state partners to the Summit. Participants shared resources and learned skills to assist them in their advocacy work in their states. Workshop sessions focused on how to work with the new President and Congress; how to use new research when talking about sex education; and how to pass laws in states about sex education. The Summit participants also lobbied on Capitol Hill to end funding for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs and to start funding for comprehensive sex education.

The Summit was a great success. One participant said, “It was very informative and I thoroughly enjoyed it.”

Roe v. Wade Blogathon

Amplify, a project of Advocates for Youth, is an online community dedicated to sexual health, reproductive justice, and youth-led grassroots movement building.

January 22 was the 36th anniversary of the historic Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court Decision, which legalized abortion in the United States. Since then, social conservatives have continued to chip away at the right to choose, especially where young women are concerned. But with a new administration comes new hope that some of the damaging policies put in place may be reversed. Young people from all over the United States blogged on the week of the Roe Anniversary as a part of a global movement of young people working for choice. Young people shared their stories about what the right to a legal and safe abortion means to them and to women around the world.

To learn about what young people in the United States think about preserving the right to choose, go to: http://www.amplifyyourvoice.org/roevwade

Youth Leaders Take Action in Jamaica, Ethiopia and Nigeria!

Advocates works in partnership with youth-led NGOs in Ethiopia, Jamaica, and Nigeria to build youth activist leadership councils in each country. These councils are comprised of eight to ten young people ages 18 to 24. Advocates provides in-depth technical assistance to partner organizations to support recruitment, training, and supervision of the councils in addition to seed grants that support implementation of their action plans.

Advocates’ partners include Talent Youth Youth Association (TaYA) in Ethiopia, Education As A Vaccine Against AIDS (EVA) in Nigeria, and the Jamaica Youth Advocacy Network (JYAN). TaYA supports the council, ECHO, Ethiopian Youth for Higher Economic Opportunities; EVA supports Association of Youth Advocates (AYA), and JYAN supports Jamaicans Safely Tackling Reproductive and Sexual Health (J-STAR).

All of the councils have worked extremely hard to:

  • Educate stakeholders on domestic policies, raising public awareness through the media;
  • Mobilize peers to take action;
  • Participate and take a leadership role at international conferences; and
  • Visit the U.S. to share personal stories with other youth, policy makers, and the media about the importance of comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services for young people in their countries.

In Ethiopia, Ethiopian youth Council for Higher Opportunities (ECHO):

· Participated in the national youth day celebration organized by TaYA, seven youth-led and youth-focused organizations, and several government ministries. The Council’s participation allowed members to talk about their mission and other reproductive and sexual health issues with a wide range of groups, including more than 100 youth-led organizations and government ministers, key stakeholders, including the Minster of the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

· Mobilized 80 young people to distribute 2,000 flyers and T-shirts at the 10 K Great Ethiopian Run. The marathon was attended by 35,000 people and transmitted live on Ethiopian television. The flyers contained information about the Council’s work and the t-shirts had messages promoting access to contraception for youth and inclusion of youth in policy decision making.

· Launched a monthly newspaper that focuses on youth reproductive health and other policy issues related to youth development, including the Council’s advocacy goals and the reproductive and sexual health and rights of young women. TaYA and the Council distributed the newsletter to all 500 Members of Parliament, 500 NGOs and youth clubs/associations, and 200 schools and colleges. As Ethiopian print media is currently in its infant stage, the newspaper is filling an important gap. TaYA’s newspaper is the only publication focused specifically on youth and on reproductive and sexual health issues.

· Introduced the Council and its activities to key stakeholders, including members of the media. For example, the Council invited a journalist from a local radio station to report at its advocacy training. The journalist conducted an interview with the Council members, which was aired on an FM radio station in Addis Ababa. Two additional radio programs will broadcast a live chat on unplanned pregnancy with the Council. Recently, an interview with three Council members was broadcast on FM 97.1 for two consecutive weeks. During the 30-minute conversation, the youth discussed the Council’s activities. The radio station has invited five Council members to return for an interview next month to discuss the need for youth-friendly reproductive services.

· Organized a public debate forum for World AIDS Day on youth-friendly reproductive health services. Over 225 guests, including members of Parliament and other government officials, attended the event. Three of Ethiopia’s most popular radio and TV outlets covered the debate and TaYA organized a live radio talk show the following week to continue the discussion. The Council is planning two additional public debates on the World Bank and other international NGOs/bilateral organizations that are funding country-level HIV/AIDS interventions. The debates will draw attention to the fact that these organizations and agencies are not giving youth sufficient opportunities to participate in planning, implementing, and evaluating the interventions.

· Served as a youth voice and shared information about the International Youth Speak Out Project at international conferences and gatherings, including the World Youth Congress in Quebec City, Canada; the African Development Forum; and the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Senegal.

