BNYCFP2022 Commits Engaging Youth to Innovate and Impact

Bangladesh 7th National Youth Family Planning Conference concluded on Wednesday, October 12, 2022. SERAC-Bangladesh organized this two-day-long conference at Krishibid Institution, Dhaka. SERAC-Bangladesh along with the partners including Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), USAID, Bangladesh Youth Health Action Network (BYHAN), Coalition of Youth Organizations in Bangladesh (CYOB), JPAIGO, IPAS Bangladesh, Marie Stopes Bangladesh, Pathfinder International, and UNFPA Bangladesh successfully arranged the conference. With this gratitude, the Bangladesh 8th National Youth Conference on Family Planning 2023 was announced in October 2023, on a larger scale by including SRHR partners. Since 2016, SERAC-Bangladesh has been organizing this national youth Family Planning Conference every year with the presence of the Directorate of Family Planning, the Ministry of Health, and various national and international SRH organizations. National and international level policymakers, public health experts, and over 500 adolescents and young adults, highlighted the importance of the key theme – “Innovate, Engage and Impact”.

On the second day of the conference, Dr. Bushra Noor, Clinical Trainer of Jhpiego Bangladesh moderated the session called “Human-Centered Design for Young Mothers in Urban Slums: Bangladesh Project-Centered Design for Young Mothers in Urban Slums: Bangladesh Experience” hosted by Jhpiego and UNFPA Bangladesh, with the presence of the guest speakers including the country lead of Jhpiego Bangladesh. Dr. Setara Rahman, Technical Officer (Family Planning) of UNFPA Bangladesh. Md. Azad Rahman and the keynote speaker was Ninad Afrin Johora, Project Officer, Jhpiego. Dr. Setara Rahman focused on Human Centered Design, is to fulfill the needs of young people according to their needs.

In the second session, hosted by MarieStopes Bangladesh, Joint Secretary (Planning), Medical Education & Family Welfare Division of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare- Mr. Md. Abdus Salam Khan and Monira Rahman, the founder of Innovation for Mental Health Foundation, joined the session as guest speakers. The session was moderated by Ms. Monjun Nahar, Lead, Advocacy, and Communication of MarieStopes Bangladesh. Volunteer Peer Leader- Eva Hossain, and Kamran Mia were also the youth speakers in the session. Mr. Salam added that “Youth power is the life force and society can be changed through the help of young people. The thoughts of the people of the society should also be brought into our plan.

After that, the networking session was conducted by SBCC Officer of SERAC-Bangladesh, Md. Nazmul Hasan and Communication and Outreach Officer- Mizanur Rahman Akand. They discussed various opportunities to connect with youth-centric organizations to increase involvement with youth and increase youth leadership in a networking session with volunteers.

The session on Youth and Comprehensive Sexuality Education was conducted by Farhana Jasmin Hasan, Senior Technical Advisor-SGBV of Ipas Bangladesh. The guest speakers in the said session were Abdul Latif Molla, Director and Line Director of the Directorate General of Family Planning, Md Mokhlesur Rahman, Program Manager, Lifestyle, Health Education of Health Directorate, MA Akher, Director of Youth Development Directorate of Ministry of Youth and Sports. Buli Hagidok, Deputy Country Director of Ipas Bangladesh, Md. Tariqul Islam Parvez, Assistant Teacher of Bhawal Mirzapur Public School (Gazipur), and the key presenter was the Country Director of Ipas Bangladesh- Dr. Sayed Rubayet. In the said session, the Line Director of DGFP- Abdul Latif Mollah emphasized on sharing the responsibility of the work and its proper coordination along with taking the initiative of the relevant stakeholders to provide accurate information about CSE to the youth.

The capacity building workshop of Advocacy and Strategic Communication for Change was conducted by the Executive Director of SERAC-Bangladesh, SM Saikat said that information exchange is not always effective in communication. For effective communication, self-communication is the prioritized issue, and beyond that, there are certain rules and principles to follow that play an important role in effective communication which are highlighted through the workshop.

Abstract Presenter Saifullah Khalid, Chief Future Maker Officer of Help the Future, Md. Abu Huraira, Dhaka Divisional Coordinator of SERAC-Bangladesh, and Atika Rahman Chowdhury, student of National Poet Kazi Nazrul Islam University, presented their abstracts on topics including SRHR and youth development. The session was facilitated by Khadija Kalam, SBCC Officer of SERAC-Bangladesh.

The closing session- Ticking Clock: Momentum for Access to Youth was moderated by the Program Manager of SERAC-Bangladesh, Tasnia Ahmed with the presence of special guests and speakers including Dr. Halida Hanum Akhter, Senior Associate, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Mr. Kishwar Imdad, Country Director of Marie Stopes Bangladesh, Dr. Nurun Nahar Begum, Line Director (Clinical Contraception Services Delivery Program Unit) of Directorate General of Family Planning, Mr. Manoj Pramanik, Assistant Professor of Jatiya Kabi Kazi Nazrul Islam University, Dr. Abu Sayed Mohammod Hasan, Programme Specialist-SRH of UNFPA Bangladesh, youth speakers- Ms. Farjana Akter Rochana, Youth Leader (Mohammadpur).

This year the conference is to focus on making innovation by engaging young people to make out a fruitful impact in the SRH programs. The 2 days long conference comprised a number of plenary, parallel sessions, workshops and networking for youth, and skill-building workshops in a hybrid approach.

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