Actualités

Youth Envoy Engages with Young People at Outreach Center in Mbour, Senegal

5 Février 2018
Mabigue Ngom, explaining to the Youth Envoy some of the contraceptive solutions available at the Sexual and Adolescent Health Ward of the Youth Centre in Mbour, 3 February 2018.

Mbour, Senegal, 3 February, 2018

At Mbour, 85km from Dakar the UN Secretary General’s Youth Envoy, Ms. Jayathma Wickramanayake expressed her delight in the work the Youth Centre was doing for young people. The Centre offers various services and is focal point for a number of interventions in the community including comprehensive sexuality education, HIV/AIDS testing, family planning services, advocacy efforts -to prevent child marriages through the “Don’t Touch My Sister” Campaign and the GINDIMA Hotline. It also serves as an arts and cultural centre, as well as a platform where young people could get counselling services.

In attendance was the UNFPA delegation, headed by UNFPA WCARO Director, Mr. Mabingue Ngom, a Representative of the Ministry of Youth and young people who utilise the centre. The Youth Envoy was given a tour of the centre on arrival, where she had the opportunity to speak with peer educators and health professionals working in the centre about the challenges they face, and the results there are seeing. The centre is maintained by the efforts of dedicated and determined individuals working collaboratively with UNFPA and Senegal’s Ministry of Youth.

“I am happy that there is a space where young people can come and get information about the things that affect their life, get educated and necessary services that they need, with respect to their sexual and reproductive health,” Jayathma noted. “Encourage your friends and colleagues to come to the Centre, or call the Hotline whenever you feel you or your friends need information or might be in trouble.” she added. She further noted that the progress she has seen about how young people are able to harness the opportunities presented by the Centre was indicative of how promising the future can be when young people are given resources they need, and their capacity built. 

The Centre, which is supported by UNFPA, has been able to carry out a range of services including a Youth Hotline that offers sexual and reproductive health information through a “call-in” service, as well as through innovating social media channels.

The success of these proactive measures was evident in the decreasing HIV rate in the community and by extension, the town, as well as an increased number of young people who visit the Centre for various purposes.

The Youth Envoy also took part in a live social media and radio interview where she shared her personal experience as a young advocate of against child marriage and for girl child education in Sri Lanka. She stressed that change was something that is incremental, and that youth voices will be heard when they are part of the process, and push for access to information and services.