Prisca’s Study Week in Finland

On World Contraception Day, Countdown 2030 Europe partner, Väestöliitto, invited  Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) youth activist, Prisca Chakholoma to give an impassioned account of her experiences in Malawi at a seminar held by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Population and Development in Finland.

The seminar, based on the unmet need for family planning (FP) and contraception, had 187 participants including decision makers, CSOs and youth.

As part of the event, Prisca, 24, focused on “Malawian youth and Sexual Rights”, where she spoke about how she is striving to improve the SRH outcomes for young people, especially girls, and discussed the importance of girls and youth empowerment as key to enabling all young people to achieve their full potential.

As a capacity building and training coordinator for the Centre for Youth Empowerment and Civic Education in Malawi, Prisca’s main role is the design, planning and implementation of activities aimed at promoting and protecting SRH for all young people. In advocating for youth SRH, she underlined the importance of effective delivery of youth-friendly health services, peer education, youth participation and empowerment.

She explained the ways in which she has successfully worked with young girls to build their capacity to demand and access youth-friendly SRH services from hard-to-reach areas. Prisca stressed that harmful cultural practices in these areas often pose as a barrier to access SRH services and FP.

Thanks to Prisca’s various meetings during her visit, Väestöliitto, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, decision-makers and several Civil Society Organisations gained an up-to-date insight on how SRH/FP could be best promoted in a rural developing setting amongst youth. Prisca’s speech at the seminar gave a huge insight into Southern Champions’ grass roots level experience, and especially the experience with youth. It also raised seminar participants’ awareness on the SRH/FP situation in Malawi and how Finland’s development cooperation focusing on SRH/FP enables women, girls and youth to live healthy and dignified lives.

Thanks to Countdown 2030 Europe partner, Väestöliitto, and through increased understanding of SRH/FP in Finland, Prisca has now started to plan how some best practices could be implemented in Malawi as well.