The Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Youth Camp is an initiative convened and implemented by Mulika Tanzania. It provides a platform of dialogue, workshops and capacity building sessions regarding SRHR issues. The camp connected young people across the country, from 14 regions of mainland and Zanzibar aiming to share evidence, tools, and experiences on SRHR issues including GBV, FGM, HIV AIDS, Early Pregnancy and family planning. Moreover, to discuss challenges and opportunities lies in the sector and devise innovative way towards addressing them.
It brings youth in touch with their peers, researchers, tech activists, influential speakers, and development partners to understand the position of SRHR especially contraceptive uses among the young people in Tanzania. The SRHR Youth Camp was held from 20–22 June 2019 at Bamba Beach in Dar es Salaam.
The camp provided a conducive and friendly space for adolescents and young people. The designed set-up gave young people a great and free atmosphere to discuss, learn, and sharing the best practices towards championing their works on Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights.
Furthermore, the camp aimed to increase awareness of contraceptives uses to young people and make Family Planning a modern desired lifestyle. Moreover, discussing with young leaders about tracking progress at national, regional and international commitments on SRHR such as ESA commitments, Maputo Protocol of Action, Agenda 2063, Agenda 2030 and sort alike focusing on reproductive health and rights.
The camp was attended by the majority of young people between the age of 15 to 25 years from civil society, academic institutions, youth-led organizations, and public institutions working in the Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) sector and marginalized community. This is to recognize the severe impacts of negative SRH to this age group. The camp was attended with more than 100 youth and young adolescents from 14 regions of Tanzania mainland and Zanzibar, who were ready to transform their community, discuss and come up with innovative ideas and solutions towards promoting SRHR.
The camp covered different important aspects in the field of SRHR so as youth can have a broad spectrum of narrowing down the key issues that affect them and how they can come up with solutions to these challenges. For example some of the topics were; issues of contraceptive use with direct relation to family planning, integrating family planning issues with HIV/AIDS, investing on SRHR enterprises, Harnessing Demographic Dividend etc. the central aim of these sessions was to explore and harness youth abilities on recognizing and taking action on the key scenarios that exist in the field of SRHR in general.
The Power of Choice, as the theme used to amplify, capacitating and tracking various innovative ways of ending young people challenges associated with the contraceptives to young people. It was aimed to influence policy and decision-making processes in favour of improving the standard of living for young people, especially through contraceptive uses.
Also, the theme aimed at positioning young people in the centre of the decision-making process regarding their reproductive health and rights through being aware on how best to decide and by holding accountable their governments on related commitments in reproductive health and rights.
The young people have to live and reach their full potentials as to be an asset to their family, community and nation. This can be the next reality by making sure young people have the power to make a suitable and rightful choice of their life regarding their reproductive health and rights.
We do provide our deep appreciation to various organizations that we worked together on making this program a success. Many thanks, to Open Society Initiative for Eastern Africa (OSIEA), UNFPA Tanzania, DKT Tanzania, UMATI Tanzania, Young Life Organization, Sports for Change Organization, Tanzania Commission for AIDS(TACAIDS) and Africa Union Youth Advisory Panel.