Advancing the Youth Agenda through Advocacy and Peer Education
Jamidah Nakabba 22, Peer Facilitator and Treasurer United Youth for Development Club never expected that men in her community would appreciate women as capable leaders. Jamidah was aware of deeply ingrained patriarchal stereotypes that made leadership positions available for men only. However, all this changed when she joined TeamUp Program.
TeamUp is a multi-sectoral and cross-sectoral program that works in the fields of Agriculture, Water and Health. It brings together three local implementing partner organisations namely; Action 4 Health Uganda (A4HU), Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) and Whave Solutions. These partners pool their expertise in their respective fields to holistically target 50,000 young people between the ages of 15 - 30 in a pilot being implemented in Mityana district in five sub-counties of Bulera, Bbanda, Malangala, Maanyi, and Kalangalo.
TeamUp seeks to provide "improved livelihood prospects for young people in rural East Africa" by improving their access to safe fully functional water services, sanitation, safe hygiene practices, gender friendly sexual and reproductive health, enhanced entrepreneurial and technical skills, financial services, resources and markets. The services offered are diverse and interwoven ensuring that young recipients benefit optimally, become self-determined and in the long run take conscious decisions about leading a healthy and self-determined life, improve their economic situation and make their voices heard.
It was initiated by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is managed as well as co-financed through three foundations; Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevolkerung (DSW), Hanns R. Neumann Stiftung (HRNS) and Siemens Stiftung.
Through TeamUp, Action 4 Health Uganda (A4HU) conducts community engagements through which Jamidah attended and became active.
The engagements aim at raising awareness and dialoguing on key issues affecting the youth, governance and development in their communities.
Because of jamidah’s proactiveness, she was eventually recommended by her peers to be a Youth champion.
“During one of the meetings, youth solidly identified and recommended me as a Youth Champion to advance issues of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights,” Jamidah notes. As a Youth Champion, Jamidah engages with various community and local leaders to demand for youth friendly services and space through which young people's voices can be heard.
She encourages young people to engage in decision making processes and advocates for gender equality and meaningful youth participation as she interfaces with other leaders in her community. “This role has given me popularity and more confidence in community work,” jamidah says.
Jamidah is also a Peer Facilitator, and uses her personal experience to engage with young people on issues of sexual and reproductive health, substance and drug abuse. “As a Peer Facilitator, I promote healthy lifestyle choices among young people,” she says.
Because of the good work she has been doing, jamidah noted that her friends have gradually started to follow in her foot steps and most have stopped engaging in drug abuse and drinking.
She notes, “You cannot work and you cannot be a successful person without your health.” Adding, “If you have money and health, you have everything you want – that is our aspiration.”