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GOJoven Fellows organize First National Youth Conference for Sexual and Reproductive Health in Guatemala City
Yesterday the City of Guatemala hosted the First National Youth Conference for Sexual and Reproductive Health. Approximately 175 youth and over 25 different civil organizations in Guatemala met at the Holiday Inn of Zone 10, in the City of Guatemala, to exchange their experiences in the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and present their proposed solutions to the Guatemalan government. Nine GOJoven Fellows helped organize and facilitate the event and 10 beneficiaries from the GOJoven Fellows’ Leadership Action Plans attended to share their experiences in SRHR.
Attorney Tracie Saravia, AGALI/PHI Fellow, from the Collective Youth Revolution and Juan Pablo Escalante, GOJoven/PHI Fellow, inaugurated the conference and emphasized the need to listen to youth in the creation and implementation of public policies to improve access to sexual education and SRH services. Some of the attendees represented various Guatemalan authorities and international entities, including Dr. Ludy Rodas, National Program Coordinator of Reproductive Health, Dr. Gustavo Batres from the Public Health Ministry and Social Assistance, Ana Luisa Rivas, Guatemalan UNFPA Representative, Christian Skoog, Guatemalan UNICEF Representative, and Kathy Hall, Program Officer at the Summit Foundation.
The youth attendees of the conference met in five simultaneous round-tables facilitated by youth groups to talk about SRHR, teen pregnancy, HIV and sexual violence. Today, September 25th, the youth participants will present their proposed solutions to the Guatemalan government.
The Ministry of Social Development in Guatemala has published the “National Report on the World Survey Regarding the Progress on the Programme of Action for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD).” GOJoven Guatemala participated in the survey that informed this report, which can be accessed at the link below. Below you will also find a pdf that summarizes the progress on the ICPD Programme of Action in Guatemala.
Full report (in Spanish) Informe CIPD Guatemala junio 2013
Summary slides (in Spanish) Situación Guate C+20
The Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program of the Public Health Institute held the third in a series of national meetings (the second of this year) in Guatemala from September 21 to 23, 2012, and a press conference on September 24, 2012. All GOJoven fellows from the 2004 to 2012 cohorts were invited; 28 fellows attended.
Achievements: Fellows who participated in this meeting were able to:
- share their vision about the expected results of the GOJoven program, and the activities to develop in Guatemala at the community, departmental and national levels, highlighting the consolidation of the networks in Guatemala at the national and regional level from a perspective of forming partnerships and advocating for Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH)
- consider the needs of the GOJoven Guatemala network, including the fact that the human resources should be graduated GOJoven Fellows with the commitment and willingness to support the GOJoven network
- consolidate the “Supporting Network” between those same fellows, developing trust, dependability, the ability to effectively use technology and, with the support of legal personnel at the national level, implement positive strategies and develop innovative proposals based on strategic planning
Impact results include: the voiced commitment of the GOJoven Network through a press conference, publicizing the alliance between GOJoven and OSAR (Sexual and Reproductive Health Observatory) in order to work together to reduce adolescent teen pregnancies in Guatemalan communities; a delegation of GOJoven Fellows’ active participation in seven focus groups in order to give strategic input into a meeting about the progress of the Cairo Program of Action; participation of GOJoven Fellows in a consultation about integrated sex education, “Sexuality: an integrated look into the human rights of youth and the road to Cairo +20,” held by the “Güipil Weavers” platform, which is implemented by associated organizations of UNFPA Guatemala.
Wilson was working as a community development technician and a project administration technician at Universidad Galileo when he became a Fellow. This young indigenous leader is quite active within his community. He supported a group of women on how to work with young people in their community and worked with a reproductive health network. He has a certificate in gender violence from the Universidad Autónoma of Madrid, and is in the process of finishing his Bachelor’s degree in Project Administration. Wilson is fluent in Spanish and Kakchiquel. His goal is to continue studying Business Administration, and to build a group of young people with the group of women he supports in San Andres Semetabaj. In the long term, he would like to form his own organization, focusing on gender and SRH topics. When he was selected as a Fellow at GOJoven, Wilson was 24 years old.
