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Youth policy developments in Georgia

Young people’s knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and especially sexual rights is limited by a combination of cultural restrictions, but at the same time the progress needs to be mentioned.
A National Youth Policy Action Plan 2014 – 2020 were developed in Georgia by the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia. The policy covers the following topics: Participation; Education Employment and Mobility; Health; Protection and special Support. The Health directions include Healthy Life Style; Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights and Physiological Health. [1]

In 2014, the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia developed a program  for the development of non –formal education. The program aims to develop countrywide non-formal education which includes access to research infrastructure at the municipal level, preparation/training of non-formal education coaches, continued active support of youth organizations and support of development of volunteerism as an institute. The action plan about the policy was developed by stakeholders (Government agencies, “HERA-XXI” and other NGOs, experts). Frequently arranged meetings between the Government agencies and NGOs working on youth issues. The organizations had the opportunity to discuss on recommendations and to relay it to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia. Implementing the Action Plan starts from 2015.

Association “HERA-XXI” worked out the non-formal educational program on SRHR issues, which contains number of topics, such as: Sexual and Reproductive Health and HIV, Sexual Rights and citizenship, Gender, Psycho-Sexual Education (Pleasure, Diversity and Relationships), thereby trainers of the organization are trained.

Association “HERA-XXI” introduces the Guide on mentioned topics, to the Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs of Georgia, in order to build capacity of the trainers for the non-formal education program.

On January 29 2015, the Government of Georgia endorsed the National Youth Policy Action Plan (NAP) 2014-2020 for successful implementation of the Youth Policy Document at the national level.

Source: Association HERA XXI

The Youth Voice Campaign of Georgia

The Youth Voice Campaign of Georgia was officially launched in mid-November 2014 and targeted more than 200 youth in urban and rural areas. The leading group consists of the representatives of UNFPA, Georgian Youth Development and Education Association (GYDEA), Association “HERA XXI”, Youth Parliament of Georgia, European Youth Parliament and Real People Real Vision.

Planned events included various informational activities, movie screenings and discussions conducted by group of vigorous youth, who lead the campaign at the national level.

The leading group of the Youth Voice in Georgia organized two separate trips to the rural areas to meet the local youth and discuss the issues of early marriage, gender equality and education with them. More specifically, documentary film “Motherhood in Childhood” was arranged in Gori and Telavi, followed with the discussion sessions. The majority of the attendees expressed concern about the Child Marriage in the country, demonstrated deep interest, as well as offered recommendations and possible solutions to combat the issue at the national level.

During the campaign, on December 1 organized the screening of the film “Dallas Buyers Club” in Amirani Movie Theater, which culminated with the awards ceremony of the Youth Media Contest, announced in November. The contest was conducted within the framework of the Regional Youth Campaign – Youth Voice, which started in November 2014 with the initiative of UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office. It encouraged young people from across the country to share their opinions on the issues of Youth Reproductive Health and Rights, Education and Participation, in three different nominations – photo, essay/article, and slogan. In the concluding part of the event, the three winners of the contest were awarded with special prizes and certificates.

Next step of the EECA is to conduct Advocacy Campaign, on national level. For this, YEP ( Youth Adviser Panel ) has been established, which consists Association “HERA-XXI” and other representatives of EECA member organizations.

General vision of YAP Advocacy campaign is to advocate number of youth’s issues on SRHR. Such as: comprehensive Sexuality Education on a national level, participation and representation on an international level, Youth Engagement in the decision making processes (Investing in Youth) Development and availability of Youth Friendly Services, Early Marriages, Working with key demographics - general discussion and sharing thoughts with youth groups, including vulnerable adolescents and ethnical minorities to voice their needs, Education (Formal and Informal).

Association “HERA-XXI” is working with UNFPA and other EECA member to create National Advocacy Campaign Action Plan and take effective steps for advocate number of Youth’s issues by strengthen collaboration with Georgian Stakeholders.

Written by Mary Jobava, Association HERA XXI

'The future we want!' Youth Voice Campaign in Macedonia

“The future we want”

EECA Youth Voice Campaign in Macedonia

 

 

The whole story of the Youth voice campaign started when representatives Y-PEER Macedonia with support of HERA (ASTRA Youth member), ARNO, Youth Can, Shadows and Clouds and Red Cross Macedonia decided to join the campaign and to do something more about their peers.