In Jamaica, Jamaicans Safely Tackling Adolescent and Reproductive Health (J-STAR) :

· Facilitated a youth forum on sexuality and young people at the Ministry of Education on World AIDS Day. The forum attracted 250 students from 20 high schools and various other key stakeholders, including the Director for HIV Prevention unit at the Ministry of Health and Environment; the HIV/AIDS Coordinator from the Ministry of Education; the Director of the NGO Children First; and Dahlia Harris, a famous actress and radio and TV personality.

· Partnered with the Youth Interventions Officer from the National HIV/STI Control Program of the Ministry of Health and Environment to meet with key players from the Ministry and present a list of recommendations for implementing youth leadership programs and mainstreaming family planning and HIV programs.

· Planned a high school mass sex education campaign and a radio show tour for Safer Sex Week in February 2009.

· Launched the first-ever Jamaica Safer Sex Week Blog-a-thon on Advocates’ Amplify website. To view the blogs of the council members and other young advocates in Jamaica, go to: www.amplifyyourvoice.org/Jamaica.

In Nigeria, the Association of Youth Advocates (AYA):

· Launched a monthly online newsletter and bulletin that features articles on the Council’s work and key policies and programs that members are advocating to change related to maternal health, teen pregnancy, early marriage, and the feminization of HIV.
· Distributed 3,000 copies of a “My Question and Answer” brochure to secondary and tertiary institutions in Abuja that includes a toll-free phone service for youth on reproductive and sexual health and rights.
· Conducted a drama presentation for World AIDS Day for 500 people in Dutse (northern Nigeria) on HIV/AIDS and adolescent reproductive and sexual health.
· Conducted six interviews for World AIDS Day. These interviews resulted in pieces that aired on/were featured in six popular print and radio outlets to promote the meaningful participation of youth in decision-making regarding policies, policy implementation, and access to youth-friendly reproductive health information and services, including access to contraception.

· Provided 10 media outlets with information about the Council in order to build relationships.
· Met with the Director of HIV/AIDS at the Ministry of Education to introduce the Council. Letters requesting similar meetings were sent to the Ministries of Education, Health, Youth Development, and Women’s Affairs. These meetings are a first step in building relationships with government stakeholders and beginning to advocate for a youth presence within the ministries either on existing decision-making bodies that address youth reproductive and sexual health issues or the creation of a youth consultative body in absence of existing structures.

· Attended the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa in Senegal. Council members and Advocates’ staff attended the Youth Front pre-conference that trains youth leaders in reproductive and sexual health issues, advocacy, and media work and provides orientation to the conference. The youth also participated in the youth pavilion, advocacy campaign, commitments desk, and youth closing ceremony and actively recruited members for Advocates’ International Youth Activist Network. Finally, the youth met with senior-level advisors, including the Gender HIV/AIDS Technical Manager of National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) in Nigeria to advocate for a position on NACA’s Council on the Gender HIV/AIDS Technical Committee, and the Senior Program Advisor for the African Division of UNFPA, who committed to helping the Council arrange meetings with the Ministry of Health.

· Conducted presentations to organizations in Abuja to recruit coalition members that will support the Council’s goals and objectives. For example, the Council will request that coalition members sign on to letters and/or proposals that it will submit as part of its upcoming lobby visits with various Ministries, in order to prove that civil society is supportive of its recommendations.

To find out how to forge partnerships with these organizations, contact the coordinators of the councils:

Ephrem Berhanu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: ephrember@gmail.com
Tope Fashola, Abuja, Nigeria: teepee2010@gmail.com
Sasha Lee-Grant, Kingston, Jamaica: ssmall@jamaicayouthadvocacynetwork.com

Contact Mimi Melles, Manager of the International Youth Speak Out (iYSO) Project for any general questions in regards to this article at mimi@advocatesforyouth.org.

Read All About It

Economy Downturn Threatens the Global Fund

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria was designed to keep promises made to help fund disease treatment, prevention, and research programs in poor countries. Now, in the current state of the global financial crises, the world’s largest source of funds to combat killer diseases is falling short because donor countries are cutting back on delayed funding.

To read the entire article, go to: http://www.voanews.com/english/Science/2009-02-04-voa23.cfm

AIDS Vaccine Research Receives Gift of $100 Million

For the past twenty years, disease researchers have continuously worked towards the development of an AIDS vaccine. After a trip to South Africa’s HIV/AIDS-stricken communities, Phillip Terrence Ragon– founder and sole owner of InterSystems, a Cambridge company that provides database software to hospitals and other industries—decided to donate $10 million per year for the next decade, to the Massachusetts General Hospital to conduct research on the AIDS vaccine.

To read the entire article, click here

United Nations Conference Calls on Asia Pacific Police Enforcement to Join Fight against HIV/AIDS

Almost five million adults and children are infected with HIV in South and Southeast Asia, with the highest prevalence in India. A three-day conference was convened for 15 Asia-Pacific countries to focus on boosting cooperation between law enforcement and networks of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) and other marginalized communities.

