GOJoven Honduras Presents ZonaSegura at YTH Live Conference

GOJoven Honduras Association Program Manager and GOJoven Alum, Antonio Barahona, presented at YTH Live, an international conference organized by Youth + Tech + Health (YTH) in San Francisco, California, on May 5-6, 2019. Antonio discussed ZonaSegura, a trauma-informed youth-centered innovative research study and mobile solution to address teen dating violence (TDV) in Honduras.

Led by YTH, in partnership with GOJoven Honduras and GOJoven International, this project aims to prevent TDV by providing prevention information, education on how to have healthy relationships, and map-based searches for local TDV services and resources. ZonaSegura leverages the high rates of mobile phone usage among youth in Honduras to assist them in overcoming individual and structural barriers to accessing rights-based and gender-sensitive TDV prevention information and services.

Accompanying Antonio were Esther Tahrir, Executive Director of GOJoven International, and Emma Schlamm, Program Coordinator for YTH. They participated in a breakout session highlighting ZonaSegura, along with other projects that focus on technology solutions for TDV and sextortion prevention around the world. In the session, Antonio shared areas of success for the initiative, feasibility for similar interventions, and disseminated findings from the pilot study conducted in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He shared the session with another organization, RNW Media/Love Matters India, which launched the online campaign #IsThisLove to empower young people to seek healthy relationships and distinguish them from unhealthy ones. Their campaign includes social media, memes, and videos.

YTH Live has been held annually since 2005 in San Francisco and is the embodiment of the intersection of youth, technology, innovation, and health. The conference is open to youth, parents, educators, tech professionals, health professionals, and others that are dedicated to such a field.

GOJoven Guatemala Speaks Out Against Child Marriage at United Nations General Assembly

During the most recent United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, Joseline Velásquez, GOJoven Guatemala Alumna Fellow and staff member, was a featured speaker at the Ford Foundation event “Supporting Communities to End Child Marriage”. She was invited by Girls Not Brides to present the results of the GOJoven Guatemala project against early and forced unions. The event aimed to provide an open space for government representatives, advocates, nonprofit organizations, and funders to meet, network, and identify new avenues of collaboration to end child marriage. GOJoven Guatemala was one of the few featured partners leading successful grassroots projects that was invited to speak.

Joseline with Aeisatu Bouba from the Cameroon Indigenous Women Forum.

For the past two years, Joseline has served as co-leader on GOJoven Guatemala’s CAMY Fund-supported project to eliminate child marriage in 5 departments in the country. She has also presented their work at other high-level international events, including the Central American Donors Forum (CADF) in Panama City in 2017. Notably, Joseline’s participation at events like the CADF and now UNGA has solidified GOJoven Guatemala’s reputation as a regional expert in the prevention of early and forced unions.

During her presentation, Joseline highlighted GOJoven Guatemala’s advocacy agenda in this space at both the national and local municipal levels. The organization has led active youth participation in congressional hearings, as well as discussions with community leaders and delegates to ensure that policies regarding forced unions are implemented both accurately and within the communities that are most affected by this issue.

GOJoven Executive Director Esther Tahrir met up with Joseline in New York!

Joseline speaking with Aeisatu on the panel, moderated by Lakshmi Sundaram, Executive Director of Girls Not Brides.














GOJoven Guatemala’s country level work on these issues has been recognized regionally and internationally for several years. In 2015, they became a member of the global Girls Not Brides network, and, in 2018, they became a founding member of the “Latin American and Caribbean Initiative to Prevent and Address Early Unions Among Adolescents and Girls,” a regional network in Central America promoted by CAMY Fund to address the impact of early unions on young adolescent girls regionally.

Here at the Public Health Institute and GOJoven International we are proud of  Joseline’s and GOJoven Guatemala’s strong efforts to support communities in putting an end to child marriage, and we look forward to their advocacy work in the coming year!

