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GOJoven Program: Youth Leaders Speak: GOJoven Fellows Share Stories About Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Challenges and Successes in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize

Case Studies

GOJoven Program: Youth Leaders Speak: GOJoven Fellows Share Stories About Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Challenges and Successes in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize

Emily Paulos

While tremendous strides have been made throughout the world to enhance the reproductive health of young people and support their quest for the information and services they need, youth in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Belize continue to face significant barriers to youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services and the protection of their sexual and reproductive rights. GOJoven has been addressing these and related issues by building a cadre of Fellows in these four countries who work towards improving the health and rights of young people at local and national levels.

Silence Speaks initiated a partnership with GOJoven in 2010. The overall vision of the project is to bring individual stories to the forefront of the efforts of Summit Fellows and alumni to advocate for increased financial investment and youth friendly policies to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents in the program’s four key countries. We led four-day participatory digital storytelling workshops in Guatemala and Belize for 13 alumni of the program, to support them in developing and editing personal narratives about the circumstances in their own lives that led them to become leaders in promoting adolescent health. In addition to the workshops, we led daylong action planning meetings to solicit the storytellers’ input on a Story Distribution Plan and a Story Training and Advocacy Guide, which outline how stories can be integrated into GOJoven’s education, training, and policy advocacy activities.

GOJoven Fellows and staff are actively using the Training and Advocacy Guide to share this powerful collection of stories, as outlined in the Distribution Plan. An evaluation of the project found that the workshops enhanced the individual and collective leadership capabilities of the storytellers and enabled them to leverage their stories, and those of their colleagues, as tools for promoting adolescent sexual and reproductive health and rights. View the GOJoven stories online and download a copy of the Training and Advocacy Guide