Dakshitha Wickremarathne

75 Public Votes Reached!
Dakshitha Wickremarathne - 2017 Nominee
Position: Director - Advocacy and Programmes
Organization: Youth Advocacy Network Sri Lanka
Current Location: Sri Lanka, South Asia
Masters in Development Studies from University of Colombo
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
- Post Graduate Diploma in Diplomacy and Global Affairs (Bandaranaike International Diplomatic Training Institute)
- Bachelors in Social Work (1st Class) National Institute of Social Development)
- Certification of Women Deliver Young Leaders Programme E-course
- Professional Qualification in Human Resource Management (Distinction (Institute of Personnel Management)
- Political Advocacy e-course on HIV prevention conducted by the Global Youth Coalition on HIV and AIDS (GYCA)
- Certification of Young Entrepreneurs (Distinction) by Certified Management Accountants and Young Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka
- Certification of the Discovering Young Leaders Programme (DYLP) by the Commonwealth Secretariat
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Emerging Youth Leader - International Conference on Family Planning 2013
    Awarding Organization:
    David and Lucile Packard Foundation
    Date Awarded:
    November 16, 2013
  • Award:
    Women Deliver Young Leader
    Awarding Organization:
    Women Deliver
    Date Awarded:
    June 1, 2015
  • Award:
    The Danial S. Sanders Memorial Gold Medal
    Awarding Organization:
    Ministry of Social Services - Sri Lanka
    Date Awarded:
    March 25, 2015
Dakshitha has built capacities of more than 2000 young people across Asia Pacific enabling them access to accurate information and services on family planning specially marginalized groups and has experience on policy, programming and advocacy. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As a Master Trainer on SRHR with YPEER and IPPF I have trained almost 2300 diverse youth, parents, healthcare providers and government officials in Asia Pacific region, enabling them with access to accurate information and services. I have developed around 11 technical manuals & modules containing info on family planning and sexual rights which are being used over in local universities, schools and health care centres. An interactive cybertool on family planning was developed and with government's approval being used in all (13) local universities. A Sign Language glossary on family planning and SRHR was developed, for the first time in Sri Lanka, specifically for hearing impaired populations, bridging the communication gap for more than 400 hearing impaired a month when accessing services

What sparked your passion for family planning?

During my uni life, through research and field work, I realized how young people have been denied of their rights to receive information & services on family planning. Youth and adolescents were not given equal opportunities and agency to make decisions regarding their bodies, rights and lives. Access to family planning was further restricted, socially and culturally, with many myths/misconceptions. The frustrations that most these issues created made me passionate to be a social change agent.

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

Talking about people with disabilities accessing family planning within the restricted Sri Lankan Culture, was an unspoken challenge. I along with my team broke this barrier to a certain extent by producing a sign language glossary which is now being used by deaf schools and Health Ministry. As a young activist I have been successful in grooming the next generation by training, guiding and mentoring emerging young and adolescent leaders to continue their activism and advocacy on family planning

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? :

The grant would be directly used for "We HEAR You" project, to test the already developed sign language glossary in Colombo and Jaffna (Post Conflict area). Objective is to create access to family planning services and information for hearing impaired in deaf schools and health service centres. Using the generated evidence, a larger project will be developed with the Ministry, in all deaf schools and selected health care centres through sign language interpreters & visual tools.

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