This piece, including a slideshow of youth ambassadors, was originally published on IntraHealth International's blog, VITAL.
Romaric Ouitona, president of Youth Ambassadors in Benin, speaks to his peers at a youth center that offers family planning services and education in Dangbo, Benin. Photo by Trevor Snapp for IntraHealth International.
They’re informed, determined, and looking ahead for the good of their peers—and their countries.
They want to help girls stay in school. To take control of their own futures. To make sure other young people don’t make the same mistakes or have to live the same nightmares they did.
Fatouma Nina Koné, a Family Planning Youth Ambassador from Burkina Faso, was recently featured on FP Voices.
In my role on the Knowledge for Health (K4Health) Project, I work on a number of initiatives and activities, all from my cozy home office in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Over the last few years, between pregnancies, breastfeeding, and caring for two small children, I’ve stayed close to home. At the same time, I’ve watched my colleagues travel the world, interviewing family planning policy makers, implementers, service providers, and clients for Family Planning Voices, the global storytelling initiative we lead in partnership with Family Planning 2020. I get the opportunity to review all of our stories, schedule them for publication, and post them to our photo blog and social media sites. But I share something in common with our readers: I have never met most of the individuals whose stories I shepherd through the publication process, and I probably never will.
Sunita Prajapati, right, an accredited social health activist, counsels village women on maternal health at her village in Uttar Pradesh, India. Prajapati owns an Android phone with two specific apps, part of the ReMIND program, in which she maintains the record of all the pregnant and lactating mothers in her vicinity. (Credit: Jen Hardy/CNS-Catholic Relief Services.)
The newborn period is the most vulnerable time in a child’s life. While remarkable global progress has been made in the last decade to decrease child mortality, neonatal mortality reductions have occurred much more slowly. Today, nearly all newborn deaths are preventable with the current understanding of effective interventions and service delivery approaches for women and their children across the life course. There is unprecedented potential to end preventable newborn deaths and stillbirths and ensure a healthy foundation in the first month of life for lifelong wellbeing and development.