Because We Can! Campaign's
Past Meetings and Workshops
WOMXN IN LEADERSHIP: International Day of the Girl Child
14 October 2020 from Cape Town, South Africa (hosted by Siyakwazi Youth Network)
“MY VOICE, OUR EQUAL FUTURE”
The International Day of the Girl, 11 October 2020, is a period of recognition and celebration of the struggles and successes of young womxn and girls in society. Womxn in leadership have shown immense growth over the years as womxn challenge traditional ideologies relating to gender and work. Womxn in positions of leadership have emerged across generations as they enter spaces and places formerly dominated by men, facing unique challenges in getting to the top. This year, under the theme, “My Voice, Our Equal Future”, such trials and tribulations need to be observed in the promotion of girls’ empowerment and fulfilment of their human rights.
International Day of the Girl is focused on:
* A life where young womxn and girls are free from gender-based violence, HIV and AIDS
* Learning new skills towards the future they choose
* Leading as a generation of activists accelerating social change
In order to achieve the above-mentioned, the Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) of young womxn and girls need to be linked to developmental agendas and goals. In linking SRHR goals to development agendas, gender equality is built alongside sustainable human development. Gender equality does not only foster an equal world, it is essential for the growth of communities and economies. By fostering intergenerational dialogue on womxn in leadership the event seeks to demonstrate how empowering womxn and young girls through their sexual and reproductive health and rights allows them to be free to realise economic opportunities. Hence, SRHR is but one channel through which gender equality is strengthened and the amount of womxn in leadership increased. The right to sexual and reproductive health is essential to womxn’s empowerment, gender equality and sustainable development.
Women Parliamentarians Dialogue on the Impact of COVID 19 on SADC Parliamentary Forum – SRHR, HIV/AIDS and Governance Project
26 June 2020, Sibane Hotel Ezulwini, Eswatini
As part of the on-going effort by the Because We Can! Campaign to enhance decision-makers' accountability in domesticating and implementing continental policies and norms promoting young people's SRHR in Eswatini, the Family Life Association of Eswatini (FLAS) participated in a half-day dialogue convened by the SADC Parliamentary Forum. This dialogue aimed to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the recently launched SADC Parliamentary Forum on SRHR, HIV/AIDS and Governance Project.
FLAS as a strategic partner was invited together with other government and civil society stakeholders (Ministry of Health's SRH Unit, Ministry of Education's Guidance and Counselling Unit, the Deputy Prime Ministers' Office - DPMO, Swaziland Action Group Against Abuse – SWAGAA, SAfAIDS, UNFPA, Federation of the Disabled in Swaziland – FODSWA, KhulisaUmntfwana, Correctional Services, Anglican Church and Swazi Observer), to share our experiences regarding the impact of COVID-19 on our SRHR interventions.
The dialogue which coincided with Children's Month (Day of the African Child) served as a pedestal to identify policy gaps which the Women's Parliamentary Caucus will focus on, in line with the thematic project areas.
Day of the African Child Commemoration at the White Table Event
19 June 2020, FLAS Youth Centre, Manzini, Eswatini
In commemoration of the Day of the African Child 2020 under the theme: Access to Child-Friendly Justice in Africa, the Youth Action Movement (YAM) convened an "At The White Table" Dialogue on 19 June 2020 at the Family Life Association of Eswatini's (FLAS) Youth Centre in Manzini. The Because We Can! Campaign (BWC) Team supported this dialogue whereby the focus of the discussion was the access to Youth Friendly Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services by adolescents and young people. This also entailed exploring the availability of accurate information on SRH services for youth. These issues were discussed against the backdrop of SRH-related policies such as the Youth Policy, Children's Protection and Welfare Act (CPWA) of 2012, Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence (SODV) Act of 2018 and the ESA commitments.
KaLanga Peer Educators Capacity Building
15 May 2020, KaLanga Social Centre
The Because We Can! Campaign (BWC) Team collaborated with the FLAS VSO Project to conduct a capacity building session on skills and leadership development training for ten Peer Educators. Amongst others, the participants were trained on SRH advocacy and activism, public speaking, social media and COVID-19 Regulations. The meeting was held at KaLanga Social Centre at the SOS Children's Village on 15 May 2020.
Introducing the Because We Can! Campaign to Peer Educators.
