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FP/RH Champion Spotlight: Young and Alive Initiative


Knowledge SUCCESS loves feedback from our readers. We want to hear how our resources benefit your work, how we can improve, and your ideas for the site. Recently, you mentioned wanting more insights specific to your countries and the context you work in. In response, we’re featuring organizations working at the national level in a series called “FP/RH Champion Spotlight.” Our goal is to spark new partnerships and give well-deserved credit to those advancing family planning and reproductive health with a national or regional focus.

This week, our featured organization is Young and Alive Initiative.

Editor’s note: Congratulations to Innocent Grant, program officer at Young and Alive Initiative and an advisory member to our Next Gen RH community of practice, on winning the Phil Harvey SRHR Innovation Award at ICFP 2022!

FP/RH Champion Spotlight banner with blue highlights behind the words FP/RH Champion Spotlight. Spotlight graphics are in the four corners of the rectangular graphic.

Organization

Young and Alive Initiative

Location

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

The Work

Young and Alive Initiative is a collective of young professionals, health care providers, and talented content creators who are passionate about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and social development.

Our mission: Young and Alive Initiative’s mission is to provide young professionals and talented people with the skills, knowledge, and resources to advocate, build capacity, and raise awareness to scale up youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health information and services.Our work in Tanzania has focused on promoting adolescent and youth SRHR.

Several Young and Alive Youth Fellowship participants gather together at the 2nd Social Entrepreneurship workshop in Tanzania. Photo credit: Mwinyihija Juma at Young and Alive Initiative
Young and Alive Youth Fellowship participants at the 2nd Social Entrepreneurship workshop in Mbezi Beach, Tanzania. The fellowship aims to develop new leaders for the SRHR sector in Tanzania. Photo credit: Mwinyihija Juma at Young and Alive Initiative

Since 2017, YAAI has reached more than 100,000 young people in Tanzania’s southern highlands through incorporating behaviour change communications, youth leadership, advocacy, research and data, and innovation in their messages about SRHR. One way we do this is by leveraging the famous East African music genre called Bongo Flava.

The “Ubongo na Flava” project, which translates to “Brains and Flavor”, is a YAAI project that uses this type of Tanzanian music to design advocacy campaigns for youth on important topics in SRHR.

YAAI has been working to form coalitions, including the CHAGUA and Tanzania Youth and Adolescent Reproductive Health (TAYARH) projects, aimed at promoting adolescents and young people’s SRHRh and women’s autonomy. Through these collaborations, YAAI has participated in the National Family Planning Technical Working Group and contributed to the development of National Cost Family Planning II and the National Accelerated Investment Agenda For Adolescent Health and Wellbeing.

YAAI recently began piloting a digital media platform for reproductive health promotion called “Contraceptive Conversations.” The program has a strong social media component, which includes engaging in timely discussions on adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) issues on their Facebook page.

Through our YAAI Fellowship,15 new champions and youth leaders have developed the skills to become SRHR advocates in Tanzania. Through the fellowship, young people learn about service delivery, social entrepreneurship, and advocacy within SRHR.

To promote male participation in SRHR, YAAI will implement a gender-transformative program in the southern highlands of Tanzania in 2022-2023. In partnership with USAID and IREX, this new program will draw from the “Emanzi Boys Training Curriculum”, an existing program under the Youth Power Action project that covers topics such as SRH, gender issues, and economic empowerment. The ultimate goal of the program is to promote positive reproductive health behaviors among men and boys.

Check back soon for a new FP/RH Champion Spotlight organization!

Several Young and Alive Youth Fellowship participants gather together at the 2nd Social Entrepreneurship workshop in Tanzania. Photo credit: Mwinyihija Juma at Young and Alive Initiative
Irene Alenga

Knowledge Management and Community Engagement Lead, Advocacy Accelerator

Irene is an established social economist with over 13 years’ experience in research, policy analysis, knowledge management, and partnership engagement. As a researcher, she has been involved in the coordination and implementation of over 20 social economic research projects in various disciplines within the Eastern African Region. In her work as a Knowledge Management Consultant, Irene has been involved in health-related studies through work with public health and technology-focused institutions in Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Malawi where she has successfully teased out impact stories and increased visibility of project interventions. Her expertise in developing and supporting management processes, lessons learned, and best practices is exemplified in the three-year organizational change management and project closure process of the USAID| DELIVER and Supply Chain Management Systems (SCMS) 10-year project in Tanzania. In the emerging practice of Human Centered Design, Irene has successfully facilitated a positive end to end product experience through conducting user experience studies while implementing the USAID| DREAMS Project amongst adolescent girls and young women (AGYWs) in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Irene is well-versed in resource mobilization and donor management, especially with USAID, DFID, and EU.

Cozette Boakye

Communications Officer, Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Cozette Boakye is a Communications Officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. Through her work, she leads communications campaigns for East Africa and Asia, develops content, and provides overall communications support for project-related activities. Her passion spans across health communications, family planning and reproductive health disparities, and design thinking as a strategy to shaping social change globally. Cozette holds a B.S. in Public Health Sciences from Xavier University of Louisiana, and a MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.

Elizabeth Tully

Senior Program Officer, Knowledge SUCCESS / Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs

Elizabeth (Liz) Tully is a Senior Program Officer at the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs. She supports knowledge and program management efforts and partnership collaborations, in addition to developing print and digital content, including interactive experiences and animated videos. Her interests include family planning/reproductive health, the integration of population, health, and the environment, and distilling and communicating information in new and exciting formats. Liz holds a B.S. in Family and Consumer Sciences from West Virginia University and has been working in knowledge management for family planning since 2009.

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