The first step was creation of eye-catching and youth-friendly design of the whole campaign. Good design- more young people that would like to participate. And that happened. There was banner where youngsters could leave there messages regarding the future they want. The banner was traveling with the FPs and NGO representatives form one city to another, form one even to other… everywhere where young people were gathering. The young people share their thoughts and ideas about the world they want to see after 2015. They also had a chance to gain branded bag and mug from the campaign. This activity took place in the period from 24th November to 12th December.  During the whole period the photos together with the messages were published on the Y-PEER’s Facebook fan page. With this the visibility of the messages was increased.

On the 30th of December Macedonian “Youth Voice” campaign, Y-PEER gathered more than 300 people though invitations to the 3 performances of the Shadow theatre performances and the Exhibitions of the printed Youth messages for the future development agenda. The Shadow Theatre performance “Stories from the Hallway” was delivered by Shadows and Clouds and young people taking part in their project(MTV SAF supported), and it was facilitated by Y-PEER Macedonia FPs.

The following activity was press conference on the 1st of December- The World AIDS Day. The Press Conference was organized by “Shadows and Clouds”. This event was used for announcement of a winner of a Condom Design Contest (organized by “Shadows and Clouds”), as well as for sharing information about the “EECA Youth Voice Campaign” and the final activity- Youth conference.

The Youth Conference “Youth participation and recommendations for the development agenda of the United Nations” was held on 15th of December 2014. On this conference there were representatives from the Macedonian civil society as well as representatives from the relevant institutions. The whole discussion was focused on the top three priorities for the young people in Macedonia: education, employment and health.  The important recommendation that were given by the participants will be used for the actions and the following steps in the future.

During the whole campaign the social media had the crucial role. The hashtags used were: #ИдеитеГиСподелувамГласнo #EECAYouthVoice. The traditional media (such as famous Macedonian youth radio- Radio MOF, the magazine “Lice v lice” and others) played their role in increasing the campaign visibility and popularity among the youngsters.

For more info, visit: https://www.facebook.com/youthpeer.org.mk

Written by: Marija Matovska

Project coordinator HERA

 

 

UNFPA and CSO Global Strategy Meeting: ICPD beyond 2014 and Post-2015 Development Agenda

The ‘Global Strategy meeting between UNFPA and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on ICPD beyond 2014 and Post-2015’ has been convened by UNFPA from 23-25 January 2015 in Istanbul, Turkey. The meeting objective was to strategize on how CSOs and UNFPA can partner to ensure that the outcomes of the ICPD Beyond 2014 review process are taken forward and integrated into the Post-2015 agenda, including through a responsive monitoring and evaluation framework.  The working groups of CSOs from different regions have given a great input to strengthen the SRHR issues in the final document. The final report summarizing the CSOs working groups’ results will be finalized soon.

ASTRA representatives attended the meeting, participated actively in the discussions and led one of the sessions during the conference.

Emergency contraception to be sold over the counter in Poland!

Early January the European Commission has decided that the emergency contraceptive with ulipristal acetate will be sold over-the-counter across the European Union. The EC will be available in pharmacy without the prescription in some European countries from February, with a full launch program taking place across the EU in the rest of the year.

Thanks to this decision emergency contraception (at least the new type with ulipristal acetate) will be available over-the-counter in Poland, Polish Health ministry said on 14 January. ASTRA member organization, Federation for Women and Family Planning has been advocating for better access to modern contraceptives for many years and people are supporting these claims. The Federation has launched the petition demanding that the government respects the EC decision on emergency contraceptives, which was supported by over 10000 people in three days. Also, the Federation wrote a letter to the Minister of Health urging him to make sure the administrative procedures are not delayed and that Polish women get access to the pill OTC as soon as possible On 23 January government representative said that the pill will be sold over-the-counter to all people including teens aged over 15 (this is the age of consent in Poland). 

You can still sign this petition here. We need public support in order to push for a prompt introduction of these new regulations as, considering the government's conservative views, delays can be expected.

 

Source: Federation for Women and Family Planning

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