Shishu Ranjan is a Youth Accountability Advocate from India who was at the International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) to speak about his advocacy work in family planning and sexual health rights.
The ICFP is a chance for countries, organisations and individuals to make public commitments to family planning and be recognised for their achievements and research.
The conference is an opportunity for people from across the board from political leaders and scientists to advocates and young people to share knowledge, celebrate success and identify the next steps needed towards reaching the goal of enabling an additional 120 million women to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.
Whilst at the ICFP Shishu utilitized the space by taking the opportunity to update Indian MPs on his work and the program, and connect with others working in India to help build the network of supporters. Shishu also shared his learnings on youth-led accountability for family planning and gender equality with other young people at ICFP by co-facilitating a training session and consultation.
2018 has been the best year of my life. I have been introduced to Restless Development and started to work on Gender Equality and Family Planning which is a passionate subject of mine During the second week of November I was fortunate to be able to visit Kigali, Rwanda to attend International Conference on Family Planning 2018.
I got an amazing chance to talk to new people from all over the world with a diverse range of knowledge, background, cultures and languages. Attending the International Conference was like a dream and I find it is hard to find the words to describe how amazing it felt to be there. The tagline of ICFP was “Investing for a lifetime of returns”, which meant a lot to me because I invested myself to help our generation grow.
At the Youth pre-conference, I got a chance to connect with young people from all corners of the world. Everyone was very confident when talking about Family Planning, Sex, Contraception, Sexual Pleasure which made me feel confident too. Learning from young people from different backgrounds inspired me to work even harder on issues of child marriage, unintended pregnancy, early pregnancy, sexual abuse.
On the first day of the pre-Youth Conference, we heard emotional stories from young people of all corners of the world. That motivates me to work day and night for the community. I learnt about different ideas on Leadership, Youth Participation in Family Planning, SRHR.
I saw lots of demonstration on different types of contraception like Diaphragm, Condoms, Copper T, Vasectomy, Levoplant, Intrauterine Contraception. This made me quite comfortable and confident when talking about contraception with young people. It was the first time I’d seen a female condom! I learnt that if we are talking about Family Planning and Contraception then we have to talk about sex frequently.
It was an amazing moment for me when myself and the Restless team shared our knowledge and experience on Youth-Led Accountability work, During a session with UNFPA & SheDecides, I got the chance to share my knowledge and experience on Youth-Led Accountability among people from different countries. Being a young person from a Rural background, I pointed out the issue that young people lack sex education. I also attended many breakout sessions, activities organized by various youth led agencies as well as sessions on Gender participation in contraceptive usage. I learnt so much from all the sessions I attended. The youth participation in every meeting was amazing and after the ICFP I really felt the Youth Power inside me.
Key youth moments during ICFP include the launch of a human centre design and young people piece that Restless Development is a signatory of and the launch of a consensus statement on meaningful youth engagement.