Nargis Shirazi Baguma

Nargis Shirazi Baguma - 2016 Nominee
Position: Youth Friendly Services Co-ordinator
Organization: PACE
Nargis represents the new generation of family planning leaders by thinking out of the box. Nargis has always focused on creative ways to air out the voices of youth. She staged a comedy on male invol – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have used the arts and entertainment for change. I staged a play at the national theater in 2013 on male involvement in family planning where a man fell pregnant.I have also worked on skits and short films for creative information and communication sharing for young people and their guardians. I have been involved in policy and planning for young people at the UN headquarters from the MDG's to the SDG's. I have trained over 30 youth in advocacy. I have used human centered design, asset based community driven development in youth engagement. I have participated in national and international conferences and added my voice for young people for the need for not just access to family planning but for youth friendly services.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I saw a young lady almost loose her life because of an unsafe abortion. She had no where to go and no one to talk to about her pregnancy. This made me realize not just how much of a safe space a girl needs to talk about sexual reproductive health but also just how important it is to involve the boy child. I have also met an 8 year old little girl peddling sex for survival in a slum in Kampala. This made me question whether or not we are dealing with the real problem!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

The biggest challenge I have faced is expressing the need for family planning especially for adolescents. Religion, mindsets and culture play a great role in making access and uptake a success. People's attitudes are still negative and yet we need partnerships with the older generation to make this a success too. I have found that lobbying and use of creative tools for expression have made the older generation more interested in hearing young people's stories instead of rebuking them

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

Access to COMPREHENSIVE information, education and communication to those aged 10-19. There are youth friendly services that are not 'youth friendly". They have large stock outs, need capacity building of service providers and need a more creative approach to communication. I believe we need to realize access does not necessarily mean uptake and we need to find out why this is so using creative participatory means for youth engagement to hear their stories shape solutions and have them involved.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

To be able to produce information, communication and education materials that are comprehensive, creative and age appropriate. I also want to be able to start the first ever adolescent health worker program where young people help educate and link fellow young people to services. I also want to finalize and pilot the first ever adolescent board game to help reduce teenage pregnancy. I want to be able to inspire the next generation of young people for there can be nothing about us without us!

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