The Samoa National Youth Council (S.N.Y.C.) hosted its first sexual and reproductive health and rights workshop for its members last week.
The workshop was themed “Sexuality & Reproduction through the eyes of youth: I am more than my age, my village and my family. I am a Change Agent”.
All S.N.Y.C. members from around Savai’i, Upolu and Manono were present at the two-day workshop held at the Samoa Family Health Association Youth Drop in Centre.
A statement from the S.N.Y.C. said the key objective of the workshop was to build the capacity of the members on the issue of sexual and reproductive health and rights and in turn equip members to be open with sharing the topic to their various communities.
Programme Coordinator, Taimalelagi Kaisarina Salesa, said there are definitely more workshops in the pipeline for this year because the Council is pushing its members to understand key issues pertaining to youths.
“The strategy is to build the capacity of the members first this year, so by next year, they will be ready and confident to spread the word to their fellow youth members in their own villages,” Taimalelagi said in the statement.
Most members were appreciative of the forum because it enlightened and expanded their knowledge on sexual rights and also human reproductive rights.
“The workshop was a bit odd in the beginning as we don’t often talk about sexual and reproductive rights with others but in the end it was very useful,” says Pulou Fu’a from Faiaai, Savaii in the statement.
“I hope we will continue to do more of these forums in the future and hopefully roll it out to our youth groups in the village,” Fu’a added.
The theme aimed at all members to be agents of change, particularly for them to eventually take the lead in facilitating similar workshops in their villages and community.
Key partners of S.N.Y.C. including Nuanua o le Alofa, Samoa Faafafine Association and Samoa Family Health Association participated and shared their wealth of experience through interactive presentations.
The board and members of S.N.Y.C. acknowledged the support of U.N.F.P.A. in funding the workshop and there is hope to continue the partnership.