- Shanese PitzoldShanese Pitzold was an honor student in the Natural Resource Management program at the University of Belize. She has received a certificate of distinction from The Associated Board of Royal Schools of Music in London, and her professional experience includes working as an office assistant at NEMO an...
In December, 2012, GOJoven Fellow Elmer Cornejo (Belize 2009) wrote a series of TV spots for the Centaur Cable Network in Belize on a variety of Sexual and Reproductive Health Topics, including the recent ICPD Global Youth Forum in Bali, Indonesia. Transcripts are available in PDF below:
PDF: Global Youth Forum
PDF: Same Sex Marriage
PDF: HIV Testing
PDF: World AIDS Week
The Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven) of the Public Health Institute held the second national meeting of 2012 from October 5-7 in Comayagua,Honduras. All of the GOJoven graduates from 2004-2012 were invited, with the 2012 team participating in an additional national training on October 3-4; in the end, 27 fellows attended the meeting.
Achievements: fellows who attended the national meeting were able to,
- identify opportunities for collaboration among different fellows in order to improve communication and strengthen the fellows’ network
- renew their commitment to the program
- identify new tools to advocate at the level of local governments and decision-makers
- share stories of personal and professional growth, and what it has meant for them to be a GOJoven Fellow
About impact results: the fellows discussed the importance of sustainability of the impact of the program for 2013 and 2014, the results of which discussion are,
- the creation of a structured coordinating scheme for the next six months
- the creation of a facilitating team in Tegucigalpa that will direct the sustainability process for the program
- the selection of a representative in each region through a nomination process
- the identification of “Prevention of Adolescent Pregnancy” as an urgent issue the GOJoven Honduras team will be working on in the coming two years
- the creation of an action plan with results and activities for each region, which regional teams will be implementing in the next six months
Danessa Luna, the founder of Asociación Generando in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, shared her work on empowering and teaching adolescent girls to defend their human rights with the Public Health Institute (PHI). Danessa’s NGO provides comprehensive services to women who have experienced or are at risk for sexual violence, including legal support, psychological and medical care, social support and temporary shelter to women who are victims of violence. Another facet of the organization’s work focuses on educating women and girls about their health, sexual and reproductive rights, violence and fostering new leadership in young women. Danessa has a long history of collaborating with PHI. She graduated from GOJoven’s Training of Trainers and continues to be a key trainer for the GOJoven program in the areas of gender, violence prevention and sexual and reproductive rights. In 2011, Danessa was selected as an Fellow of the Adolescent Girls Advocacy and Leadership Program (AGALI), and for the past two years, the AGALI program has funded Asociación Generando to establish one of the only women’s shelters in Guatemala and also to provide girl-centered services at the shelter for adolescent girls seeking refuge from violent situations at home.
Asociación Generando also advocates with the Guatemalan government to implement the law against femicide, which is an increasing problem in Guatemala. On April 9, 2008, Guatemala passed the Ley contra el Femicidio y otras Formas de Violencia contra la Mujer [Law Against Femicide and Other Forms of Violence Against Women or “Femicide Law”] and although the passage of this law is considered very positive on a symbolic level, Danessa shared with us that impunity for these crimes continues and that the number of femicides continues to rise year after year.
A graduate in Sociology at San Carlos University in Guatemala, Danessa is currently a Fellow of the International Fellowship Program (iLEAP) inSeattlefunded by the Seattle Foundation, where she joins a network of change leaders that are committed to building strong global partnerships for social change.
GOJoven Alumni Fellows Gabriela Flores (Honduras 2006) and Nancy Levia (Belize 2009), along with GOJoven staff Esther Tahrir and Denise Dunning, will be participating in the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Global Youth Forum in Bali, Indonesia, Dec 3-6 2012.
If you are between the ages of 14 and 25 you can participate in the Forum virtually. You can register as a virtual delegate and follow the conference presentations online and contribute directly using web, mobile and social media to submit your recommendations on the Forum themes.
Moderators will ensure that the recommendations from virtual delegates are heard and as an official delegate, your name and the country you are from will be included in a report to the Secretary General of the United Nations.
To register as a virtual delegate click here
GOBelize collaborated with the Global Fund sponsored UNDP initiative to develop and implement a training of trainers (TOT) for 14 Youth for the Future (YFF) staff and 6 GOJoven Fellows. The TOT focused on providing a targeted response to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in out-of-school youth between the ages of 15-24. GOBelize and Global Fund plan to collaborate in future youth-focused TOT to help combat the spread of HIV/AIDS. For more information on the Global Fund/UNDP Stop the Spread of HIV/AIDS Initiative in Belize visit: http://tinyurl.com/9uusgf5
UNFPA invited Gabriela Flores (Honduras 2006) to facilitate an SRH-related breakout session at the International Conference on Population and Development’s (ICPD) Global Youth Forum in Bali, Indonesia, Dec 4-6 2012. The Forum will bring together over 900 delegates to agree on global recommendations for action on crucial issues that affect youth, including SRH. Esther Tahrir and Denise Dunning of GOJoven have also been sponsored by UNFPA to facilitate the Youth Forum; and Maribel Puc (Mexico 2010) will be participating in the Forum.
As the representative of the GOJoven Regional Network, Gabriela will have the opportunity to lay the groundwork for creating strategic alliances between GOJoven and international and regional platforms and networks working in ASRH advocacy.
During the Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala national meetings Fellows were asked to provide feedback on the potential impacts a GOJoven regional network could have in the next phase of the program. This input will be incorporated into the GOJoven strategic plan in 2013-2014.
GOJoven Fellows in Quintana Roo, Mexico have been participating actively in SEEDSSA’s advocacy for the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and youth to various local governmental leaders in order to ensure that the “Prevent through Education” Ministerial Declaration is properly implemented in Quintana Roo, Mexico. GOJoven Fellows together with other local youth leaders are participating on working groups to develop a strategic plan to ensure the government in Quintana Roo meets their commitments. SEEDSSA and GOJoven Fellows recently met with local representatives from the Ministries of Health and Education to present their recommendations.
GOJoven became a member of the Reproductive Health Observatories Network (OSAR), a national network that monitors the implementation ofGuatemala’s Universal Law for Family Planning and Sexual Education and the associated improvement of reproductive health outcomes inGuatemala. The upshot of membership to the OSAR is that GOJoven will have input into the network’s priorities and actions at the national and departmental levels, and the opportunity to join forces with local key reproductive health organizations and decision makers to improve adolescent reproductive health.
GOJoven and OSAR held a press conference on September 26, International Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Day, to raise awareness around the issue of adolescent pregnancy. During a press conference, youth leaders from both organizations, including Esther Barajas (2006), Juan Pablo Escalante (2011), and Sara Quiejú (2012), formed part of the youth panel that signed a memo of understanding to work towards increasing adolescent’s sexual and reproductive rights in order to reduce early unwanted pregnancies.
Ten media outlets were present and the audience included members of the Ministry of Health and APROFAM. The media coverage, which spanned a 3-day period, included a 1-hour interview on adolescent reproductive health and pregnancy prevention with Ana Lourdes Tojin (2005) and Dennis Castillo (2008) on national television; and interview with Ingrid Galvez (2005) and Esther Barajas (2005) on national radio station Emisoras Unidas. As a result, GOJoven had the opportunity to nationally promote our work in ASRH and pregnancy prevention.
As an attendee of the Women Deliver Latin America Consultation in Mexico City in June, 2012, Cinthia was invited to write a blog entry as part of a series, edited by Women Deliver and in partnership with Impatient Optimists, on youth perspectives to celebrate World Contraception Day on September 28, 2012. Cinthia wrote about her GOJoven Leadership Action Plan, the Youth-Friendly Space Kanantaba, and the importance of sharing comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information with indigenous youth.
Take a look at the article: here
The Youth Leadership in Sexual and Reproductive Health Program (GOJoven) of the Public Health Institute held its second Mexico National Meeting of 2012 on September 8 and 9, 2012, at the Hotel City Express in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo. All of the graduated fellows from the 2004 to 2011 cohorts were invited to the meeting, with the 2012 fellows also participating in the National Training. Twenty-six fellows attended the National Meeting. The purpose of the meeting was: Strengthen the relationship between fellows of multiple cohorts and their ongoing/future impact on positive outcomes for adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) as individuals and as a group; advance the planning for sustainability by getting the input/ideas/involvement of the fellows, especially those who have not yet shared their vision.
Achievements: Fellows who participated in this meeting were able to:
- share experiences and get to know each other, especially the new 2012 cohort
- learn about the progress of the regional Advisory Committee
- learn about the advances and results of the National Sustainability Commission meetings inMexico
- learn PHI’s objectives, expected results and impact
- analyze the problems found in the state of Quintana Roo and what strategies and results fellows want to acheive as a team in the next two years to create change in ASRH in Quintana Roo
- realize GOJoven’s mission and vision as a country team inMexico
- become actively involved in the regional strategy and establish the types and levels of commitment within each distinct project of the coming phase
Additionally, fellows discussed the importance of the GOJoven Digital Stories as a tool for political advocacy and teamwork. Each fellow identified to what level they will commit themselves to the coming activities in GOJoven, including: filling out an online questionnaire, participate actively in the regional strategy, collaborate in meetings that will result in a legal constitution of GOJoven Mexico, and work on advocating for a law in Quintana Roo that protects the rights of people living with HIV and AIDS.