youth

 {Photo by the Spanish Cooperation (AECID)}An expert and advocate for persons with disabilities attends a strategy meeting to discuss the new WE DECIDE initiative.Photo by the Spanish Cooperation (AECID)

Violence against women, including forced or coerced sex, is an epidemic that persists all over the world. But women with disabilities, often marginalized and denied their sexual and reproductive health rights, are particularly vulnerable to such abuse.

In June, UNFPA launched WE DECIDE, a global initiative to promote gender equality and social inclusion of young persons with disabilities and advocate for the end of sexual violence.

The FCI Program of MSH worked with UNFPA and a broad range of partners in the field of disabilities to build consensus for the framework of the four-year initiative and to develop communications materials for the initiative, including a video and an infographic that conveys key messages and data on the status of persons with disabilities and gender-based violence.

{Photo: MSH staff/Tanzania}Photo: MSH staff/Tanzania

Invest in teenage girls. Change the world.

Sylvia, age 16, knew little about HIV & AIDS or reproductive health when she started primary school. Now, she says: “I am not scared by the pressure from boys and other girls to engage in early sex, I know my rights and am determined to fulfill my vision of completing my education.” Sylvia is one of 485 girls in 6 eastern Ugandan schools who received integrated sexual and reproductive health and HIV information.

Today, July 11, we commemorate World Population Day 2016 and the midpoint toward reaching the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) goal to ensure the right of 120 million additional women and girls to access contraception. More than half of the 7 billion people on earth are under the age of 30. Most of the FP2020 focus countries are in the very regions of the world where we find (a) the highest population of youth and (b) more marginalized and disenfranchised young people. In many of the world's poorest countries, people aged 15 to 29 will continue to comprise about half of the population for the next four decades.

 {Photo credit: Matt Martin/MSH}About 20 of the nearly 30 MSH staff attending the 4th annual ICFP gather for the opening ceremony.Photo credit: Matt Martin/MSH

Three weeks ago, nearly 3,500 family planning researchers, program managers, and policymakers came together in Nusa Dua, Indonesia to discuss the latest research findings and best practices on family planning at the 4th International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). It was the largest gathering of family planning enthusiasts to date.

Nearly 30 MSH staff from 8 countries attended ICFP, showcasing our health systems expertise and experiences in family planning.

 {Photo: Sarah McKee/MSH}Youth delegates close out the 4th ICFP in song on January 28, 2016.Photo: Sarah McKee/MSH

A version of this post originally appeared on USAID's Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) project blog. Nearly 30 staff from Management Sciences for Health (MSH), including several from LMG, participated in the fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP), January 25-28, 2016, in Nusa Dua, Indonesia, which called for "Global Commitments, Local Actions.” The conference was co-hosted by the Bill and Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the National Population and Family Planning Board of Indonesia (BKKBN).

{Photo credit: MSH staff}Photo credit: MSH staff

The teenage years. Changes seem to happen overnight. Puberty. Your first crush. Fighting with a parent. Discovering your identity, your purpose, and your role in the community. A confusing and challenging, yet rewarding, coming of age... an emerging adult.

Half the world’s population is under 30 years old. About 1.8 billion people, the largest generation of youth in history, are between the ages of 10 and 24. In most countries in sub-Saharan Africa, people ages 15 to 29 will continue to comprise about half of the population for the next four decades. How does this unprecedented proportion of young people impact public health, and a community and country’s sustainable development?

Sustainable health outcomes will depend on how we engage and empower our youth.

Wednesday, August 12, is International Youth Day; the date designated by the United Nations to recognize the influence young people have on society and to raise awareness of youth issues. Currently, there are over 1.8 billion young people in the world that are not only patients, clients, and beneficiaries, but providers and leaders who can contribute to a healthier future for all.

{Photo: Glenn Ruga}Photo: Glenn Ruga

Are you interested in youth leadership for family planning and reproductive health?

Join the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project () for the launch of the Twitter Q&A Series on Thursday, August 6, 2015, at 10 am ET.

MSH staffer Sarah Lindsay () will be answering questions about the importance of youth leadership development; the roles youth leaders play; and the LMG Project's support for young leaders improving family planning and reproductive health in their communities.

Not on Twitter? No problem! On Thursday, we'll also answer questions on the LMG Project's Facebook page, and create a digital recap after the Q&A wraps up.

 {Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH}Ibil Surya, William Yeung, and Meggie Mwoka at Youth Lead side event, May 19, 2015.Photo Credit: Brigid Boettler/MSH

This post originally appeared on LMGforHealth.org. USAID's Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project is led by Management Sciences for Health (MSH) with a consortium of partners.

“Age is not an issue when it comes to experience and knowledge,” said Katja Iversen, CEO of Women Deliver at Youth Lead: Setting Priorities for Adolescent Health. The World Health Assembly (WHA) side event wrapped up almost two weeks of young leaders sharing their experience and knowledge in Geneva at global consultations of health agendas and the creation of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescents’ Health.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman.

Are you strengthening youth leaders in a low or middle-income country? Take the Youth Leadership Program Survey now

Young people are the next generation of leaders.

How many times do we say this, or some version of it? Yet, do we examine the rhetoric behind it? What does it mean to strengthen youth leaders and what do programs that embody this mantra look like?

This month, with support from USAID’s Office of Population and Reproductive Health, the Leadership, Management & Governance (LMG) Project proudly launches www.YouthLeadGlobal.org, a community for youth leaders that also aims to gather information on programs that are developing youth leaders around the world with an online survey. With our collaborating networks, the International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP) and Youth Health and Rights Coalition (YHRC), we are initiating a global search for promising youth leadership programs and approaches.

{Photo credit: Mark Tuschman, Kenya.}Photo credit: Mark Tuschman, Kenya.

Today, September 26, is World Contraception Day. The Family Planning 2020 (FP 2020) Initiative says the vision for the day "is a world where every pregnancy is wanted. Its mission is to improve the awareness of contraception to enable young people to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive health." We share part two of our interview with Dr. Fabio Castaño, MSH’s global technical lead of family planning (FP) and reproductive health, in celebration of World Contraception Day. Join the conversation on social media with hashtag .

Read Choice: Part One

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