The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) is an alliance of more than 800 organizations in 77 countries from the sexual, reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health communities and other health influencing sectors. To advance the health and rights of adolescents and young people, PMNCH in collaboration with Women Deliver developed a toolkit known as “The Advocating for Change for Adolescents’.
The toolkit is a resource for youth-led and youth-serving organizations to champion and advocate for the prioritization of adolescent health and wellbeing in their countries. It contains step by step exercises that guide and inform effective community advocacy. To roll out this toolkit, the Partnership through an open call selected five countries; Cameroon, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria to localize it, and help young people actively push for policies and laws that advance their Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR).
Education as a Vaccine (EVA) is the country’s focal point for the implementation of the PMNCH’s advocacy toolkit project in Nigeria. At EVA, we seek to improve the policy environment that upholds the rights of adolescents and young people to sexual and reproductive health information and services. We have localized the toolkit, making it specific to Nigeria context and ensuring that young people across the country can use this tool to draw up and implement effective strategies to conduct advocacy and effect change in their communities and at state and national levels.
In implementing this project, Eva is building a network of young people in Niger, Abuja, Kano, Adamawa and Ondo state. We have partnered with youth-led and youth-focused organisations across these states including, International Centre for Sexual Reproductive Rights (INCRESE), Niger state; Today For Tomorrow Foundation, Adamawa State; Bridge Connect Africa Initiative, Kano State; Global Promoters for Community Initiative, Niger State; African Youth and Adolescents Network (AFRIYAN), Abuja; Youth Advocate for Sustainable Development in Rural Community (YASDYOUTH), Abuja; Barack Youth Network (BYAN), Abuja; Kids and Teens Resource Center, Ondo State.
These young people serve as focal points and have disseminated the toolkit to their peers, reaching out to more young people and championing advocacy visits to decision-makers and policymakers, community leaders and other stakeholders. We also had a webinar series where we trained young people aged 15-24 on SRHR, advocacy and how to use the toolkit. A total of two hundred and sixty-four (264) young people have been reached with the tools and we are working to ensure that we build and strengthen the capacity of more young people to push for the inclusion and prioritization of their sexual reproductive health and rights in key healthcare provision interventions, to push for improved access to SRH information and hold the government accountable for their global commitments.