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Antonina Lewandowska

Antonina Lewandowska - 2019 Nominee
Position: ASTRA Network Coordinator and a Sex Educator
Organization: Federation for Women and Family Planning
Current Location: Poland, Europe
College of Inter-Area Individual Studies in Humanities and Social Science, University of Warsaw
75 Public Votes Reached!
Antonina Lewandowska has been strongly engaged in to SRHR issues, especially as a peer educator, for a couple of years. She started her activity when she was seventeen organizing an informal initiative "These Issues" for youth and adolescents. – Krystyna Kacpura, Executive Director at Federation for Women and family Planning
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have been an activist and sexual educator since my teens. For the past couple of years, I have conducted countless sexual education classes and workshops, led youth-focused initiatives and advocated for access to sexual and reproductive health and rights for everyone on both national and international levels. After delivering a speech at the European Parliament and attending several international conferences, I now coordinate ASTRA Network - as the youngest person in history to hold this position. I get to act locally and globally, what helps me stay grounded and remember the people and ideas that I so strongly believe in.
I am a proud representative of Central and Eastern Europe in organisations like the UN or EU, but still visit schools to talk about sex, contraception and consent.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I suffered from severe depression for a long time. After finally recovering, I found myself filled with power and drive to help others. I also noticed that many of my friends knew nothing about their sexualities, bodies and needs. What started as conversations during school breaks has soon grown into much more – and now the passion for family planning is an inseparable part of me. It stems from within me and my personal experiences, what makes my involvement passionate and fierce.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

On the regional level, I focus on working with youth and providing them with the highest quality education and support. I am an online consultant for PONTON's facebook page, where I answer youth's questions regarding contraception, pregnancy paranoia, consent, sexual orientations and more.

On the international level, I use my platform to lobby for all forms of support for Central and Eastern European NGO's and give voice to otherwise overlooked groups and regional issues.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

If I have the honour of being named a winner of 120 under 40, I will donate the 1000$ grant to PONTON (the most path-breaking and influential Polish organisation focused on providing youth with comprehensive sexuality education) and use the money to start a campaign about sexual and reproductive health and rights for people of all ages and genders. Such initiative would provide experts with the opportunity to contradict the fundamentalist narrative, which dominates Polish discourse on the topic.

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