While the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) focuses on the demographic dividend, at Impact magazine we decided it was time to stop speaking about young people and instead hear directly from them.
This issue, jointly produced by PSI and the ICFP organizing committee, sees a youth takeover with no fewer than 10 youth editors, including PSI’er Emma Beck, a 20-something who scouted, found, hired and managed writers, photographers and designers from around the world all under the age of 29. At ICFP, PSI will be talking a lot about the unlikely teams needed to create Youth-Powered healthcare—who a young person wants #InMySquad.
Read here for this issue’s Editor’s Note from Emma, the young person who put together Impact’s Youth-Powered squad. — Marshall Stowell, Editor-in-Chief, Impact magazine @MarshallPSI
By Emma Beck, Youth Editor for Impact magazine Issue No. 24 @emmashoshanna
2018 witnessed my generation’s power to drive progress forward. From the millions of Indian youth who formed a human chain in resistance against child marriage, to the U.S. Parkland students whose activism in the face of gun violence spurred the March for Our Lives, we’ve seen that youth can ignite momentum that reverberates around the world.
We, young people, are doers and explorers. We disrupt the status quo with passion and dynamism, and we do it with an unbridled curiosity and willingness to collaborate across boundaries until change is achieved.
Our voices matter. And the proof is in this magazine.
Past Impact issues have featured the leaders among us revolutionizing the future of youth-powered healthcare. But for the magazine’s ICFP edition, it wasn’t enough to be written about. The time was now to pass us the editorial reins.
So I posted a call for Youth Editors. In two weeks 70 applications poured into my inbox. When you give us an opportunity to be heard, we show up: here and ready to serve. I am humbled to have partnered with nine other Youth Editors who unleashed their visions to reimagine this issue.
Our Youth Photographer Tanaka Chirombo embedded himself in a Malawian village to show us the realities rural adolescents face in making health decisions. Our Youth Graphic Designer Haniffa Arista Putri, a young leader from Indonesia, breathed fresh energy into the magazine’s creative elements. And Christianah Aborisade and Chidimma Maduabum from Nigeria elevated the voices of four of ICFP’s youth video contest winners.
Victoria Milanzi from Malawi and Esther Nantambi from Uganda interviewed public health trailblazers redefining how to meaningfully partner with young people. Surabhi Dogra from India outlined questions that adults, from donors to Ministry of Health representatives, can ask young leaders to grasp the ingenuity young people have to offer. And PSI’s President and CEO Karl Hofmann stepped aside as ICFP Youth Pre-Conference chairs Jillian Gedeon from London and Dr. Catherine Baye-Easton from the U.S. took over his final note.
As a 27-year-old, I am at the tail-end of my youth years. But as I look to our Youth Editors, I’m excited by the passion I see in the young people driving us forward. Their energy is palpable, their perspectives invigorating.
With this issue, step back into the vigor of adolescence. Through our voices, relive your early challenges of making reproductive health choices. And take from this Impact the magic we young people bring when adults make room for us to take the lead.
Banner photo: © PSI/Benjamin Schilling, Illustrated by Cassie Kussy