The Advancing Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Advocacy in Nigeria (PROJECT AAYRHAN) is a collaboration between the Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) and Partnership At Scale (PAS). Partnership At Scale (PAS) is a Health accountability project with a timeline of 2017-2022 whose issue areas are Family Planning, Routine immunization, among others. Academy for Health Development (AHEAD) is a non-for-profit research and health development organisation with a mission to improve health systems and health development. AHEAD engages in health system strengthening, research, programme implementation, capacity building, and translating knowledge into effective policies and programmes. Adolescent development is a priority at AHEAD.
PROJECT AAYRHAN is aimed at empowering young people to advocate for family planning policies in Lagos. We believe that if the capacity of young people and organizations with potentials for impact in the Adolescent and Youth Sexual Reproductive Health field is built in identifying, tracking and advocating for youth focused family planning policies in Lagos state, then there would be (i) More empowered young people with the capacity to drive relevant changes and influence their peers; (ii) Awareness and monitoring of the implementation of youth related family planning policies in Lagos; and (iii) Effective implementation and accountability of youth related family planning policies in Lagos State. These we hope to achieve by implementing evidence-based family and life planning initiatives.
The overarching aim of the workshop was to initiate the development process of 40 Family Planning Youth Advocates in Lagos State. The objectives were to:
· Expose the young people to field experience in Adolescent Health and Family practices in Lagos State.
· Create a linkage among PROJECT AAYRHAN, Family planning Youth Advocates in Lagos State and the Adolescent Health Unit of the Lagos State Ministry of Health.
· Train the Youth Advocates on developing high impact action plans
The workshop held between the 24th to 27th of September 2019 at the Bible Guest House, Palm Groove, Lagos State and was targeted at 40 young persons from 9 different youth organisations in Lagos State that focus on Sexual and Reproductive Health of young people.
The workshop had presentation sessions on topics related to key issues in Adolescent family planning and Action plan development were held.
At the end of the workshop, the participants were able to develop two high impact action plans for advancing advocacy on young people family planning policies in Lagos State. They also showed creativity by making a short video to support contraceptive effective policies in Lagos State in support of the World Contraceptive day.
The workshop also birthed positive outcomes like building a collaborative link between the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Youth groups in Lagos and AHEAD-PAS project.
The next steps for PROJECT AARYHAN are to provide funding for the implementation of the two Action plans drafted by the young people and technical support for the implementation of the Action Plans and to ensure continuous engagement of the committed young people in the AARYHAN Project.
PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WORKSHOP
During the workshop, our youth advocates commemorated the World Contraception Day by lending their voices on Sexual and Reproductive Health Right issues; contraceptive commodities and condition in Nigeria. See video below
Some youth advocates at the event shared their experiences from the Workshop. See below.