GOBelize is pleased to share their News Bulletin highlighting their activities through April 2016.
We appreciate your continued support for and collaboration with GOBelize!
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Under the auspices of the World Bank and the Sexual Violence Research Initiative (SVRI), Jinna Rosales as Executive Director of GOJoven Honduras and Bhupendra Sheoran as Executive Director of Youth+Tech+Health (YTH) attended the “Development Marketplace for Innovation on Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response” in Washington DC from April 16 to 20, 2018. In this high level event, they presented the new collaboration project ZonaSegura, which they will implement in Honduras with GOJoven International of PHI starting in June 2018 until December 2019.
ZonaSegura is a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative mobile solution to address teen dating violence in Honduras. Selected in February 2018, YTH in partnership with GOJoven Honduras and the GOJoven International program of the Public Health Institute (PHI) will begin to implement this project to prevent teen dating violence (TDV) through the provision of prevention information, healthy relationship education, and geo-location linkage to TDV services and resources. This new project will leverage the high rates of mobile phone usage among young women and girls (YWG) and men and boys (YMB) ages 14-19 in Honduras to assist them in overcoming individual and structural barriers to accessing rights-based and gender-sensitive TDV prevention information and services.
The “Development Marketplace for Innovation” was carried out in the framework of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group’s 2018 Spring Meetings in Washington DC. It included a full week of events that aimed to bring together and recognize the eleven winning project teams of the World Bank and SVRI’s open call for innovations in addressing gender-based violence prevention. More than 250 proposals from low and middle income countries were put forward for this call. The eleven winning teams hailed from Honduras (ZonaSegura), Colombia, Perú, Armenia, Camboya, Jordan, Kenya, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, and South Africa, with several innovative projects based on the theme (see here for the complete list).
The teams were publicly recognized in an Awards Ceremony on April 17, where speakers included World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and the World Bank Senior Director for Gender Caren Grown, among others. Bhupendra Sheoran (Executive Director of YTH) and Jinna Rosales (Executive Director of GOJoven Honduras) were present at the awards ceremony, and the dialogue panel spoke about ZonaSegura before an audience of over a hundred different donors and governmental and non-governmental parties. The video of the event is available on the event page and was registered on Twitter with the hashtag #GBVsolutions
The other collaboration events during the week sought to: foster working relationships and the exchange of technical knowledge among participants, strengthen key skills applied to innovation and gender-based violence prevention projects, and support south-south learning. Rosales and Sheoran participated in workshops on these objectives that addressed conceptual frameworks on gender, monitoring tools, and research and evaluation methods. In addition, they presented the concept of ZonaSegura to journalists and donors with a focus on the Central American region, as well as on the Marketplace Stand with a poster and through informal dialogue with interested parties. They strengthened partnerships with the OPS and regional representatives of the World Bank, agreeing on collaboration priorities and opportunities supporting the prevention of gender violence that affects youth and women.
At the Marketplace Stand, dozens of interested people from other civil society organizations around the world as well as technical organizations and donors came together, all interested in tackling the prevention of gender violence in a country like Honduras that already has extremely high rates of widespread violence. They were also interested in the diverse range of sexual and reproductive health and rights issues of adolescents and youth that GOJoven Honduras manages, an association whose approach extends beyond sexual violence and dating violence to encompass comprehensive sex education, access to contraceptive methods and emergency comprehension, and adolescent-friendly health services, among other fundamental pillars of positive youth development.
According to Jinna Rosales, “For GOJoven Honduras, ZonaSegura is a technological alternative for and from adolescents, and a tool that will boost their leadership to prevent dating violence. In this highly violent country, ZonaSegura is a challenge that seeks to become a reality and, in this way, increase the security of adolescents in the different localities of the country.”
By participating in this high level forum, GOJoven Honduras and its partner organizations equipped themselves with new tools – contacts, alliances, resources and visibility – that will strengthen ZonaSegura, both on the international and national scene, especially with only a few days until its launch in June 2018. To follow the project, become a fan of their Facebook pages: GOJoven Honduras, GOJoven International, and YTH.
GOBelize is pleased to share their News Bulletin highlighting their activities through January 2018.
We appreciate your continued support for and collaboration with GOBelize!
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GOJoven International Director, Esther Tahrir, presented a new poster about the scale-up of GOJoven’s unique model of youth leadership development at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association (APHA), held on November 4-8, in Atlanta, Georgia.
The poster, titled “GOJoven: Scaling Up a Unique Model of Youth Leadership Development to Improve Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health“, lays out the program’s 13 years of history into two phases, and explains its core components, results and lessons learned, focusing on the scale-up efforts undertaken largely by the local in-country GOJoven Alumni Associations in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Quintana Roo, Mexico, since 2013. It was authored by Tahrir and her colleague Susanna Moore, Project Manager for GOJoven International.
