- Octaciano (Chano) Benegas GaleasOctaciano (Chano) Benegas Galeas was 22 years old when he became a GOJoven fellow, and is a creative and dedicated leader from Tocoa. Chano’s educational background includes Business Administration and Management and Social Development. He has also been involved in numerous social projects in Tocoa...
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September 26, 2017—World Contraception Day
Ivonne Miranda, M.A. in Psychology, alumna of GOJoven International and Co-founder and Trainer at the GOJoven Honduras Association since 2014, was selected for the 120 Under 40 Award: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders, an initiative sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. This global award recognizes and highlights Ivonne’s achievements as one of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide.
Ivonne Miranda, a young Garifuna woman who was 25 when she became a GOJoven Fellow in 2009, is an active member of GOJoven Honduras, currently sitting on their Fiscal Oversight Committee and serving as Lead Trainer for the organization’s new youth platform in the department of Colon, on Honduras’ northern Caribbean coast. In leading the youth platform, Ivonne is building a cohort of 20 young sexual and reproductive health and rights leaders, ages 15-27, primarily mestizo, indigenous and Garifuna ethnicities, to spearhead local efforts that increase access to contraceptives and reduce the high rates of adolescent pregnancy in their municipalities. Previously, Ivonne worked for nearly 6 years in a comprehensive adolescent clinic at the Salvador Paredes Hospital in Trujillo, Honduras, providing contraception and HIV/AIDS counseling and explaining the correct use of contraceptive methods in a youth-friendly manner. Check out Ivonne’s 120 Under 40 nomination to learn more about what inspires and motivates her as a family planning leader and see photos of her in the field.
The 40 winners for 2017 were chosen through public online voting, scoring by a jury of experts and leaders in family planning, and the project secretariat. Each of the final 40 will receive $1,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health to continue their work in family planning and/or begin innovative new projects. GOJoven International is committed to supporting Ivonne in this new arena, including in the use of her seed fund award, which she aspires to invest in expanding access to contraceptive information and services for youth and adolescents in particularly hard-to-reach areas of Colón, Honduras.
The process took place for the first time in 2016, during which the Director of PHI’s Rise Up Program, Denise Dunning, was selected as 1 of the first 40 champions; 2017 is the second round; and 2019 is the final round. By 2020, 120 outstanding young family planning champions under 40 will be assembled – the year by which the Family Planning 2020 (FP2020) partnership aims to enable 120 million additional women and girls to access life-saving contraceptives and other reproductive health supplies.
“This second group of winners is as outstanding as the first,” says Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and Chair of the 120 Under 40 Jury. “These young leaders are creating positive disruptions all over the world, and their impact will only grow stronger as they forge a new network with their fellow 120 Under 40 winners.”
Ivonne Elena Miranda Card was 25 years old when she became a GOJoven Fellow. Ivonne, a Garifuna woman, graduated with a BA in Psychology at the Universidad Católica de Honduras Nuestra Señora Reina de la Paz in La Ceiba, Honduras in 2007, and later obtained her Master’s Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Education from the Catholic University of Honduras. Upon completing her BA, Ivonne returned to her community and worked as a Psychologist for nearly six years providing individual mental health counseling to adolescents at the Hospital Dr. Salvador Paredes Adolescent Health Center in Trujillo, where she integrated sexual and reproductive health education and services into the Center’s work, as well as in her own counseling. Alongside other GOJoven alumni in Honduran, Ivonne was a co-founder of Asociación GOJoven Honduras in 2014. Ivonne currently resides in her native Santa Fe, department of Colón, Honduras, where she trains local young leaders on sexual and reproductive health issues from a human rights perspective for the project “Together Preventing Pregnancy in Adolescents in Honduras”, implemented by Asociación GOJoven Honduras. In the future, Ivonne wants to continue training young people in family planning issues, advising them about their sexual and reproductive rights. She believes that an empowered and informed young person is guaranteed to be a more committed change agent for him/herself and others.
September 7th, 2016 — Cartagena de Indias, Colombia
By Ivonne Miranda and Eva Burgos
Twenty-two countries gathered at the I Latin America and Caribbean Conference to Reduce Inequities in Sexual and Reproductive Health, held September 6th-8th, 2016, in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia. The conference focused on three themes: 1) Access, quality and demand; 2) Financing and accountability; and 3) Partnership, inter-sectoral collaboration and advocacy.
The Conference was organized by the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Colombia, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and its Salud Mesoamerica Initiative (ISM), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition (RHSC/LACForum), Family Planning 2020 (FP2020), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Colombian non-profit organization Profamilia.
Eva Burgos, Executive Director of GOBelize, and Ivonne Miranda, Regional Coordinator of the Department of Colon, Assembly Member and Member of the GOJoven Honduras Association Audit Committee, were invited by the Conference’s Steering Committee to serve as Country Delegates from Belize and Honduras, respectively, also represented GOJoven International at this high-level forum.