Enhancing Peer Educator's capacity on SRH advocacy, public speaking and social media activism.
Empowering participants on resilience building.
Sensitisation of participants on COVID-19 regulations.
The Peer Educators were given a brief overview of the BWC Campaign and informed that it was implemented to empower the youth on SRH advocacy through policy influence. Since the participants were launching their own Facebook page, they committed to promote the Because We Can! Campaign and amplify their voices on SRHR.
Members of Parliament Sensitisation Meeting
24 March 2020, Lugogo Sun Hotel Ezulwini, Eswatini
In pursuit of the Because We Can! Campaign's objective of enhancing decision-makers' accountability in domesticating and implementing continental policies and norms promoting young people's SRHR in Southern Africa, a half a day meeting was convened to sensitise and enlighten Members of Parliament (MPs) about the Because We Can! Campaign and key national, regional and continental SRHR and CSE policies and instruments, such as the Maputo Protocol and Plan of Action, ESA Commitments, Continental Policy Framework and ICPD, amongst others. A total of 10 Members of Parliament drawn from the TB Parliamentary Caucus, Health Parliamentary Caucus, HIV and Health Parliamentary Committee, Parliamentary Secretariat and the Women MPs Regional Representatives participated in this meeting.
FLAS' Advocacy Officer facilitated the sessions with the support of the Executive Director, and FLAS external partners; the Programme Manager from the SRH Unit under the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Director from EGTPS (Education, Guidance, Training and Psychosocial Support) Unit under the Ministry of Education and Training (MoET) and the Population and Development Officer from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD). The Resource Mobilisation and Communications Officer moderated the sessions during the meeting.
Because We Can! Campaign Social Media Activists Training
24 – 26 February 2020, Cape Town, South Africa
The success of this campaign depends on strong partnerships and collaborations with Social Media Activists at regional, national and local level. Partners in Sexual Health (PSH) and the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR) believe that Social Media Activists are key to identifying the current gaps which hampers the domestication of the Maputo Plan of Action, ESA commitment and SADC SRHR strategy.
PSH, in collaboration with IPPFAR, through the Because We Can! Campaign, organised a 3-day Social Media Activists training workshop in Cape Town, South Africa from 24-26 February 2020 for young people aged between 18-30 years as identified through PSH’s Siyakwazi Youth Network (SYN) and IPFFAR’s Youth Action Movement (YAM).
Theme: Building Capacity for Digital and Social Media Activism
The workshop was designed to engage young people on digital communication and content curation, with a specific focus on social media campaigning and advocacy. The expected outcome enabled participants to ignite and drive conversations online, understanding tone, character/language use, tailoring each message to the audience as well as creating and managing dominant social media platforms.
Objectives of the Social Media Activists Training
To encourage and support the use of social media and digital platforms to drive progressive change on Sexual and Reproductive Justice and broadly social justice.
Facilitating discussion around digital movement building as a tool for advocacy and campaigning.
To strengthen the capacity of young people on establishing, maintaining and using social media consistently.
To reflect on existing social media movements and key learnings thereof.
To increase media and social media coverage of the Because We Can! Campaign activities to hold governments accountable for domesticating and implementing SRHR and CSE policy commitments and demanding for the respect, protection and fulfilment of these rights.
2nd Because We Can! Campaign Media Training and Tour
24 - 28 February 2020, Cape Town, South Africa
Partners in Sexual Health (PSH), in collaboration with the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), through the Because We Can! Campaign, organised a 5-day SRHR and CSE training workshop for the same selected journalists and communications officers from the 1st Media Training and Tour to build on this success and keep the momentum of their extraordinary interest and contributions of the promotion of SRHR, CSE and the Because We Can! Campaign’s objectives. Due to the increased interest, new journalists and communications officers joined the media training to ensure we have full representation from all implementing countries.
The training programme included a further in-depth look at SRHR and CSE Terminology; Reporting on SRHR and CSE especially for vulnerable groups (People with Disabilities, LGBTIQ+, etc.); the Effective use of Social Media Platforms to Report on SRHR and CSE and Content Development for Social Media. Plenary presentations were alternated with group reflections, discussions, case studies and skits.
The programme also included a Media Briefing session to create hype around the Because We Can! Campaign Launch on Thursday, 27 February 2020. The journalists and communications officers conducted interviews during the Launch which was broadcasted via their respective news outlets and online platforms.
