Mai Doan To Thuy

2019 Winner

Position: Co-founder

Organization: Vietnam Youth Action for Choice

Current Location: Vietnam, South East Asia

Medical Doctor in Preventive Medicine from Hue University of Medicine and Pharmacy

Additional Degrees and Certifications:

1. Goal Master Coach – by Women Win (2018).
2. Goal Coach – by Women Win (2017).
3. Youth Advocacy Refresher Institute Champions – by Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (2017).
4. Gallup Behaviour Economics Leadership Workshop – by Gallup (2017).
5. The Safe Abortion Advocacy Institute for Youth Champions – by Asia Safe Abortion Partnership (2016).
6. Youth Leadership Program – by United Nations Office on Sport for Development and Peace (2016).
7. Wheelchair Skills Training Program – by International Society of SCI Rehabilitation (2016).
8. Leadership Skills – by MDF Training and Consultancy (2015).
Awards Received:

The Excellent Youth scholar of The 9th Asia Pacific Conference on Reproductive and Sexual Health and Rights
Awarding Organization:
Vietnam Public Health Association
Date Awarded:
November 28, 2017

The Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative
Awarding Organization:
United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs
Date Awarded:
October 13, 2017

Mai Thuy is leading her works on reproductive health & rights including family planning in Vietnam. She’s been implementing her initiatives using movie and discussion to empower young people on safer sex, safe abortion and rights across the country.

Son Le, Co-founder at Vietnam Youth Action for Choice

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I conducted a mixed-method research about understanding and demand for Sexual and Reproductive Healths and Rights (SRHR) of 3080 adolescents. This supports evidence that improvement in awareness of people on SRHR play a vital role in promotion of access to SRH comprehensive care for Vietnamese youths.
I delivered courses on SRHR to sensitize 40 medical students, 2 medical lecturers, and 17 key leaders of youth networks.I continually provided FP technical and community work skills for TOT who reflected their knowledge back to 12 provinces across Vietnam.
I organized 2 Empowerment Festivals for over 350 adolescents and 100 parents.Our network pioneered the use of grassroots sport to provide accurate FP information and engage parents and children to bridge the gap towards sensitive issues.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Conducting a research on a rights-based approach to SRH, I realized that many young people are not able to claim their rights to SRH due to the sociocultural context and disconnect between right-holders and authorities. I strongly believe that to achieve the highest standards in SRH care, adolescents first have to be empowered to feel confident, secure, and free to exercise their SRHR. Motivated to find an enabling environment to promote open dialogue about FP, I co-founded a youth-led network.

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

I developed a leadership framework on SRHR for networks working with the youth to empower them by utilizing different facilitation tools. It also provides skills to facilitate community based-activity and to create a mentally and physically safe place for participants.
Additionally, the framework suggests a leadership pathway (volunteer-to-leader). This guides youth-led networks to build inner capacity for members and promote public leadership for achieving sexual and reproductive freedom.

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 $1000 would help my youth network strengthen our capacity to organize more SRHR Fun Empowerment Festivals and Movie Talks as well as to help me make videos about bodily autonomy to empower more young people. From a rights perspectives, these videos will bust family planning myths with positive perceptions about reproductive freedom and real side effects of contraceptives. I would use this new platform to share the videos and reach more people which our local community activities could not.

Video Introduction:

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work: