The Ministry of Health Uganda and other health partners in Uganda voted the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum as the best Adolescent Health Implementing Partner and also recognized one of its change champions, Mary Kirunda, as the best peer educator for 2021/2022.

The awards were given at the official closing ceremony of the recently concluded 2nd Annual Safe Motherhood Conference, organized by the Ministry of Health Uganda and the Government of Sweden together with other health implementing partners including UNFPA, UNICEF, Marie Stopes Uganda, Reproductive Health Uganda, and Naguru teenage center, Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum, among others.

The three-day conference was organized under the theme “Strengthening delivery of adolescent responsive health services.”  While receiving the awards on behalf of UYAHF, Leah Oketcho Grace, a project officer, thanked the ministry of health and other partners for their support towards UYAHF’s work in advancing better health for young people and for recognizing its effort.

“Our mandate is to ensure better SRHR for young people across all domains, but this has never been achieved without partnership. On behalf of UYAHF, I take this honor to thank the ministry of health for closely supporting us and not forgetting other partners whom we work with in different spaces. “

She notes that the awards are an encouragement to the UYHAF team to do more and more work in advancing better health for young people.

Mary Kirunda, a change champion at UYAHF who won the award for “best peer educator,” expressed excitement and noted that the award has strengthened her confidence and shown her that hard work pays off, but that it’s only a matter of time.

“I have supported my fellow young people in SRHR throughout the years with a lot of passion and receiving this award shows how much I have been influential,” she said.

“I would like to thank UYHAF for giving me the opportunity through the Youth Hub and other platforms, including local and national spaces, to reach out to young people and try to address the major SRH issues we are faced with, especially adolescent girls and young women,” she added.

She noted that organizations need to give opportunities to young people to not only participate but take the lead in activities, accountability, and evaluation processes so that they become fully modeled leaders and change-makers in their communities.

Among other organizations that received awards are Naguru Teenage Centre and CEHURD-Uganda in different categories. The conference kicked off with a pre-youth safe motherhood conference held on October 24th, 2022 at Speak resort Munyonyo hotel and ended with a national-level event on October 27th, 2022 attended by several government luminaries, ambassadors, religious and cultural leaders, and other health-implementing partners.