On the second day of the Conference, GOJoven participated in the booth area called the “Ideas Marketplace”, where Eva Burgos and Ivonne Miranda, with the support of the IBP Initiative, presented GOJoven International’s story to the audience, from its beginnings up to the present. They focused on how youth leadership training under the GOJoven Model is a promising practice for reducing inequities in sexual and reproductive health (SRH). Reaffirming youth leadership among other good practices in SRH, Ados May, Technical Advisor of the IBP Initiative’s Secretariat, shared the High Impact Practices in Family Planning (HIPs) developed by the IBP partner organizations with the support of USAID. Participants from Peru, Jamaica and El Salvador, among others, were some of those most interested in adopting the GOJoven Model methodologies in their countries.
The GOJoven presentation was deemed by many participants as one of the most useful and engaging presentations, as it offers a training model that can be adapted to the reality of many countries. Attendees were impressed by the fact that the program not only strengthens the young community leader in the area of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues, but also strengthens their educational level, thereby providing communities with empowered leaders with improved professional skills. Such was the case of GOJoven Honduras alumna Ivonne Miranda, who presented her personal experience as woman leader of the Garifuna ethnic group who participated in the GOJoven program in 2009 in the Department of Colon. With a Summit Scholarship from the Summit Foundation, managed by GOJoven International, Ivonne was able to complete her university studies and obtained a Master’s degree in Psychology, specializing in Education.
In the case of GOBelize, as a result of their participation in the Conference they further strengthened their collaborative relationship with and the commitment of Belize’s Ministry of Health (MOH), particularly regarding the draft national law for sexual and reproductive health. Although the draft law had been tabled, the Ministry of Health pledged to resume its efforts with the aim of having it passed and implemented. Having been part of these discussions in Cartagena, the MOH later invited GOBelize to help convene a Commission on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Ultimately, GOBelize was also elected to sit on this Commission, assuming an active role with the other national multi-sectoral stakeholders who will together consider, promote and propel the adoption of this regulatory framework for young people and adolescents’ rights, and for other marginalized populations in the country. After the Conference, the NGO Belize Youth Empowerment for Change (BYEC) also became a member of the Commission, under the leadership of another GOJoven Belize alumnus, Stephen Diaz (2013).
Moreover, the Conference proved to be a space for dialogue and partnership-building for GOJoven. The two representatives introduced the work of GOJoven in several parallel working meetings with the Vice-Minister of Health from Honduras and with international organizations working in Latin America and the Caribbean, such as Population Action International (PAI), FP2020, UNFPA, the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Mesoamerican Health Initiative, and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). As a result of the meeting with FP2020, Ivonne Miranda was featured on the FP2020 online radio program and blog “Family Planning Voices”, where they highlighted adolescents’ unmet need for contraceptives in Honduras and her efforts towards achieving increased access. See the transcription here.
These two GOJoven leaders stood out as experts on the topic of youth leadership development for reducing SRH inequities, and are taking what they learned back to their countries to continue strengthening accountability and multi-sectoral efforts to advance the SRHR of the most vulnerable adolescents and youth. Both GOBelize and GOJoven Honduras saw immediate positive results of the increased visibility they gained for GOJoven at this high-level regional Conference. Learn more about the Conference content and check the archives and presentations here!
On International Women’s Day, GOJoven is thrilled to be on our way to New York to be part of the 58th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW)! CSW58 brings together member states, UN entities, and NGOs to discuss and address the challenges and achievements related to the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for women and girls.
The eight MDGs, below, form a blueprint for how the world’s governments and largest development organizations can meet the needs of the world’s most marginalized people.
GOJoven is committed to helping achieve the MDGs with specific emphasis on achieving MDGs 3, 5, and 6. Millions of adolescents across Mexico and Central America continue to face gender-based violence, high risks of early pregnancy, and STI/HIV infection.
The GOJoven Youth Leadership training model promotes gender equality, family planning and HIV prevention by building the capacity of young leaders and organizations to create positive change in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) programs, policies and services in Mexico and Central America.
GOJoven promotes and facilitates the empowerment of young women from Mestizo, Mayan, Garifuna and Creole cultures across Belize, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras. Following participation in the GOJoven program, fellows like Ivonne from Honduras have gone on to open youth friendly spaces and clinics to meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of hundreds of adolescents and youth. Other fellows like Nekeisha from Belize have committed to helping educate young women on their reproductive rights and how to protect themselves against early pregnancy.
We look forward to continuing our work to help achieve the MDGs and the opportunity to be part of the 58th Commission on the Status of Women. If you are in New York at CSW58 please join us at our panel presentation “Leading the Way: Youth-Centered Health Strategies in Action” with Let Girls Lead and Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) that will be held on Friday, March 14th in the Boss Room on the 8th floor of the UN Church Center from 8:30am – 10:00am. We’ll be posting updates and photos from the event to our Facebook, so be sure to Like our page and follow along.