The poster was featured alongside other global interventions and studies in a session about “Global Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights” on Sunday, November 5, 2017. Download the poster here to learn more!
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.”
July 13, 2017
GOJoven International deeply mourns the death of one of its alumni Fellows, Luis Joel Rivera Perdomo, who was also a member of Asociación GOJoven Honduras since it was created in 2013. Luis was murdered the night of July 12, 2017, a few meters from his home in the city of Tegucigalpa. According to information provided by his family, Luis Joel had received death threats in the recent past. We condemn his murder and demand that the Government of Honduras seek justice for this case. Honduras is one of the most dangerous countries in the world for minorities, including Human Rights Defenders.
Luis was a Fellow in our Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven) in 2006, as part of a team of three young leaders representing Honduras. He was a Sociology student and member of the Board of the Sociology Student Association at the National Autonomous University of Honduras (UNAH, in Spanish). He also performed in theatre productions and worked as an event organizer. He was an excellent young leader who, since joining GOJoven, used art, advocacy, and capacity-building to fight for the Human Rights of youth in Honduras and Mesoamerica, particularly sexual and reproductive rights.
As a part of his life’s work, Luis founded and ran his own theater company, Sombra Roja, in which he used community theater to raise awareness about and promote HIV and gender-based violence prevention. He also used his company to give other young Hondurans an opportunity for advancement and activism.
Luis supported GOJoven International in training new young leaders in Honduras and to create our 10 year GOJoven Anniversary Video to share our message about GOJoven’s most significant impacts. We always admired his sense of humor, his service ethos, and his true creativity, vision and commitment to positive social change and justice. He was, without a doubt, a man of great courage and love for life and for others.
We deeply mourn the death of our friend and colleague, Luis Joel, and we will continue to fight in his name against the horrendous and tragic violence and injustice in his country. Yesterday our GOJoven family lost a dear brother. We will not forget our partner in this fight, Luis Joel. Rest in peace.
May 12, 2017
Every year, Youth Tech Health (YTH) hosts YTHLive, a convening of professionals in youth advocacy, health, and technology in San Francisco, California. This year, Susanna Moore, Project Manager for GOJoven International, and Olivia LaFond, Administrative Coordinator for Global Health Leaders, attended the conference representing their respective programs at the Public Health Institute (PHI).
In partnership with FHI360 and IDEO.org, YTH hosted a Design Challenge, encouraging conference participants to explore human-centered design methods and design a solution to a challenge addressing adolescents’ reproductive health needs.
Together, their team designed a menu of youth-led social media campaigns aimed at sparking conversation among and collecting feedback from peer groups about birth control. Targeting adolescents with diverse interests and values that use social media platforms in communities around the world, their solution makes conversations about birth control fun and accessible. Susanna and Olivia teamed up with two other conference participants from Baltimore-based Healthy Teen Network to tackle the challenge. Over the course of 48 hours, they interviewed many young people to learn more about their social media habits in discussing reproductive health and contraceptives. As a team, they zeroed in on a main theme which became the platform on which they designed their solution: teens value trust when engaging with others about their reproductive health.
Susanna, Olivia, and their teammates from Healthy Teen Network presented their solution to the YTHLive attendees during the Closing Plenary and were selected as the runner-up in the Design Challenge. They hope to build upon this rewarding experience and advance their technologically innovative design in the future to improve adolescents reproductive health.
Article by Susanna Moore, GOJoven International, and Olivia LaFond, Global Health Leaders
“With the creation of the new GOJoven Network, GOJoven takes another step forward in its history and seeks to strengthen its actions via regional and international collaboration.”
-Ricardo Baruch, Activist and scientist
Belize City, April 2017— Leaders from the GOJoven Guatemala, GOJoven Mexico, GOBelize and GOJoven Honduras Associations convened in Belize City on April 8th and 9th, 2017, to dialogue and build consensus around the creation of a new, formalized GOJoven Network. The Network is made up of the four GOJoven Associations, which committed to sustaining it through the active participation of their members, employees and volunteers. Together they are dedicated to redoubling their efforts to promote comprehensive youth development in the Americas, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights and human rights.
The new Network will operate based on the same values that guided the GOJoven Program during its more than 13 years of work in the region, namely: We can change the world by investing in youth; different points of view make us stronger; and systems change when youth get involved.
