The vital role of meaningful youth participation (MYP) in research, policy and practice is finally gaining global acknowledgement, yet too often youth experiences within the sexual and reproductive health (SRHR) sector are being left out or tokenised. Seeing youth as valued and active creators as opposed to passive receivers or solely inputs of data is an integral part of shifting our approaches on youth engagement. When youth engage within the field of SRHR, they are often minoritized or can feel isolated or constrained in their respective field of SRHR research, policy and practice. As with all social movements, building a network of peers for reciprocal learning and community building for allies is needed to harness the expertise and enthusiasm of youth. This community of practice (CoP) is a space where youth are able to connect, explore and create both in regards to the field of youth SRHR but also as youth experts within the broader SRHR field.
In line with its diverse member composition, this CoP focuses both on a Dutch and international context. Members have selected a few core objectives for this community such as:
Further sub-objectives include efforts to strengthen MYP in research, policy and practice as well as engaging in fundraising activities together when opportunities arise. This CoP has a strong commitment to deepening knowledge that is actionable and meaningful for youth.
The activities of this community of practice are still being ideated and explored. Current activities include member co-learning sessions and establishing a Youth & SRHR social media sub-group. We aim to fit our efforts towards the changes we hope to see for SRHR and youth. These include but are not limited to the following:
In line with the motivation for this CoP to be ‘by youth, for youth’, it is composed of Share-Net Netherlands’ members ranging from eighteen years old to the very early thirties. We originate from across the globe, each bringing unique socio-cultural experiences along with their shared internationally-minded outlooks and cross-cultural learning. While currently being based in the Netherlands, we represent countries such as Argentina, Nicaragua, the U.S.A, the U.K & Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Turkey, Pakistan, China and more! Members are heavily experienced in SRHR research while also having strong expertise in SRHR practice and policy.
To contact us directly please write to Hannah Kabelka at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CoP members can access their online working space on Mighty networks via this link (Share-Net Netherlands members only).
Click here for resources on Youth & SRHR.
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