Leyla is now 21, with a four-year-old son named Salim. Photo by Mina Kaci.
She was like an earthquake: shaking everyone around her to the core, exposing their fault lines, damaging their usual demeanor, and challenging their beliefs in what should be the order of things. Unlike other huge natural phenomena like typhoons and hurricanes, earthquakes don’t have names—but this one did, because it was a positive earthquake. It was called Leyla.
Leyla is the new normal for girls in Niger. A girl of 18 who spoke her mind, she was at the youth center to talk about how she benefited from an eight-month empowerment program for adolescent girls to reduce child marriage and teen pregnancy. Leyla had been chosen to speak because she had completed a program called Illimin, which in Houasa means “the knowledge.” Developed by UNFPA, Illimin has since become the flagship program of the government of Niger and is a successful model of what works in adolescent empowerment and child marriage and teen pregnancy reduction.
David Alexander, Liz Futrell, and Sarah Harlan pose for a pre-interview selfie with Dr. Tlaleng Mofokeng, 120 Under 40 winner from South Africa. Photo by David Alexander.
There’s no better way to take the pulse of a movement than to listen to what its youngest leaders have to say. Last week, K4Health and FP2020’s Family Planning Voices initiative did just that in New York City, when we interviewed the 2016 World Contraception Day Ambassadors and several winners of 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders about their commitment to expanding awareness of and access to contraception and related services to underserved populations. We spoke with young leaders from Uganda, India, Trinidad & Tobago, Canada, Lesotho, Poland, Vietnam, Egypt, South Africa, Nigeria, the Philippines, Kenya, and the U.S. about the work they’re being recognized for and their priorities for the future. While their countries, backgrounds, disciplines, and programs are diverse, several common threads that highlight the innovation that young people are bringing to the movement emerged from our conversations.
Management Sciences for Health, Kenya | Advocacy and Communications Project Officer
The Expectation Wall is a good and standard KM practice for any lengthy meeting. Participants “set expectations” at the beginning and then (hopefully) move them over to the “expectations met” area. Photo: Melissa Wanda Kirowo
Earlier this year, I had the privilege of attending the knowledge management (KM) share fair in Arusha, Tanzania. After much reflection and many attempts at integrating some of the KM models that I learnt from the share fair in my work, I realized something very important: We have to be willing to learn how to learn to get the best out of what KM has to offer. What does this mean? Consider the following…
Zahra is a 14-year-old girl living in Jordan. When she was five years old, she dreamt of going to school. When she was ten and in school, she dreamt of becoming a doctor.
At 12 years old, Zahra fled Syria with her family. As refugees, her parents encountered a life of unprecedented instability and poverty. Desperate to secure a future for his daughter, Zahra’s father arranged for her to marry a man in his 20s. Zahra protested, but she had no other options: She wasn’t in school, her family couldn’t afford to feed her, and she had no way of earning an income on her own. Given this desperate situation, she married an adult man before she was old enough to drive a car or vote. At age 14, she became a mother.
MSH/SIAPS | Principal Technical Advisor and Cluster Lead for Pharmaceutical Services
Photo source - Arturo Sanabria, Courtesy of Photoshare. Description - A woman in Pemba, Mozambique receives an explanation on how to take ACTs for malaria.
On September 21st, global leaders attending this year’s United Nations General Assembly will discuss one of the most pressing global public health threats of our time: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). This AMR meeting is only the fourth time in the global body’s history that a health topic will be discussed at a High-Level Meeting. It’s an overdue signal of the problem’s severity and reflects the global collaboration and coordination required to address it.