Erick was working for a program of the Committee for AIDS Prevention Educators (COEPSIDA) on SRH and HIV/AIDS education within the Department of Education at Sololá when he was selected as a Fellow. He coordinated trainings in these topics for teachers, students, and young people with NGOs, and the Ministry of Health. Erick would like to have an influence in the education department and the education sector to develop an SRH network that includes a process to develop young leaders in all municipalities, both at basic and diversified levels. Erick is fluent in Spanish and Kaqchikel. His short-term goal is to finish his thesis and graduate in Business Administration. Erick would like to build a career as a coordinator of educational delivery, and to work developing the subject matter within the Department of Education in Sololá. Erick was 28 years old when he was selected as a GOJoven Fellow.
Milo is the founder and current President of the youth group AJPU in San Lucas Toliman in the south of Atitlan Lake in the Department of Sololá. This group is a member of the Maya Peoples Federation (FEDEMPA) from the Network for the Defense of Food Sovereignty of Guatemala (REDSAG). As a young indigenous leader, Milo works with topics of the Maya cosmology, permaculture, and environment, as well as public advocacy issues. He has social vision, a conviction to work with youth, and knowledge of community organization and participation. He graduated from Colegio Integral Toliman (CIT) as a Primary Education Teacher in 2003, and would like to study Sociology. Milo was 28 years old when he was selected as a GOJoven Fellow.
Sara was working with PRODESCA, an organization that provides community health care services, as a facilitator of services for women when she became a Fellow. Sara has worked as an instructor for women’s networks in SRH, nutrition and basic health care topics. She has also received several trainings in community organization, mental health, and diagnosis. This multi-lingual indigenous leader speaks fluent Tz’utujil and Spanish, as well as basic English and Kakchiquel. Sara studied nursing, and wishes to attain her professional degree. Her goal is to travel to other places to study and broaden her knowledge in her areas of interest. When she was selected as a GOJoven Fellow, Sara was 22 years old.
Bony was working at the K’ak’a Naój Association for Women’s Development promoting women’s integral development in the Department of Sololá when she became a Fellow. This young indigenous leader has had different roles defending women, including teaching adult literacy, as an election monitor in public elections, and participating as a board member for different women’s groups. She has also participated in activities and meetings with young people, and in a Latin American meeting for Sexual and Reproductive Rights. Bony is fluent in Kiche, Kakchiquel, and Spanish, and holds a degree as Kiche-Spanish Bilingual Primary Education Teacher. She later studied to become a secondary education teacher in social sciences. Her long-term goal is to teach social sciences and natural sciences to young people, and to work towards the prevention of teenage pregnancy. She is devoted to fighting for women to be able to present initiatives and participate more strongly in the Municipal Development Council (COMUDE). Bony was 29 years old when she was selected as a GOJoven Fellow.
Jessica was working as the Network Coordinator at the Municipal Office for the Protection of Children and Adolescents, where she followed up on reports of human rights violations of children and teenagers in Panajachel, whens he became a Fellow. Jessica graduated from Youth Networks, an organization that works in politics, environment and communications. This young indigenous leader is currently studying Business Administration and is fluent in both Spanish and Kakchiquel. Once she graduates, she would like to start an organization with young graduates from Youth Networks, to benefit children and teenagers. Jessica was 21 years old when she was selected as a GOJoven Fellow.
Sara had more than eight years working at the Women’s Integral Development Association (AFDI) when she was selected as a GOJoven Fellow in 2011. She began her work at AFDI as a member, then with a position as treasurer, and is now the president and legal representative of the organization. Sara also works as a trainer for the National Women’s Forum, where she facilitates workshops with groups of women and youth from various communities, and high schools in Huehuetenango. Presently, she is working to carry out a project for survivors of domestic violence in collaboration with the National Organization for Prevention of Domestic Violence (CONAPREVI) and the Women’s Advisory Department of Development (CODEDEH) in Huehuetenango. Her goal is to support women’s and youth groups in ways to prevent and eradicate sexual violence. Sara has her high school degree in computer studies and her goal is to gain an undergraduate degree in social work. Sara Beatriz was selected as a GOJoven Fellow when she was 28 years old.