GOJoven Director, Esther Tahrir and GOBelize General Coordinator, Eva Burgos, recently represented GOJoven at this year’s American Public Health Association’s (APHA) 141st Annual Meeting and Exposition in Boston, MA. APHA’s Annual Meeting is the largest public health gathering in the world bringing together some of the most influential health advocates, researchers, practitioners and other specialists.
Centered on the theme “Think Global, Act Local,” the meeting focused on the best public health practices from around the world, highlighting population health interventions and outcomes in communities across the globe. More than 12,500 public health professionals from across the country and around the world came together to present the latest research and explore new strategies to address today’s leading health challenges during more than 1,000 scientific sessions and at roughly 600 exhibit booths showcasing emerging public health research and leading advocacy efforts.
Esther and Eva showcased GOJoven on two panel presentations to over 150 professionals. Health professionals from across the US and the world attended the GOJoven presentations and showed real interest in the methodologies, strategies and model that GOJoven has developed and the impact that GOJoven Fellows are having in Belize and throughout Mesoamerica.
Esther joined four other women on a panel titled “Exploring Sexual and Reproductive Health Issues among Teens, Adolescents and Young Adults”. Her presentation, “Youth Leadership in Practice: Addressing Teen Sexual and Reproductive Health”, highlighted the importance of investing in youth leadership development to improve adolescent sexual and reproductive health programs, policies and services and ultimately reducing unwanted adolescent pregnancy. Click here to read the abstract of her presentation.
Ms. Eva Burgos, General Coordinator of GOBelize and a 2004 GOJoven Fellow, joined women from Rwanda, the Philippines and Angola on a panel titled “Reproductive Health and Family Planning”. During her presentation “Youth Leading Youth: Reaching Rural and Out of School Youth with Sexual and Reproductive Health Education”, she discussed how GOJoven alumni founded GOBelize and their work educating rural adolescents in Belize on sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention with UNDP funding. Learn more here.
After the meeting, Eva Burgos said that “What really satisfied me was to see the amount of research being done, such as baseline assessments, to measure impact. It’s important, especially in developing countries, to consider the needs of young people—once we empower youth in SRH [sexual and reproductive health] we have to be sure that they can actually access SRH services.”
Eva and Esther found themselves among globally inspiring leaders such as internationally acclaimed epidemiologist Michael Marmot and attorney Sarah Weddington. Both called for increased leadership and bravery in tackling public health problems and reducing health disparities and inequities. Attorney Sarah Weddington was only 26 when she successfully argued the Roe v. Wade case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court more than 40 years ago. Check out this inspiring video of her speaking at the Opening Session where she reminded the audience that “leadership is the ability and the willingness to leave your thumbprint.” To see the video of these inspiring and famous opening session speakers link to APHA’s YouTube Channel.