Collective Action by MAMPU Partners Supports Reproductive Rights and Child Marriage Prevention through the 2019 Youth Health Awards

19 February 2020
Author: Amron Hamdi

Aceh Educamp in the City of Sabang, held by MAMPU Partner Flower Aceh

Throughout November – December 2019, the MAMPU Program provided support to selected Partners in three provinces to work on issues related to young women’s health and nutrition. After a comprehensive selection process, the three most promising projects in Aceh, Yogyakarta and East Java were selected to receive financial and technical support.

Aceh Educamp 2019 was initiated by Bayu Satria from the Sabang City Children’s Forum. The Forum is assisted by Flower Aceh — a sub-partner of the MAMPU Program supported by PERMAMPU. The camp involved 20 youth aged 15-22 from nine districts and cities in Aceh province; camp activities were held over three days in Sabang Municipality. Participants enthusiastically took part in the various activities that focused on gender equality, valuing diversity, and creating positive, educational material for social media. Discussing sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in relation to stunting was also a primary focus of the camp.

During one of the sessions, Flower Aceh Founder and women’s rights activist Suraiya Kamaruzzaman said the participants learned how to become more influential. “I invited all participants to develop their SRHR advocacy strategies through persuasive speaking techniques. The voice of the youth must be heard,” she said. At the end of the event, the participants voiced their aspirations that they had worked to develop over the previous two days of the camp in a dialogue with the Village Head and representatives from the Gampong Village Social Services and Community Empowerment Agency.

Youth Health Awareness Activity by MAMPU Partner, ‘Aisyiyah in Yogyakarta

In Yogyakarta, Rumah Sehati was supported by MAMPU Partner ‘Aisyiyah in cooperation with the Muhammadiyah Students Association to provide SRHR services to senior vocational high school (SMK) students during a roadshow visit to SMK Muhammadiyah 4 Yogyakarta. Coordinator of Rumah Sehati Ahimsa Wardah explained, “Although Yogyakarta is known as a student city, there are still many students who have yet to develop the courage to access reproductive health services. The high rates of unintended pregnancies each year proves that teenagers require services that are more accessible and information in accordance with their needs. Therefore, it is important to bring reproductive health services to teenagers, free from stigma.”

Three hundred female and male students took part in the event which featured a series of activities including a talk show aimed at reducing the stigma associated with SRHR; blood testing; Body Mass Index (BMI) measuring; reproductive health and psychological counselling; free dietary supplements; and the screening of the film “Really?”. The students also took part in various educational games and at the end of the event the organisers presented SMK 4 Muhammadiyah with a Health Aware School Award for their active participation in the roadshow and for providing students with education about reproductive health.

Students during Reproductive Health Seminar in Ponorogo, East Java

Meanwhile, in Ponorogo, East Java Laskar Remaja Ponorogo — an organisation supported by the Women’s Health Foundation (YKP) — designed a project to focus on the prevention of violence against women and children. The two-week project was themed “Together we inspire” and consisted of three main activities, namely: Reproductive Health Rights Seminars held simultaneously at three Schools — SMPN 2 Ngrayun, SMPN 2 Sooko, SMPN 1 Pudak —on 19 November 2019; a short film competition themed: “Teenagers Aware about Sexual and Reproductive Health”; and an ‘Inspirational Dialogue’ titled “Awaken the Enthusiasm of Ponogoro’s Youth to Prevent Violence against Women and Children.”

The Inspirational Dialogue on 23 November represented the pinnacle of the campaign and 80 participants attended. The Ponogoro District Head of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection presented the opening address. Representatives from the Ponorogo Friends of Children Assosciation, the Ponorogo Chapter of the Forum for Indonesia, and Duta Genre Ponogoro 2019 spoke at the dialogue. “This activity was designed to share knowledge and spread awareness, not only to teenagers but also to parents and teachers, regarding the importance of good communication with children, especially in relation to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health,” said Rhoudatul Esa, the chairperson of the event’s steering community.