Three of our young alumni from Zambia, Sierra Leone and Zimbabwe joined 2,400 participants from 88 countries at the second International Conference on Family Planning in Dakar, Senegal, from 29th November – 2nd December 2011.
The conference brought together participants from across the world to share research, best practices, and progress on national strategies to deliver family planning services, with the ultimate goal being universal access to family planning.
The conference emphasised, not only the social benefits of effective and appropriate family planning investment, but also the positive economic impacts, which aptly parallels our work across our Country Programmes on Sexual Reproductive Health issues as well as on livelihood development.
Admire (Sierra Leone), Nora (Zambia) and Primrose (Zimbabwe) were active throughout the conference and were eager to share their personal stories and professional experiences with the huge audiences in speeches, roundtable discussions and other activities.
Former Volunteer Peer Educator Admire said: ‘I learned that sometimes you don't need to advocate loudly to catch policy makers' attention but that what you do will speak for itself, the impact, the case studies and the knowledge levels of stakeholders will tell your story and make a good impression.’
Nora volunteered to be one of the youth speakers at a dialogue session between youth and policy makers and shared the Restless Development experience of using social media to reach out to young people in Zambia. Her speech was also broadcast on a radio station. Nora said of her experience: ‘I had the experience of a lifetime. I am not the same person who left 2 weeks ago.’
Restless Development would like to thank the Sigrid Rausing Trust for enabling Admire, Nora and Primrose to participate in this conference.