The Youth Dialogue was organised by the Zambian Act! 2015 alliance powered by Restless Development with support from UNAIDS.
ACT!2015 is a movement that aims to secure advances on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and HIV response for young people.
The dialogue was dabbed as Youth Dialogue on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH)and HIV Millennium Development Goals – Sustainable Development Goals “MIND THE GAP”. It was aimed at availing an opportunity for young people to have a round table discussion around sexual health and HIV with decision makers.
The youth dialogue had a great turnout with the presence of the Zambian Ministry of Child Development, Mother and Child Health (MCDMCH) as well as the Ministry of Youth and Sport and UNICEF representatives. There was also extensive support from the alliance members who participated in the gallery walk by providing information on SRH and HIV in a youth-friendly manner.
The major wins of the event were the signing of the commitment in the form of a T-shirt which had the youth reactions to the outcome document, bringing out the issues that the young people feel should be highlighted. As next steps, these commitments will be written down and signed by the Ministries involved in a follow-up meeting.
Another major highlight was the African Directions cultural group that provided "edutainment", including a song and a drama piece depicting SRH and HIV issues in Zambia. They also talked about the “Have you seen my rights” campaign which is to be championed under the Act!2015 campaign.
Young people asked the government to put them at the heart of the Post-2015 national strategy for HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) prevention and treatment. Furthermore, they asked for capacity building and access to SRH and HIV information for young people as well as adequate financing for health and accountability.
Above,young people after the Youth Dialogue event.