Youth have fun, empower their peers about sexual and reproductive health to mark International Youth Day 2016

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Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) members in Nairobi conducted four days of activities building up to the International Youth Day, commemorated annually on the 12th of August.

The activities, which included a football tournament, a beauty pageant, community outreach as well as a community cleanup event, were held at the Githurai Youth Empowerment Centre and Kayole II sub district Hospital in Nairobi.

Pauline Wanjiru, a Y2Y network member explains that the activities were designed to mobilize the youth so that peer educators can share sexual and reproductive health information.

Y2Y member Pauline Wanjiru

Y2Y member Pauline Wanjiru

“If you hold a football tournament, the youth will be attracted to the event. The youth also love music and dance as well as things like the beauty pageant. Once the youth show up, we as peer educators talk to them about their sexual and reproductive health including information on HIV and other STIs”, said Ms. Wanjiru.

Models at the pageant

Models at the pageant

Joan Mutheu, another Y2Y member explains that the peer educators also share with the youth information about the youth empowerment center as well as health facilities where they (the youth) can go for sexual and reproductive services.

Y2Y member Joan Mutheu

Y2Y member Joan Mutheu

“It would be very difficult for us as peer educators to get an opportunity to get a hold of these young people. These activities break the ice and makes our approach easier”, said Ms. Mutheu.

Abel Baraza, another Y2Y member says that the International Youth Day also presents an opportunity for the youth to celebrate their achievements and resilience.

Abel Baraza with pack of condoms

Abel Baraza with pack of condoms

“We are here to celebrate the youth and their achievements which is part of the SDGs goals 2030”, said Mr. Baraza.

The Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Initiative offers an innovative response to the dynamic needs of young people between 10 to 24 years in East Africa. Through this programme, DSW works in close cooperation with young people with the aim of improving their knowledge, understanding and healthy practice of their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), as well as their socio-economic situation.

For more information about the Youth-to-Youth (Y2Y) Initiative, click this link.

On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day.

The theme of the 2016 International Youth Day is “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. This year’s Day is about achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It focuses on the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.