SERAC-Bangladesh is a leading youth organization working on access to health services and preventive health issues for more than a decade. Aligning with the Bangladesh Constitution Article 15 a, and the UN Millennium Development Goals no: 5 (improving maternal health) and Goal: 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases), we have opened three windows to address our interventions.
Access to health and basic services: SERAC-Bangladesh as a member of Shahtya Andolon has been advocating to include access to healthcare as a fundamental human rights in the constitution of Bangladesh. This advocacy is framed in the light of the Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). SERAC organizes different types of communication campaigns including human chains, round tables, demonstrations, letter campaigns and creative materials development to target strategic stakeholders.
Youth Mental Health Support Program:
Mental health is an emerging factor for wellbeing of young people, and it has been defined by the WHO as a dynamic state of internal equilibrium which enables individuals to use their abilities in harmony with universal values of society.
Recognizing the importance of young people’s state of psychosocial wellbeing, SERAC-Bangladesh has been working across the country and in recent times we have worked with a number of agencies including the UNICEF, HRIDAY, and local partners to promote the issue.
Non Communicable Diseases Prevention: Acknowledging 57000 death and 372000 paralyzed only for tobacco related diseases a year in Bangladesh (WHO data of 2004), SERAC-Bangladesh has been working on tobacco control and non communicable disease prevention since 2008. With the youth force and continuous advocacy works SERAC-Bangladesh earned recognitions and representations at local, national and global levels.? The achievements include, nomination of SERAC-Bangladesh’s Executive Director S M Shaikat as the only youth leader to represent Bangladesh at the 15th World Conference on Tobacco or Health in Singapore, 2012, elected as the Asia Regional Representative of the Global Youth Action on Tobacco (GYAT), Scholarship to join the 10th APACT Conference in Japan, 2013 and being nominated as the Convener of the APACT Youth Action Network (AYAN). It is a pleasure for SERAC-Bangladesh that it is holding two large regional youth networks as secretariat for GYAT and AYAN. Further, SERAC-Bangladesh also serves the Youth Forum against NCDs (YFAN) as its secretariat. Some of the activities can be visualized here:
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: Sexual and reproductive health and rights or SRHR is the concept of human rights applied to sexuality and reproduction. As a youth based organization, SERAC-Bangladesh opened this window of SRHR in 2010 and started working on youth and HIV/AIDS prevention awareness activities. Later, SERAC received partnership with Global Youth Coalition on AIDS/HIV (GYCA) and organized focus group discussions with key population affected by HIV/AIDS in Mymensingh. Further, SERAC-Bangladesh’s Executive Director S M Shaikat served as the Bangladesh country focal point for the Link Up project until 2013. At present SERAC-Bangladesh is leading the International Youth Alliance on Family Planning (IYAFP) in Bangladesh as S M Shaikat is serving as its country coordinator since March- 2014.? In this context, our main focus is now on access to contraceptives and youth engagement in family planning awareness and their protection of SRHR in its program areas.? Some of the activities can be visualized here:
Engagement into Post 2015 Agenda:
Further to engagement into the global dialogue on post 2015 agenda and youth on SRHR issues, SERAC-Bangladesh is a partner of? My World UN global survey in Bangladesh. It promotes meaningful participation of young people and their lift their voices at national and international levels.
In connection with youth voice raising on population dynamics and future policy planning, SERAC-Bangladesh contributed in a number of global forums including the ICPD Global Youth Forum 2012 in Indonesia, and SERAC executive director S M Shaikat moderated the 11th International Dialogue on Population and Development in Berlin, 2013. Still it is working in country and regional level to promote the? best policies for youth to be reflected at the Sustainable Development Goals beyond 2015.