To read the full article, go to: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-02-05-voa53.cfm

Ugandans Show Support for Male Circumcision as an HIV Prevention Program

Research conducted by Uganda’s Makerere University and Family Health International proves that most men and women in Uganda support medical male circumcision as a way to lower one’s risk of HIV infection. According to the Ministry of Health, 25% of Ugandan men are circumcised.

To read the entire the article with information including more survey results and reasons given for support of male circumcision, go to: http://www.irinnews.org/Report.aspx?ReportId=82684

A Glimpse at Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV in Guatemala

Just two years ago, Guatemala was a country with no pediatric treatment protocols and, where only a couple hundred children received anti-retroviral treatment (ARVs). Recently, UNICEF has prioritized Prevention of Mother-to-Child-Transmission (PMTCT) programs by offering technical assistance, human resources, and HIV testing for pregnant women. Although a culture of fear around HIV and disclosing one’s status persists, UNICEF now supports 15 of the 27 national hospitals on PMTCT programs.

To read the entire article, go to:

Tools You Can Use

State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health Released!

On January 15, 2009, The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) released its annual State of the World’s Children report, highlighting the inextricable link between maternal health and the health of their infants. The report, titled “The State of the World’s Children 2009: Maternal and Newborn Health,” highlights the extreme risks that pregnant women and newborns face in underdeveloped countries, where having a child remains among the most serious health risks for women.

The report states that an estimated 10 million women have died during pregnancy and childbirth since 1990, and that women in the world’s least developed countries are 300 times more likely to die during childbirth from pregnancy-related complications than women in industrialized countries. Every year more than 500,000 women die because of pregnancy-related complications, according to UNICEF.

For the full report, go to: http://www.unicef.org/sowc09/

Putting Young People into National Poverty Reduction Strategies

Many national poverty reduction strategies overlook the needs of young people. Even where national strategies do have a youth focus, the analysis of their situation is limited because little or no reference is made to readily available data. For those advocating on behalf of young people in poverty, considerable scope exists to make use of simple but reputable statistics to mount a strong case for Governments and civil society to allocate more resources for addressing poverty among this major population group.

The purpose of this step-by-step guide is to show how relevant statistics on young people can be used to inform national poverty reduction strategies. The guide shows how to use accessible databases on the Internet to obtain data for generating statistical country profiles on youth and poverty.

To read more about this toolkit, go to:


Check out a Manual for Providers: HIV Counseling and Testing for Youth!

Family Health International has developed an 88-page HIV counseling and testing manual designed for service providers and counselors working with youth. Approximately one-third of clients who seek HIV testing are youth, and these young people often have different needs than do adults. With this easy-to-use, spiral bound booklet, service providers and counselors can improve their skills and assist youth with the difficult issue of HIV counseling and testing.

The manual includes:
· Step-by-step information for using a counseling and testing model for youth in general or specialized clinical settings
· Step-by-step information for using the traditional voluntary counseling and testing model with youth
· Resources to help meet the broader sexual needs of youth, including information on contraceptive options and sexually transmitted infections
· Information on how to counsel youth and use youth-friendly service approaches
· Tips and role-plays to use with young people on abstinence, being faithful, and using condoms
· Guides for creating a referral network

To learn more about the manual and how to download the kit, click here:

To download a training guide that is designed specifically to train providers on how to use this manual, click here:

If you would like to obtain a hard copy of the training guide, email: publications@fhi.org.

Coming Soon

May 15: International Day of Families

Get ready…May 15 is the International Day of Families! The theme of the 2009 International Day of Families is “Mothers and Families: Challenges in a Changing World.”

In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly declared the 15th of May International Day of Families. The annual observance reflects on the importance of families as the basic units of all societies and promotes awareness of issues related to families. International Day of Families recognizes that families assume diverse forms and functions from one country to another and within each national society. This is a day to celebrate all families across the world!
To support the observance of International Day of Families, learn how communities have taken action in the past:
To read the objectives of International Day of Families, go here:


We Want to Hear from You!

Now it’s time for YOU to tell us about how accessible family planning programs are for young people in your country! Can young women access contraceptives? Are there youth-friendly services that can meet young people’s needs? Are young people able to choose contraceptives that are appropriate for them?

Advocates for Youth has been working to make the case for family planning at the regional, national, and international levels but particularly for more United States international family planning assistance, given a new administration that supports young people and reproductive rights.

We can use your stories to tell the U.S. Congress that young people internationally need access to family planning services.
Is there an unmet need for family planning for young people?

Send your stories to Mimi at mimi@advocatesforyouth.org or go to www.amplifyyourvoice.org and post a blog!
To find out more about why funding is critical for access to family planning for youth, read the following publications:

“One Billion Dollars for U.S. International Family Planning Assistance:

An Urgent Appropriations Request that Will Save Young Women’s Lives”


“International Family Planning and the Unmet Needs of Family Planning of Reproductive Health for Youth”:


“Making the Case for U.S. International Family Planning Assistance”


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!


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