Taking into account the four GOJoven Associations’ common objectives, priorities and history—having been founded by alumni of PHI’s GOJoven International capacity-building fellowship program–, the creation of this formal network was seen as an important next step for GOJoven. One of the Associations’ common priorities is addressing and reducing the major inequities in sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) that youth face in the Mesoamerican region. This strategic decision was based on the results network mapping, a SWOT analysis, and surveys and interviews conducted with internal and external GOJoven stakeholders.
While the SRHR challenges posed by the current local, regional and international political and financial contexts may make progress on these issues difficult, they also represent an opportunity for the GOJoven Network to use its over ten years of experience to push for unmet needs to be addressed. With this goal, the Network seeks to bring visibility to and strengthen the joint efforts already underway by its members, by way of the following initial objectives:
Currently in their strategic planning phase, the Network will begin to operate officially in June 2017, with the implementation of its governance structure and work plan. During the current interim period, each GOJoven Association will continue to be represented by those who attended this founding meeting: the Executive Director, a Board of Directors member, and another alumnus member of each respective Association, by which they were selected. The following people also participated in this founding meeting to provide technical assistance: Esther Tahrir and Susanna Moore, GOJoven International Director and Project Manager, respectively, who lead GOJoven International at the Public Health Institute; Kathy Hall, Program Director at the Summit Foundation as GOJoven funder; Ricardo Baruch as SRHR network expert and facilitator; and GOJoven Evaluator, Julie Solomon.
Authors: Susanna Moore and Esther Tahrir at GOJoven International/PHI
“Like” our Facebook pages to learn more about the GOJoven Associations:
GOJoven Guatemala: www.facebook.com/LiderazGOJovenGuatemala/
GOJoven México: www.facebook.com/gojovenmex.oficial/
GOJoven Honduras: www.facebook.com/redgojovenhonduras/
GOJoven International: www.facebook.com/gojoven.org/
March 8th, 2017
GOJoven International, based at the Public Health Institute in the U.S., trained over 200 young people as leaders in adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) between 2004 and 2012. Since then, the GOJoven alumni fellows and their allies in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico have trained an additional 174 young leaders by adapting and using the GOJoven Model. With this approach, these young leaders are using their newly formed independent, youth-led organizations – GOBelize, GOJoven Guatemala, GOJoven Honduras, and GOJoven Mexico – to multiply the number of SRHR champions who are working together to advance and uphold the rights of those most in need. Who are these young leaders and how do they plan to step up their commitments to young women and adolescent girls in 2017?
On International Women’s Day, GOJoven International is proud to highlight some of its young women leaders who are spearheading these efforts on behalf of GOJoven in Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico and Belize. Meet them and get to know their vision for the women and girls in their communities, countries and the world! Their messages on this historic day inspire us to “be bold for change and equality”. You can also find out more about all the GOJoven leaders in the region and their collective actions for change that are advancing gender equality today and every day.
Jinna Rosales, Executive Director of GOJoven Honduras
“As a woman leader in Honduras, I want to promote the prevention of violence against women, prevent obstacles to accessing justice, education and health, and workplace discrimination, and foster protection of sexual and reproductive rights. This year I am dedicated to strengthening processes that guarantee equality, justice, liberty and diversity and protect the human rights of women and girls in Honduras. For me, International Women’s Day is important because it represents a historic day of women’s struggle and empowerment around the world and has an inspiring legacy of fighting for equitable and just treatment of women”.
Ana Lourdes Tojín, 2005 GOJoven Fellow and Executive Director of GOJoven Guatemala
“As a woman leader in Guatemala I want to see a more humane country for us as women, where we can walk freely and be respected as adult women and girls. This year I will work in the name of women and girls of my country, carrying out activities that educate others about sexual and reproductive rights and especially the right to choose. For me, International Women’s Day is important because, thanks to the brave women of my country and the world who have fought for their rights, I can now enjoy those rights too and raise my own voice to ensure they are a reality for others.”
Marta Honoria Castillo, 2007 GOJoven Fellow and Training Coordinator for GOJoven Guatemala
“As a woman leader my vision is that women and girls can exercise their right to choose, without coercion or imposition by anyone. That’s why my commitment for this year is to continue speaking out about and promoting sexual and reproductive rights.
International Women’s Day is very important because it recognizes working women, those who day in and day out are fighting for equality with men, both in society and their personal lives. This goes back in history. Our society needs to know that the U.N. officially proclaimed March 8th to be International Day of Women’s Rights and World Peace, in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment.
Currently, as we are witnessing how world events are raising the profile of women’s issues, we take this opportunity to commemorate the historic struggles of women who have come together to collectively fight for equality and for labor, professional, personal and education rights. No more sexual violence against women, no more forced pregnancies among girls, no more imposition on my choices by conservative sectors.”
