Interview with the scholars: A 9th APCRSHR featurette
Before the youth and main conference, the 9th installment of the Asia-Pacific Conference on Reproductive Health and Rights kindles Youth Bonding sessions to facilitate SRHR issues and concerns, amplify their voices and expand the network of youth working to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights. It also bridges gaps on policy implementation and grassroots adaptation of the network and agenda.
To topbill reactions about the bonding night and measure the extent of their knowledge and passion about SRHR, the official APCRSHR Communication Team interviewed three young people to know their stories and reflect their perspectives about the latter.
One youth scholar named Priskila Arulpragasam from Sri Lanka voices out justice in SRHR through involvement in an organization named Family Planning Association, a non-government organization and social enterprise aiming to solidify familial ties and economic sustainability towards prosperity. She is currently a Social Work student whom is passionate of providing equitable services to her constituents. The team asked her of first impressions about the bonding session and SRHR issues or problems needed to be addressed to her country or area. She replied, “It was kind of exciting because there a lot of youths who share the same passion as you have.” She wants to address safe abortion, promote CSEs (comprehensive sexuality education) in the school curricula and an equitable treatment of gender in their country.
Another scholar took the challenge. She is Supun Dahal from Nepal. She currently pursues her Law studies to expand her knowledge about policy development and grounds for criminal offenses to generalize outputs on thematic areas such as the sexual and reproductive health and rights. She also shared that she was significantly amazed by the mini-event however she hopes that more games should have been employed, more structured interactions are set so that it could’ve been more fun and surreal as the night they won’t literally forget. According to her, she wants to address menstrual taboos (called Chhapaudi) in her country and promote safe abortions. She also wants to promote CSE in schools located in pressed or threatened communities.
Anjelou Marie Estrella
Apart from the scholars, one presenter of her research about HIV/AIDS took her own stage. She is Anjelou Marie Estrella from The Philippines. Anjelou is currently a member of the social enterprise Allied World Health Care which raises awareness on the aftermath of the disease. She believes that the Youth Bonding sessions involved diverse experts whom will connive a policy apt for certain SRHR issues at certain grounds. She wants to address issues involving lack of awareness especially on the HIV/AIDS. She also shared that traditional hilot practices (way of infant delivery which involves untested methods) should be banned. She also addresses that gender equality must be existent, for instance, construction of LGBT utilities in several locations such as universities, workplaces, and even public malls. Pursuing her degree of own, she has been an HIV/AIDS advocate for long as she can remember.
These stories has manifested opportunity for young people to serve #JusticeInSRH in their own capable ways.
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