Broad Objective 2nd Media Training and Tour
To expand on the issues which were raised during the initial training on media’s current scope of coverage on SRHR and CSE from an advocacy perspective.
Specific Objectives of the 2nd Media Training and Tour
Increased media and social media coverage of SRHR and CSE demonstrating an accurate and holistic understanding of SRHR and CSE topics from a human rights perspective.
Increased and effective media and social media coverage of the Because We Can! Campaign activities to hold governments accountable for domesticating and implementing SRHR and CSE policy commitments and demanding for the respect, protection and fulfilment of these rights.
Increased media and social media coverage of the Because We Can! Campaign’s Launch session.
Understanding regional instruments on gender.
Challenging discriminatory social norms and stereotypes and ensuring fair coverage of SRHR and LGBTIQ+.
Understanding hate speech and the proper use of language.
Strengthening understanding of sexual and gender minorities and reporting on key populations.
1st Because We Can! Campaign Media Training and Tour
09 – 13 December 2019, Cape Town, South Africa
At the helm of communication and messaging lie the journalists and communication officers to spread the word on SRHR and CSE. There is an inherent need to increase awareness and change the attitudes of journalists on both traditional and new media levels on various governments’ legal and policy commitments on SRHR and empowering them to generate interest and change perceptions regarding SRHR and CSE. Journalists and communications officers need to form alliances since the journalists have the platforms and the audiences whilst the communications officers host a wealth of information thus complementing each other in this regard.
Through this media training journalists and communication officers gathered an understanding of how each other operates in their own spaces and enhanced and nurtured this allegiance going forward. Journalists were also in a safe space to understand and interrogate issues pertaining to SRHR and CSE, gained confidence and will hopefully become experts on the topics eventually.
The training also included a field visit to a rural town, Velddrift, to attend a World AIDS Day commemoration event. Visiting the selected community gave the participants an in-depth view and a much greater understanding of SRHR and CSE in practice. The participants were tasked to identify sources during the event and put their interviewing techniques to use. They conducted interviews with the event participants, organisers and young advocates which enabled them to develop stories from a range of angles.
Rationale for the Training
When considering the urgency and vast need to spread as much information as possible on SRHR and CSE to literally everyone, its success depends predominantly on resilient partnerships with members of the media fraternity regionally, nationally and within different local proximities. PSH is of the notion that the media fraternity is key in identifying gaps hampering the domestication of the MPoA, ESA commitments and the SADC SRHR strategy.
Broad Objective of the Training
The training developed the knowledge, abilities, attitudes and professional qualities that journalists require to effectively and efficiently package messages regarding SRHR and CSE.
Specific Objectives of the Training
At the completion of training, all participants were competent to independently perform/display the following objectives:
Increase media coverage on SRHR and CSE.
Challenge discriminatory social norms and stereotypes.
Able hold governments, private sector and civil society accountable for implementing on the signed commitments.
Understand concepts and accurately report on SRHR and CSE in the SADC region.
Engage professionally with their peers on topics pertaining to SRHR and CSE.
Reorient the media’s role in SRHR and CSE.
Strategic Advisory Committee and SADC Advocacy Meeting
29 April – 03 May 2019: Cape Town, South Africa
The success of this campaign depends on strong partnerships and collaborations with CSOs at regional, national and local level. IPPFAR/PSH believes that CSOs and partners are key to identifying the current gaps which hampers the domestication of the Maputo Plan of Action, ESA commitment and SADC SRHR strategy.
Therefore Partners in Sexual Health (PHS) invited CSO partners to a Strategic Advisory Committee and SADC Advocacy meeting to identify the gaps and jointly develop a SADC SRHR Advocacy Strategy on CSE and SRHR access.
Goals and Objectives achieved:
The participants developed a symmetrical implementation plan for all 8 SADC countries by CSO partners, outlined the research study in 8 SADC countries and developed a SADC Advocacy Strategy by CSO partners.
The meeting was structured around three outcomes, namely;
Discussion and agreement on the implementation plan - what to achieve and timelines.
Identified key priority areas for the research study to achieve the campaign goal.
Identified gaps, discussed and developed SADC SRHR Advocacy Strategy with a key focus on specific activities currently not implemented by various SADC CSO partners.