The conference rooms of the Radisson hotel Kathmandu were alive with the energetic chatter of youth participants on Saturday the 23rd of April as the Family Planning Association of Nepal, together with leading NGO youth platform organisation YUWA hosted a full day’s programme under the theme of ‘Advancing Youth SRHR 2022’. The event was produced with the support of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, South Asia Regional Office. With over 80 young people from diverse backgrounds and experiences in attendance, the event was produced with the aim of building networks amongst youth groups for stronger advocacy of Comprehensive Sexuality Education in Nepal.
“It is very important to have programs like this where the youth can take the lead” said Surakshya Giri, a long-time youth champion for FPAN and a member of the Board of Trustees at IPPF. “There is a vital need for improving the quality of CSE and evolving teaching methodologies.”
“As a young person working towards Comprehensive Sexuality Education for all, we are very glad we created this space where young people of all backgrounds felt safe to voice their CSE needs.” expressed Riju Dhakal; President of YUWA.
Expert Panel Sessions
The event featured a thought-provoking plenary comprising of a diverse panel of experts, who shared their views on developing Nepal’s systems to meet the SRHR needs of young people.
Amongst this panel was Nisha Joshi from the Family Welfare Division of Nepal’s Ministry of Health. Ms. Joshi shared the government’s vision to implement a National Health Strategy for 2022-2030 that will prioritize Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights for adolescents. She was joined by Dr Rajendra Bhadra -an eminent CSE & SRHR expert who opined that CSE should be made a mandatory national conversation, Ms. Divya Dawadi of the Center for Education and Human Resource Development (CEHRD) who believes strongly that Nepal needs to address the challenges of social stigma and shame towards CSE, Angel Lama from the Blue Diamond Society who stressed the importance of ensuring content on diversity, inclusivity and intersectionality in the national curriculum and Ms Anu Bista from FPAN who pointed out that advancing SRHR for young people should be the shared responsibility of multiple government and organisational stakeholders working in collaboration. “We need multi-sectoral, inter-departmental involvement and coordination if we are to bridge the gaps in social education”, said Anu.
The day also consisted of multiple interactive breakout sessions on SRHR topics, fun activities and SRHR-themed games, a crowd-sourced art corner, a special advocacy booth that collected participant views and demands for better CSE and booths by the event partners where participants could obtain further information and stimulus material on SRHR. One of the highlights of the programme was a highly impactful flash mob performance by young activists, depicting the reality of growing up as a trans person in South Asian society.
“I loved this programme,” gushed Sarozi Niobani, an 18-year old transgender woman who participated at the event. “It was very motivating and gave me a lot of knowledge. There was inclusion, there was education, it was so much fun! Going forward, I believe it’s important for the youth in Nepal to work hand in hand with the government to ensure SRHR for everyone. Someday, I think the youth will make sure that we change society in Nepal.”
The programme ended with a youth charter being developed with the collective thoughts of the participants, to form a guide for the ongoing advocacy efforts of FPAN and YUWA.
For more information, press only:
PR contact name: Dr. Naresh Pratap K.C.
Phone number: +977-01-5010201/5010240
Email: [email protected]
For more information on FPAN – https://fpan.org
For more information on YUWA – https://www.yuwa.org.np
For more information on IPPF SARO - https://sar.ippf.org