Amanda Joan Banura
Family Planning has been a sort of a taboo for a young person to talk about. Since I joined the Family Planning Association of Uganda, now called Reproductive Health Uganda, I realised that family planning is every young person's right as they have a right to choice. My contributions and achievements can be summed up together as; I been part of the engagement with the ministry of Health in Uganda to lobbying for an increased uptake of contraceptives among young people in Uganda and this by far has attracted a number of partners such as UNFPA, RHU, in a project dubbed #EndingTeenagePregnancy in Uganda.
My spark came from the fact that young girls are abused everyday by men who at times are their fathers, relatives and some, their house masters. And these girls are vulnerable and victims to early pregnancy, HIV and AIDS and STDs but what they don't know is that they can have full choice by using family planning and contraceptives in particular. Plus, attending the ICFP2013 and becoming a member of the International Youth Alliance on Family Planning - IYAFP, greatly sparked my passion too.
The biggest challenge is people's general perspective that advocating for Family Planning for young people means encouraging them to have see more and also trying to reduce the population. I have resorted to linking all aspects of life such poverty, climate change and empowerment to family planning and in so doing I start with someone's attitude towards family planning. Talking them out of their beliefs and change of attitude has worked for me immensely.
Uganda's biggest challenge which is big in the communities as well is the belief that family planning methods cause cancer. How it can be addressed is through carrying out more sensitization drives to at all levels, from the National to the community levels educating masses more on the benefits of using family planning methods and especially contraceptives.
To have a youth friendly and youth based family planning center where young people freely gather to receive and share family planning information and services without coercion, and discrimination.