Youth Health Forum 2019: Supporting teenagers reproductive health advocacy in 15 provinces

4 October 2019
Author: Amron Hamdi

On 3-5 August, the MAMPU team with Partners ‘Aisyiyah, the Women’s Health Foundation (YKP) and the PERMAMPU Consortium held the Youth Health Forum 2019 (YHF2019) in Jakarta. Thirtythree participants from 23 regencies and 15 provinces took part in the event. All of the participants were between the ages of 15-24. YHF2019 was the first activity held by MAMPU and Partners that directly targeted and involved the youth. The Forum was designed to build the capacity of grassroots youth groups and enable these groups to better engage in collective action and push for the fulfilment of sexual reproductive health rights in their communities

YHF2019 participants met to find solutions to the problems of child marriage and the lack of comprehensive information available about Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR). SRHR and child marriage emerged as key focuses during a series of discussions and group work activities.

The participants met with two important stakeholders: The National Development Planning Agency (BAPPENAS), represented by the Child Protection Sub Directorate Head Yosi Diani Tresna and her team, and the National Population and Family Planning Agency’s (BKKBN) represented by the Director of Participation in the Government Family Planning Programs Komari and team. These two representatives of government institutions voiced appreciation for the issues and recommendations the participants mapped out during the forum and called for the involvement of more young people in discussions about development. Comprehensive education and access to reproductive health services were listed as solutions to improve reproductive health outcomes and reduce child marriage. “What I have learned at the Youth Health Forum has strengthened my ability to address the problems that exist in my community in Kupang Municipality, East Nusa Tenggara. The audience with BAPPENAS was an extraordinary experience for us because it gave us the opportunity to meet important national figures,” said Narwati Adonis, one of the YHF2019 participants. To build on the achievements of YHF2019, MAMPU and its Partners have organised the 2019 Youth Health Awards as a follow up activity. The participants of YHF2019 will compete to develop plans for health intervention activities in their respective communities; the three best plans will receive funding support and guidance from the MAMPU Program.