On Friday, March 28th, 2022, the national youth steering committee for ICPD and FP2030 converged at the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF) youth hub to review the progress of the ICPD25 youth road map/action plan.
The meeting, attended by 10 young people from different civil society organizations, was a follow up on the December 15th, 2021 Post ICPD25 Youth Summit that was held at Hotel Africana in Kampala in which young people, including AGYW, young people living with HIV, young mothers, victims of SGBV, young people living with disabilities, refugee youths, sex workers, and LGBTI youths convened together under the central belief that good progress is not good enough, and that we must accelerate the promises made in Cairo and the commitments made in Nairobi to girls and women, boys and men, to the needs of everyone.
At the summit, a group of 120 young people developed an ICPD and FP2030 youth advocacy roadmap/action plan and selected a 5-member national youth steering committee to drive the implementation of the action plan under the coordination and supervision of the Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, the host.
The road map has three major objectives: 1. Support young people to hold the government of Uganda accountable for its commitments to a supportive social, policy, and legal environment for young people’s SRHR by Dec 2022. 2. By December 2022, work with young people to increase public support for SRHR, improve social behavior change, and raise public awareness of SRHR. 3. Increase young people’s access to, uptake of, and demand for SRHR services in 3 districts by December 2022.
While reading out the action plan at the summit in the presence of top government officials and ministry of health representatives, the members committed to mobilizing their fellow peers to enhance their knowledge, demand access, and uptake of SRHR services and information through the use of community outreaches, digital campaigns, demand creation, and capacity building.
During the review process at UYAHF offices in Bukoto, the young people reiterated the need for more efforts by the government and development partners to implement what they promised during the summit.
“It is now several months following the summit and we are here to follow up on the commitments the government made and also reflect on our work plan to see how far we have moved and established strategies on how we are going to involve more young people in the different parts of the country to achieve all of these,” says Atuhaire Joan, a youth steering committee member.
“Some of the issues we pointed out during the summit are still existent. For example, the availability of all FP services in health facilities. Most young people who seek the service are forced by health workers to take on what is available, even against their will” Ndugwa Joash-ICPD25 youth steering committee member.
Ndugwa Joash-ICPD25 youth steering committee member gives a submission during the meeting at the UYAHF offices recently.
The young people stated that, through the committee, they are ready to mobilize their fellow young people country-wide to ensure that all the targets set out in the road map are met within the stipulated timelines.
While facilitating a session during the meeting, Dr. Ben Kyibirige, an SRHR specialist told the committee members that to achieve all they have stipulated in the action plan, they need to double their efforts in pushing for their needs.
“It is quite challenging to keep the pace, especially when dealing with issues at the national level but your continuous voice and reminders will have things done. On many occasions, young people tend to give up on one or two trials but this should not be the case with this vibrant and determined committee I see” Dr.Ben emphasized.
Dr. Ben Kibirige presenting leading a session during the young peoples steering committee meeting
“We are extremely excited about this insightful review meeting and just like our facilitator Mr. Ben advised, through this, and with the guidance of UYAHF, we will not get tired of pushing for our demands until we meet our set targets.” Says Namuddu Shakira, a young person.
The young people further thanked UYAHF for always pushing forward the agenda of the young people and pledged to work closely to achieve the plan’s objective.