By Surabhi Dogra, Manager, Public Health Foundation of India
We young people aren’t just the future. We are the right now.
As an International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) Youth Ambassador and lifelong youth activist, I join more than 600 of my peers in representing the generation that is driving forward the ways in which public health works with—and for—youth like me to create solutions that serve our unique life trajectories. We can tell you about our hopes and our dreams. We can speak first hand about the obstacles that are too often blocking our access to the health services we need the most. And we can reflect on our diverse realities that shape our health rights in a world we have inherited.
Our voices are powerful. But don’t take it from me. Listen to us all.
Here’s my challenge to you: Find an ICFP Youth Ambassador at the conference, and engage in dialogue by asking any or all of the questions below. You can even make notes directly on this page, and bring the sheet to the Population Services International’s ICFP booth (56 and 57). To top it off, you’ll also receive a small token as our way of saying thank you for hearing our voices.
Imagine yourself as a community health worker. How would you integrate local traditions and new technologies to position contraception as relevant and valuable for young people?
In your native language, what is a youthful tagline that resonates with you? Why?
What’s important to you right now? How does that influence how you make reproductive health decisions?
What’s one way public health practitioners can integrate youth into programming, from big picture decision-making to on-the-ground service delivery?
Think of a pop culture reference that misrepresents young people’s sexual behaviors and attitudes. How would you tell the story?
What policy change would revolutionize how young people and their influencers not only perceive but access modern contraception?