On the 11th of May, 2022, the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum together with the other PTY consortium partners hosted Ms. Annyka Lysen, the program manager at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), to share a number of issues about the PTY program implementation and its progress thus far, among others.

The meeting, held at the UYAHF’s Bukoto office and attended by Mrs. Mable Ssengendo, the Sonke Gender Justice Uganda representative, and other Power To Youth (PTY) consortium partners, was chaired by Dianah Nanyange, the PTY Uganda National Programs Coordinator. It was intended to brief Ms. Annika on the PTY program and also take her through how the MOFA-funded projects are operating in Uganda and how the programs are working with men and boys to achieve gender equality.

Participants shared their organizational mandates and how they fit into the MenEngage network during the meeting

This meeting was part of Ms. Annika’s 3-day visit (9th to 11th of May 2022) to the MenEngage network in Uganda through Sonke Gender Justice to interact with members that subscribe to the MenEngage Africa country network and get a better understanding of how operations are managed at the grassroots level with network members.

The network has over 76 network members who subscribe to 4 thematic groups: fatherhood, Sexual Reproductive Health, and Rights (SRHR), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Gender-Based Violence (GBV), and Human Rights.

During the meeting, the different PTY consortium partners shared their respective organization mandates and the role each partner plays in the program.

Ms. Nakyegera Norah, a representative from UYAHF, noted that being partner B, UYAHF is responsible for the involvement of young people in all the program processes. This is done by ensuring the voices of young people are amplified to demand for increased access to family planning services and challenge the root causes that increase their risk of harmful practices, teenage pregnancy, and SGBV; supporting young people to challenge attitudes, practices, and laws that undermine SRHR for all young people in their diversity; and eliminating harmful practices among others.

While Ms. Josephine explained that the Eastern African Sub-Regional Support Initiative for the Advancement of Women (EASSI) is a feminist sub-regional civil society organization and in the PTY program, it is responsible for women and girls’ involvement and inclusivity.

“In the PTY program, we are partner C, and our role and focus are to bring the girls and young women across different levels on board to speak up for themselves, promote gender equality, ensure that they speak up and challenge the harmful practices they are faced with, like child marriages, teenage pregnancy, female genital mutilation, SGBV, and ensure their access to justice,” she added.

While giving her presentation, Ms. Annika Lysen commended the work being done by the different organizations under the PTY program and lauded the MenEngage network Uganda for coordinating its members to achieve the strategic plan.

She further commended UYAHF for its innovative models used to engage all categories of young people to ensure no one is left behind.

Ms. Annyka Lysen, the program manager at the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) gives her remarks during the meeting.

“Young people are a tricky category to deal with, but I am amazed by the creative approaches you are using to bring them on board. “The youth is indeed a very great initiative,” she added.

Ms. Lysen further acknowledged that, with her visit and interactions, she has achieved a greater understanding of how the MenEngage global, Africa, and Uganda alliances operate.

“I see a very strong relationship between these alliances and the flow of work from global to grassroots organizations in Uganda.” I am impressed by how the country network operates through its thematic groups that are led by selected organizations and the inclusion of the key populations at all levels, especially in the country network leadership structure,” she concluded.