TASO Adolescent and Youth peer leaders at the Y+ Summit in Kampala
The 2nd Y+ summit was held on 18th to 20th March 2018 at Nob View Hotel in Ntinda under the theme s “Confronting HIV with Bold Steps”.
The Y+ Summit is a meeting that involves young peer leaders and peer ambassadors from different parts of Uganda who come together to discuss the key challenges they face as young people living and supporting people living with HIV and how to overcome such problems.The summit had representatives from over 10 organizations that are united in the struggle to put an end to the HIV epidemic by 2030. Some of the organisations represented included; Mildmay Uganda, Baylor Uganda, Joint Clinic Research Center, Reach a hand Uganda, Reach Out Mbuya and TASO among others.
Day One was a day for interaction between young people from all walks of life. Among those who addressed the participants was Mr. Ideal who encouraged young people to know what they want and have the zeal to fight for it. He advised young people to always live in a clean environment in order to avoid certain infections that would attack them because of poor hygiene.
Day Two had various activities some of which included;
Welcoming remarks from the current Mr. Y+ and Miss Y+ who recognized all the members from different organizations and facilities.
Remarks from the Acting Programmes Director, Mr. Stanley Nsubuga, who explained to the young people that UNYPA is a network of young people living with HIV/AIDS and explained that as a network they realized that very many young people were always left out in different programmes that would be beneficial to them and that is why in 2013 this network emerged so as to help out such young persons. In conclusion, he called upon the young people to work hand in hand with UNYPA because it creates more programmes benefiting the young people and encouraged them to take part in the Y+ Beauty Pageant to be organised later in the year. This, he said, was a stepping stone to fighting stigma and discrimination among themselves and also an entry to participate in the summit.
Presentation from the Executive Director of UNYPA - Mr. Nicholas Nuwagaba - who in his speech welcomed different partners that is UGANET, Baylor etc. and all the young people. In his opening remarks, the E.D UNYPA argued members to use this platform to become Ambassadors of a positive change since they are representatives of all the rest that were left at the facilities. He urged that, with sharing different experiences from different members, it will be one of the tools that will help Uganda achieve the 90 90 90 goal by 2030.
Panel discussion that had different panelists from Mildmay Uganda, Baylor Uganda, TASO, Obulamu Campaign (Communication for Healthy Communities) and the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development.
Presentations made were on topics such as;
- family planning - methods and myths
- Menstrual health
- Rights and responsibilities of young people.
- HIV prevention and treatment
- Advocacy as an information tool.
Day Three was the final day and it had a host of motivational speakers from Standard Chartered, NAFOPHANU and several youth leaders.
The Closing ceremony was presided over by the Minister of State for Youth and Children Affairs. In her speech she thanked the ambassadors for taking bold steps and UNYPA for the organization and she also thanked the president for being an ambassador because of Presidential Fast Track Initiative.
She promised to partner with UNYPA, provide income that is going to benefit sectors working with HIV like UNYPA. She called upon UNYPA to organize so that they can access the grants to enable the YPLHIV to attain a sustainable living.
In her closing remarks, she said she was ready and willing to work with the YPLHIV to take them to another level in terms of positive living.
The E.D UNYPA gave his closing remarks thanking all participants and partners who had taken part in the summit. The summit ended by handing over certifications of participation to organizations and different young people.
Key among the recommendations was that the Summit should have more days so that the participants have ample time to interact and get answers to their many questions.
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