Watch live: Joseline Velásquez Morales at 2018 United Nations General Assembly Week


Verónica María Chalí Calicio

Verónica is originally from the Department of Guatemala and was selected as a GOJoven Fellow when she was 19 years old. She is a young, dynamic woman. Veronica graduated from college with a Bachelor’s degree in Computation with Commercial Orientation and Accounting. Veronica has volunteered as a facilitator addressing issues such as self-esteem, leadership, and family planning in the educational centers of her community. She likes to work in teams, and her goal for the defense of sexual and reproductive health and rights is to influence young people and adolescents to create friendly spaces that facilitate education on sexual rights and contraceptive methods.

Gerson Bryon Toc Ajpuac

Gerson is originally from Solola and currently lives in the capital city. He was selected as a GOJoven Fellow when he was 19 years old and has a Bachelor’s degree in Letters and Sciences. Gerson has professional experience serving as President of the Department Committee of the Association of Young Ex-scholars of the state, as well as teacher and coordinator of an English project in Solola. He gained experience working with Sexual and Reproductive Rights during the implementation and execution of the Action Plan that he developed as part of his GOJoven Guatemala cohort. He hopes to one day create an organization that empowers the adolescents and young people of his community with topics of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Celebrating the Spanish-language Launch of Hesperian’s New Training Guide “Health Actions for Women”

On August 23rd, 2018, GOJoven International partnered with Hesperian Health Guides to co-host the Bay Area launch of the Spanish edition of “Health Actions for Women” (Guia Practica para promover la salud de las mujeres) at the PHI headquarters in Oakland, California. Developed and field-tested with dozens of organizations across Latin America, this resource is critically important in the movement for women’s health: teaching women and men to counteract harmful gender roles, promote safe motherhood, improve access to family planning, end gender-based violence, and so much more.

GOJoven International with Hesperian Health Guides team

GOJoven International’s Senior Program Director Esther Tahrir and Susanna Moore, Project Manager, provided the introduction and background to the long collaborative relationship between Hesperian and GOJoven International, encompassing the production of this important new resource. Claudia Romeu of PHI’s Rise Up program also spoke alongside Sarah Shannon, Executive Director of Hesperian Health Guides, and Miriam Lara Mejia, Bilingual Programs Coordinator for Hesperian.

GOJoven International ED Esther Tahrir explains GOJoven’s role in developing the resource

GOJoven was one of 40 community-based organizations in 23 countries to contribute to the development of this new health education resource. In 2011, Hesperian approached GOJoven Director Esther Tahrir to discuss field testing two draft chapters of the Spanish edition of Health Actions for Women: “Family Planning” and “Sexuality and Sexual Health.” GOJoven was supportive of this project and promoted the field testing opportunity among GOJoven graduates and staff in Central America, who themselves are topical experts and trainers. GOJoven members Esther Barajas, Rudy Felipe, and Ana Lourdes Tojin, among others, agreed to review and/or field test selected activities of specific chapters. The Spanish launch event hosted at PHI headquarters highlighted this partnership and the value of the GOJoven leaders’ feedback to Hesperian in improving the training guide activities, as well as in gathering new ideas for illustration and word choice in the manuscript. Additionally, Marin Vasquez, a Guatemalan youth leader from PHI’s Rise Up program Let Girls Lead, contributed in the field testing of this guide.

Young GOJoven leaders in action field testing the resource

Just a few weeks before this launch event, Hesperian Health Guides held its local launch of this resource in Guatemala City, on August 2, 2018. GOJoven Guatemala staff members Marta Honoria Castillo, Erasmo Leon, and Cristian Morán were among over 100 attendees at the event. Speakers included Lucrecia Hernández Mack, a visionary who made valiant attempts to reform Guatemala’s troubled public health sector during her recent though short-lived tenure as Minister of Health, and Elsa Rabanales, a dynamic young organizer with the rural indigenous women’s network Actoras de Cambio, based in Guatemala’s highlands. In an effort to improve access to and provide immediate availability of the book to regional partners, Hesperian piloted a local print run of 200 copies of the guide at a Guatemalan print house. Moving forward, Hesperian hopes to distribute its materials more widely, particularly in the Central American region.

