Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum is excited to be implementing the Youth Engage and Take Action for SRHR (YHA!) project in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Uganda. The YHA! Project aims to; mobilize, build capacity and amplify voices of young people in these four countries, to advocate for and demand from policymakers and duty bearers improved access to quality and youth-friendly contraceptive services and information as a sexual reproductive right.

This project will be implemented through the She Decides Alliance made up of very dynamic youth-led and youth-serving organizations from above-named countries.

Winnie Apio giving a presentation to YHA! members in Nairobi

These include My Age Trust-Zimbabwe, HeR Liberty-Malawi, Organization of African Youth-Kenya and Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum in Uganda.  The She Decides alliance is a platform that is committed to amplifying young people’s voices and promotion of adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Eastern and Southern Africa.

It subscribes to the notion that SRHR information and services should be accessible to all adolescents and young people of all categories without any form of discrimination.

The platform identified a need to create an inclusive youth-led regional advocacy platform aimed at joint advocacy, action and learning to influence policies that ensure the protection, respect, and fulfillment of sexual and reproductive health rights of young people, 10-24.

The She Decides Alliance currently operates in 4 countries working with youth led and youth-serving organizations. These will also be the official partners of the project in their respective countries;

Over the weekend, the four implementing partners were honored to have their very first inception meeting in Nairobi, which provided an opportunity for the four implementing organizations to get to know each other and work together towards achieving the project goals.

The meeting also created a common understanding of the project – its goals, objectives, and implementation plans. Engaged the partners more broadly in reviewing and defining their project methodology/approaches, tools and activities in light of their contexts as well as to support the development of work-plans and revised timelines for sub-grantees.

Identified learning priorities and synergies between partners and coming up with a joint advocacy strategy for the partners was also among the key objectives.

The meeting was attended by directors and representatives from My Age Trust Zimbabwe, HeR Liberty-Malawi, Organization of African Youth, Kenya and Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum.

Partners gained a deeper understanding of the project and had the opportunity to share plans, best practices and any questions they may have about the project.

Some of the implementing partners during the inception meeting

Partners collectively discussed the different challenges that they all foresaw in their different countries, mitigation strategies and possible learning opportunities across the region. The meeting ended with the drafting of a joint advocacy and communications strategy for the project and an enthused commitment to start the implementation of the project. We look forward to a fruitful year as we continue to push the boundaries and advocate for better health and well being for adolescents and young people across the region.