We are happy yo launch the #SRHRactivistsStories 2018
We will be sharing stories from SRHR activists from around the world, so we do hope you can use them as source of inspiration for your advocacy work. The first sotry comes from Sharaf, orginally from Tajikistan, currently based in Thailand who has more than 8 years of advocacy experience in the youth SRHR field.
Here is it:
“Success is the result of perfection, hard work, learning from failure, loyalty, and persistence” as Colin Powell says, became quote for me to compare my life journey for the past years.
I am Sharafdzhon Boborakhimov, passionated youth activist from Tajikistan, who is engaged with Y-PEER international you-led network striving to raise awareness of youth and adolescents on SRHR, HIV prevention, Conflict prevention and Human Rights.
Coming from Tajikistan I personally experience the importance of having Comprehensive Sexuality Education in formal and out of school settings. Especially, when seventy percentage of Tajikistan population live in the rural areas with dominance of traditions and religious over social understandings of reproductive health and rights, it is hardly possible to strive for change. Nevertheless, since I joined Y-PEER in Tajikistan, I gained valuable knowledge and skills to chase for change among my peers understanding and acceptance of discussing their reproductive health and rights issues. Of course it was not in the form of just friendly talk, but rather comprehensive and institutional approach through my organization NGO “Hamsol ba Hamsol” (Y-PEER Tajikistan) with engagement of partners in governmental institution and donors at the UN to held country wide awareness raising workshops and trainings. Moreover after participating at advocacy training, I started to engage on policy level together with youth NGO coalitions to address youth and adolescent health and rights related issues in front of the government. Meantime valuable support from UNFPA (United Nations Population Funds) youth programming support was valuable to support my capacity building and further engaging with international level advocacy on behalf of my network in Tajikistan.
In May 2013 I participated at the Youth Forum on ICPDB2014 (International Conference on Population and Development Beyond 2014) process in Istanbul, Turkey, where about 40 youth advocates from the region of Europe and Central Asia gathered to prepare for the regional meeting on ICPDB2014 in July in Geneva, Switzerland bringing youth perspective to the attention of governments. I was so impressed by some of the speakers who were almost the same age and had already bigger experience and played leading role in international youth networks and organizations. One of those bright figures was Petar Mladenov, Y-PEER International Coordinator at that time who later became my mentor. As in Y-PEER network we utilize the power of peer education, basically it was greatest peer education process for me to learn from Petar and other colleagues that I am supper greatful for.
Later I applied for Fellowship proram with PETRI-Sofia in Bulgaria what becamse a greatest school for me to enter regional level advocacy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights field and with further becoming Y-PEER International Coordinator. Between 2014-2015 I was supporting my organization in
Tajikistan to provide valuable inputs to UNFPA Tajikistan to include into Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) curiculam that was under development. In 2016 CSE law passed by Parliament of Tajikistan and currently it’s undergoing preparation phase to be included into school curiculum.
As Y-PEER International Coordinator in charge of Advocacy and Partnership I actively collaborates with Y-PEER partners in different levels of policy development placing youth priorities, particularly addressing SRHR and CSE on the first place. All advocacy effortst were done through participation in number of international meetings and conferences representing youth voices to push stakeholders for placing the role of youth and their rights in the important policy documents, particularly in the new 2030 Development Agenda..
IF YOU WANT TO SHARE YOUR STORY DO IT AT CSE.ADVOCACY@GMAIL.COM!