What actions are you taking to promote and protect the health and rights of women and young people worldwide?
Because of all the violence that I saw during the civil war in northern Uganda, especially against women, and young women, I started working to protect their sexual and reproductive rights. As a young Social Worker I:
Speak, and answer questions, at our local radio station (unity fm) on young people’s reproductive health issues. I also reach out to rural communities where radio-access is limited and speak to members
Support providers in a local clinic which provides safe sexual and reproductive health services to young people who are having unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and other issues.
For young people who visit the clinic, I have lots of information and education materials that they can pick freely from. Three times a week, I offer counselling sessions and a video showing for young people. Together we promote safe sex through proper and consistent use of condoms. This will prevent unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions that result in loss of loved ones and are violations of women’s rights. We are blending these messages with vocational trainings such as computer trainings, and I have ensured that two young people got jobs as computer instructors.
My colleagues and I are hoping that one day safe, comprehensive abortion care will be legal in Uganda.
What is your vision of lasting change for yourself and for the world's young people?
To see young people freely accessing sexual and reproductive health services.
To see young people empowered to face the challenges that come to them as young people without fear or favor.
To see young people freely accessing education, irrespective of their tribe, sex, age, colour, social status, so as to attain the most important development and empowerment to prepare them for a better tomorrow. When you educate one young person, you have empowered the world.
To see young people getting ready to fight for their adolescent sexual and reproductive health rights without being played down by adults.
If you could tell world leaders one thing, what would it be?
Young people and adults need to work together, as equals, to reduce maternal mortality by advocating for comprehensive abortion care services in our respective countries, without restricting the service providers, in order to see young people having a brighter future.