At GOJoven, we deeply admire and support Hesperian’s work to provide health education and help individuals take greater control over their health. Because we share a common mission of improving the health, SRHR, and development of communities at the local level, we are proud to partner with organizations like Hesperian to further advance these goals in the communities we serve. As such, we have disseminated this new resource across the GOJoven Alumni network of over 400 young leaders in Mexico and Central America and the 4 GOJoven Alumni Associations that are deeply embedded in the sexual and reproductive rights and women’s and girls’ rights networks in their countries. The GOJoven Associations are excited to use this practical, user-friendly Guide in their own field-based training activities with women, girls and other community leaders, and we envision that this resource will be a powerful tool as they continue empowering other young women and men to become advocates and leaders in family planning and reproductive health.

For more information about Hesperian books and resources, see www.hesperian.org.

GoFundMe Campaign for GOJoven Fellow’s Memorial Service

We at GOJoven are sad to share the news of the death of our treasured alumni fellow, colleague, and friend Octaciano (Chano) Banegas Galeas. Chano passed away on June 30, 2018 in Texas, as he journeyed from Honduras in search of a better life for himself and his family. To learn more about Chano’s story, read our blog post here.

In order to help Chano’s family with the high cost of returning his body home to Honduras, we have started this GoFundMe campaign and would appreciate any and all donations. The money raised will help Chano’s family pay off the bank debt they incurred to bring Chano home and pay him homage, as well as help his wife and four-year-old son to cover basic expenses as they recover from their loss.

Our hearts go out to Chano and his family. Thank you very much, on behalf of Chano’s family and community, for your contribution.

GOJoven Fellows Lead Trainings for Radio Announcers in Mexico

1 grp shotRadio has the power to disseminate information to even the remotest locales, making it an excellent medium for providing young people the information they need to understand and protect their sexual and reproductive health.

Just this month, fellows of GOJoven, in partnership with nonprofit organization Inspira Cambio, offered comprehensive training to more than a dozen local youth radio broadcasters, and members of an adolescent boys collective called JXiibal, in order to equip them with the basic skills they need to talk about and deal with issues related to sexual and reproductive health, HIV prevention, discrimination, and sexism.

3 Nicte facilitandoThe training was coordinated by GOJoven fellows Rodolfo Moo Chi of the Commission for the Development of Indigenous people, and Silvia Muñoz of Inspira Cambio. Carlos Can Estrella, also a fellow of GOJoven, trained participants on leadership, teamwork, and HIV prevention, and Nicté Chablé Berlin, of GOJoven, gave a training on sexist language in the media.

2 grp cirlceFollowing the trainings, attendees took a test to assess their ability to communicate, coordinate and lead. After they finished the test they had the opportunity to talk about what they had discovered through the workshops.

In addition to empowering attendees with important information regarding how they could protect their sexual and reproductive health, the training created a small network where participants will be able to exchange information and link with other organizations for future collaboration.

For more information on the work of GOJoven fellows to create positive change in Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) programs, policies, and services in Mexico and Central America through education and advocacy, subscribe to receive our monthly email updates and Like us on Facebook.

Women’s Rights Advocate speaks at the Public Health Institute

Danessa Luna (second from right) joins the Resource Teams for the GOJoven and AGALI programs and presents her work at the Public Health Institute in Oakland, CA on November 27, 2012.

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.

Forman a jóvenes en salud reproductiva, El Heraldo 08 Oct 2012

Lo que se pretende con el encuentro es formar a los jóvenes para convertirse en agentes multiplicadores del mensaje entre la población de 18 y 30 años. Al final de las capacitaciones reciben un fondo económico para que realicen sus propias jornadas formativas.  Leer más