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"Speak My Language" - Abortion Storytelling in Eastern Europe from a Youth Perspective 2.0

This practical guidelines document was created to complement the first toolkit, and as a resource which focuses on the practical aspects of developing and running a session on the abortion stigma using the storytelling technique.

Storytelling is not the only way to combat abortion stigma, but it is a powerful and necessary tool. We believe storytelling can be a form of activism, can contribute to research, can inform policies, and can benefit the person telling the story and others in similar situations. Storytelling can be used in a myriad of different ways, whether it is to raise awareness, to create a space for discussion and reflection, to provide new and diverse perspectives on a sensitive topic, or to challenge the abortion stigma that is still highly prevalent in today’s societies all over the world.

While the first toolkit provided a more theoretical description of storytelling as a method to challenge abortion stigma and raise awareness, this practical guidelines document aims to provide detailed, practical steps to help organisations, individuals and professionals organize their own storytelling session.

This resource has been developed by YouAct in close collaboration with the following local partners:

  • Real People, Real Vision from Georgia
  • Health Education and Research Association (H.E.R.A.) from the Republic of Macedonia
  • The Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender (A.L.E.G.) from Romania
  • ASTRA Youth – The Federation for Women and Family Planning from Poland

This resource will take you through 6 steps: Brainstorm & Research; Finding & Sharing Stories; Ensuring Safety; Running a Session; Support Provision; and Reporting, with the hope of providing you with the resources and tools necessary to run a successful storytelling session.

Access the new Speak My Language toolkit HERE

source: YouAct

Policy Briefs no. 3 and 4 on CSE

The Federal Centre for Health Education in Germany and the United Nations Population Fund Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia have jointly developed a series of policy briefs on sexuality education. The first two issues published in 2015 (also in cooperation with the WHO Regional Office Europe) have now been complemented by Policy Brief issues no. 3 and 4. 

Policy Brief No. 3 "Introducing Sexuality Education: Key Steps for Advocates in Europe and Central Asia" provides an overview of the most important steps for the introduction (or revision) of national in-school sexuality-education programs and reviews of existing  resources. 

It focuses on the implementation of programs and curricula and formulates recommendations on following aspects:

•       identification and assessment of needs and expectations of young people;

•       formulation of objectives and key values for programs and curricula;

•       involvement of important partners for implementation;

•       use of existing resources, and

•       process planning. 

Policy Brief No. 4 "Why Should Sexuality Education be Delivered in School-based Settings?" addresses basic principles of and necessary linkages for efficient, high-quality school-based sexuality education. It illustrates the conditions under which sexuality education in schools can be successfully implemented. The following aspects are highlighted in Policy Brief No. 4:

•       relevance of sexuality education in schools and how schools contribute to a good sexual and reproductive health in adolescents and young adults;

•       framework conditions necessary for the implementation of good and efficient sexuality education in schools;

•       roles that various stakeholders in and around school play for efficient implementation of sexuality education;

•       topics that are part of good-quality sexuality education.

Policy Brief 4 demonstrates the importance of sexuality education in schools complementary with other forms of sexuality education.

Access all four issues of the sexuality education policy briefs, each available in English and Russian, HERE.

New UN publication on sexuality education

A revised edition of the International technical guidance on sexuality education was published. The Guidance was developed to assist education, health and other relevant authorities in the development and implementation of school-based and out-of-school comprehensive sexuality education programmes and materials. It is immediately relevant for government education ministers and their  professional staff, including curriculum developers, school principals and teachers. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), youth workers and young people can also use the document as an advocacy or accountability tool, for example by sharing it with decision-makers as a guide to best practices and/or for its integration within broader agendas, such as the SDGs. The Guidance is also useful for anyone involved in the design, delivery and evaluation of sexuality education programmes both in and out of school, including stakeholders working on quality education, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), adolescent health and/or gender equality, among other issues.

Access the publication HERE.


SDGs for Young People, Young People for SDGs

The three-day meeting held in Sofia, Bulgaria entitled SDGs for Young People, Young People for SDGs. Tracking Progress for Young People. Europe and Central Asia Regional Dialogue on ICPD and SDGs gathered representatives of youth-led organizations and UN agencies, policy makers, statisticians, and regional partners from various countries of Europe and Central Asia. The main purpose of the event was to create a framework for youth advocacy and develop a regional monitoring system to track progress on youth-related goals and targets included in the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda and the Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development.

On the first day of the meeting participants worked in groups on identifying needs and challenges of young people of the Europe and Central Asia region in the following thematic areas: health, employment, civic engagement, education, and gender. 

The next day’s sessions focused on the use and abuse of statistics, as well as selecting and validating the needs and challenges in each of the five thematic areas against the ICPD and SDGs targets and indicators. The working groups tried to select specific SDG and ICPD indicators against the previously identified needs and challenges. The day ended with a panel on initiatives on national and local levels that adavance the youth agenda. Five presentations from experts, as well as state and local government representatives were followed by a plenary discussion.

On the third day participants debated policy-making and implementation at both national and local levels, first in regard to the possible ways of using available data to hold governments accountable for their actions or lack thereof, and then the necessary resources needed in order to be more effective and persuasive in doing so.

During the concluding session of the meeting through an anonymous voting process participants chose Uliana Avtonomova from Ukraine to be their representative as a member of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe experts group on regional monitoring framework on ICPD.

The event took place on December 4-6, 2017 in Sofia, Bulgaria and was organized by Y-PEER PETRI Sofia and UNFPA Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office. ASTRA Youth was represented by the network coordinator. 

Read more HERE

Ponton Group of Sex Educators awarded with the With and For Girls Award

The With and For Girls Collective is a group of nine organisations united by a common belief that girls are agents of change. Comic ReliefEMpowerFRIDAMama CashNike FoundationNoVo FoundationPlan International UK, Stars Foundation – the Collective’s convening partner –  and The Global Fund for Children have come together to co-create a global awards initiative to find and fund locally-led girl-centred organisations working with and for girls.

Despite the critical role that women and girls play in sustainable development, the World Bank estimates that less than 2 cents of every $1 spent on international aid is directed towards adolescent girls, and it is estimated that only about 1% of all official aid, and an even smaller portion of humanitarian assistance, goes directly to the global south.

The Collective demonstrates that donors can fund in a meaningful way, allowing grassroots girl-led organisations to receive the flexible funding they so desperately need. 

Ponton Group of Sex Educators was founded by a group of young activists in Poland in 2001 to help empower young people to embrace adolescence and adulthood with confidence by improving their knowledge of sexual and reproductive health and rights through education and advocacy. 

Ponton, which means life raft in Polish, works with youth aged 13-19, with a particular focus on adolescent girls. The organisation, affiliated with the Federation for Women and Family Planning, provides comprehensive sexuality education for teens as well as online and phone counselling services.

It also organises awareness and advocacy campaigns on sexuality education, sexual violence, sexually transmitted infections, unwanted and teen pregnancies. Ponton advocates on a national and regional level in order to include comprehensive sexuality and relationship education into the mandatory school curriculum.

Ponton runs extensive research projects on the state of sexual education in the country. These studies help reinforce and deliver advocacy messages and educate the community on good standards of gynaecological care, especially for young women, LGBTQ women and women with disabilities.

Ponton is a girl-centred organisation that works on highly controversial topics in Poland. Its programmes are relevant to the context in which it operates, and to date, it has impacted over 5,000 people.

source: Stars Foundation

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