All around the world, young people are leading the way for important change. From coming up with innovative ways to help classmates with their periods in Tanzania, to using music to challenge the stigma around HIV in Nepal, they are improving their communities in their own unique, brilliant ways. Here are just a few of their remarkable stories.
Frida – Uganda
Frida is 18-years-old and she is a peer counsellor at her school, where she raises awareness about unsafe abortion. She received her training from the Volunteers for Development Association (VODA), who have given her the confidence to overcome her shyness and speak in front of hundreds of people about safe sex, post-abortion care and more. As a result of her incredible work with VODA, she now hopes to become a social worker. Read Frida’s story and more.
Brook & FPA volunteers – England
Current UK guidelines on relationships and sex education (RSE) haven’t changed in nearly two decades. But as of 2020, RSE will become compulsory in schools in England. Young volunteers from Brook and the Family Planning Association (FPA) have been speaking up about what they believe should be included as part of positive, effective and healthy RSE - whether that’s consent, sexting, cyberbullying, LGBTI+ issues, pornography and more. See what else they’re saying.
Akosua – Ghana
When she was younger, Akosua's sex education consisted of horror stories about the trouble she might end up in if she had sex. Now she volunteers with the Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana to promote the importance of comprehensive sexuality education for young people. She believes that rather than scaring young people into abstinence, education is what is key in order to save lives. Find out more about Akosua in her own words.
Milan – Nepal
Milan tragically lost both parents when he was just 10-years-old. He then found out he was HIV-positive. The discovery meant he faced a lot of discrimination from those living around him, which left him feeling humiliated and alone. But over the years Milan has been supported by the Family Planning Association of Nepal, who have helped him grow in confidence. They have even encouraged him to challenge the stigma of HIV through his love for music. Find out how he's doing that.
Alice – Tanzania
With only 2% of schoolgirls in Tanzania having access to disposable sanitary pads, many of them will try to make do with anything from cloth rags to socks, leaves or dry grass. It also means some girls skip school to avoid embarrassment. So Alice and her classmates decided to take action - they created The Pink Box, a place where girls who could spare a sanitary pad or two could donate theirs, to be distributed to those less able to afford or access them. Read more about the schoolgirls’ simple and inspiring initiative.