Meet our 20 vibrant youth advocacy change champions!
They are a group of young people from the Kyaka II refugee settlement and surrounding and surrounding host communities in Kyegegwa district, who will be working closely with the district of Kyegegwa to advocate for a supportive social, legal and policy environment that promotes access to comprehensive SRHR services and protects the rights of girls.
These Youth Advocacy Change Champions will also amplify the change as role models that can inspire other young people to do the same.
Last week, the champions were engaged in an advocacy leadership camp/training where they were impacted with knowledge and skills in the areas of sexual reproductive health and rights, sexual gender-based violence, advocacy, and leadership.
The camp was a fun and participatory one, and it involved presentation and participatory sessions from facilitators from implementing partners in the settlement, where they will be mainly serving as a center of focus.
A team of advocacy and change champions took a photo with the District Health Officer Dr. Balinda Julius at the closure of the training.
These included; Save the Children, American Refugee Committee, ACODE and representatives from the district health office including the District Health Officer and the District Health Educator. Also in attendance were the in-charge of youth in Kyaka II settlement, Mr. Benson Natuherwa as well as a representative from Baylor Uganda, Mr. Atukunda Frank who explicitly welcomed the program.
“Issues surrounding teenage pregnancy and child marriage are rampant in the camp and they need immediate attention. I am optimistic this intervention will bridge the gap as they work closely with other partners” said Atukunda.
The objectives of the training were to empower the youth advocacy change champions on Sexual Reproductive Health Rights and Sexual Gender-Based Violence issues and to build their capacity on how to advocate for change.
Change champions shared their experiences as they passionately shared some of the information they had gotten from the meeting with their family and wanted to probe further on some of the frequently asked questions.
Together with the facilitators, the youth advocacy change champions visited Bujubuli Secondary School, also located in the settlement camp, for a school outreach for practical engagements.
Issues on body changes, menstrual health management, and positive relationships were discussed. The champions got a first-hand experience on how to handle subsequent outreaches.
UYAHF is looking forward to working with the change champions over the next couple of years as we continue to not only advocate against teenage pregnancy and child marriage but also work with the district of Kyegegwa to come up with a district action plan to end teenage pregnancy and child marriage in the district.