An EMpower-organized Learning Exchange on Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (ASRHR) was held from October 17-20, 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia, bringing together 19 participants from 10 grantee partners from India, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam. Lack of accurate and non-judgmental information on SRHR for young people is a critical issue in East and Southeast Asia, as data indicates that many young people have very limited access to comprehensive information on sexuality. As a result, EMpower has set a strategic focus on SRHR in our partner countries there.
During the Learning Exchange, grantee partners vibrantly shared program ideas and strategies to strengthen their work. The agenda of the Learning Exchange was developed based on the real needs of grantee partner participants and the latest international evidence on SRHR, with direct input from youth. Young people’s perspectives strongly shaped the workshop, as youth leaders from the partner programs were invited to express their views in small group discussions before the event. The workshop focused on key concepts including youth leadership, and attention to issues of gender and power, and strengthened grantees partners’ ability to monitor and evaluate their adolescent SRHR programs.
After the workshop, grantee partners reported that they felt better prepared to bring young people into their project planning, execution and evaluation; talk about sensitive issues such as gender and sexuality in a non-judgemental way; and make practical links to services young people will actually use.
EMpower staff Gritt Richter, Nisha Dhawan and Cynthia Steele planned and facilitated the exchange, with Aasha Pai, EMpower Board Director in Hong Kong, playing a vital role in planning and facilitating key sections. Thank you to all the grantee partner participants, including Yapari, ROLE Baliwise, East Bali Poverty Project, Pacific Links, Pamflet, ARI, CREA, Vango, Roots of Health and YKB, and to the representatives and young people who added their voices!
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