Jacinta Chan Pech, 2008 GOJoven Fellow and Legal Representative of GOJoven México
“As a woman leader in my community in the Mayan region of Tulum in Quintana Roo, Mexico, I want to propel the leadership and empowerment of Mayan women. This year I will dedicate my efforts to increasing the participation of women and adolescents in exercising their right to equal opportunities. For me, International Women’s Day is important because it recognizes all women regardless of their social status, economic position in society or ethnicity; it recognizes all women as equals. We should celebrate all the women of the world! Indigenous women, native women, ‘Let’s raise our voices and be heard’, ‘T’aanako’on ka u’uya’ako’on’.”
Cecilia Kay Nicté Chablé Berlín, 2007 GOJoven Fellow and member of the Board of Directors of GOJoven Mexico
“This year I’m dedicated to empowering adolescent and young women to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights by motivating them to use the media and public forums to express their voices, their lived realities, and their expectations about sexual and reproductive health in their communities.”
Nancy Leiva, 2009 GOJoven Fellow and outgoing President of the GOBelize Board of Directors
“As a Belizean leader and woman, this year I will continue to speak out against gender inequality in all its forms. I will continue to teach my students to treat women and men equally, to respect our differences and remember that we need each other on mutual and common ground for our country to develop.
I will continue to be the teacher that does not tolerate when boys say things like ‘stop acting like a girl’ or ‘stop playing sports like a girl’ because this one statement is packed with discrimination, as if being a woman is a bad thing. In my classroom, I will continue to emphasize that real men support women and that women should not be afraid to be who they are and speak their mind and demand the respect they deserve. I will continue to take on leadership roles because I want to and because I can, not to prove that women can lead just as well as men but because I want to lead and it is my divine right to lead.
I will continue to be the outspoken daughter, niece, sister, aunt and cousin that has influenced my family to the point that they too are being more open minded and are speaking out against any form of discrimination against women. I feel proud to have influenced my 14-year-old niece and my aunt to write an essay denouncing gender-based violence simply because they wanted to and felt they could write what they think. They say it has a lot to do with my way of thinking and how it has rubbed off on them. I think that is a good thing! It is the small details that make the difference. One stepping stone at a time we can all make a difference.”
GOJoven International, PHI’s flagship adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) program, was specially invited by the Colombian Ministry of Health to present its award winning GOJoven Model and outcomes at the IV National Forum on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, held September 22-23, 2016, in Bogotá, Colombia.
The government of Colombia is interested in partnering with GOJoven International to replicate the GOJoven Model as a part of Colombia’s adolescent pregnancy prevention national strategy. The country’s Ministry of Health began discussing the potential collaboration following a presentation by GOJoven’s Founder and Director Esther Tahrir at a regional meeting about Family Planning and the Zika Epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean in June 2016, where she highlighted GOJoven’s unique Youth Leadership Development approach to improving AYSRH. That meeting was held in Lima, Perú, under the auspices of the IBP Initiative and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO).
Colombia’s IV National Forum on Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention brought together over 100 participants from across the Colombia, including government, UN, and non-governmental organizations and a diverse group of youth and adolescent leaders who are spearheading efforts with their peers to reduce adolescent pregnancy in their municipalities. Susanna Moore, GOJoven International’s Project Coordinator, and Esther Barajas, GOJoven Guatemala’s Board President and GOJoven alumni fellow, were the featured international guests at the Forum. They shared the GOJoven experience through a high-level panel addressing: “Transformational Participation: Experiences of Adolescents and Youth”, which garnered the interest of participants from across sectors, including Colombia’s National Intersectoral Commission for the Promotion and Guarantee of Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
The National Commission brings together representatives from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education, the Presidential Office, the Colombian Institute of Family Welfare, the National Learning Service, UNFPA, UNICEF and PAHO, among others. Their mission is to harmonize the country’s sexual and reproductive rights-related plans, programs and interventions with their National Sexual and Reproductive Health Policy, while uplifting youth and adolescents both as partners and beneficiaries. GOJoven’s leaders are liaising with the Commission to share strategies and determine how the GOJoven Model could be scaled up from Central America and Mexico to Colombia and used to further strengthen and enhance the Commission’s ongoing work with local populations of youth leaders in the field of AYSRH.
The objective of the Forum was to create a space for analysis and reflection on national and international strategies for promoting adolescent pregnancy prevention. It took place during the Andean Week of Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention, which was celebrated in Colombia from September 19-30, 2016, with a range of public events aimed to build awareness around and promote strategies for reducing unplanned adolescent pregnancy. This year’s theme was “Sexuality without Mystery. Dispelling Myths and Exercising your Rights!”