To mark the World Population Day, 2nd Interactive Youth Forum 2020 held virtually

News Desk

LAHORE: To mark the World Population Day, Institute for Social and Youth Development (ISYD) arranged a one day online Interactive Youth Forum 2020 titled “Breaking Stereotypes and Advocating for Enforcement of SRHR & Family Planning”. The online discussion, aiming to spread awareness, breaking stereotypes and advocating for enforcement of SRHR & family planning, was organized with the support of Population Council and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The event was followed by online theater performance and a virtual award distribution ceremony to motivate young activists and change makers in field of SRHR & Family Planning.

World Population Day is an annual event, observed on July 11 every year, which seeks to raise awareness of global population issues.

Penalists during the session

Virtually attended by hundreds of youth from around the country, the forum highlighted the transitioning history of SRHR, Family Planning, maternal and child health in Pakistan and compared the previous status with current situations of economic recession due to corona virus that results in increasing frustration between families that creates unfavorable conditions for women and newborns in particular.

Sarmad Muhammad Soomar moderated the discussion and the penal comprised of influencers and activists of the country, including, Dr. Yasmeen Qazi from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Dr. Qudsia Uzma from World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Asif Wazir from United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Iram Kamran from Population Council and Laraib Abid from MASHAL.

The panel discussions focused on the issues of the impact of population on many facets of young people’s lives, the impact of Covid 19 on the access to Reproductive Health information and services to Maternal, Newborn, Child, Adolescent and youth health, impact of Covid 19 concerning SRHR, LSBE and Family Planning, Situation Analysis of Reproductive Health of Adolescents and Youth in Pakistan and the Importance of Youth Engagement around Population and SRH dynamics.

The panelists responded to the queries of youngsters during the sessions and shared personal experiences and anecdotes to build the capability of youth to engage in the prevalence of this highly stigmatized fundamental aspect of society.

The discussion was followed by an Online Theater Performance by the ISYD theater team to draw a vivid picture of society negligence towards these important issues that results in harsh living conditions for the entire family and the effects of it can be traced in the society as well. The team depicted heartfelt realities of a person who is being deprived of the rights for long. They theatre performance clearly highlighted the importance of Family Planning.

To encourage youth participation and appreciate the ones who are following this path, ISYD presented “ISYD Youth Leadership Awards 2020” to the 12 promising youth activists across Pakistan who has been striving for youth participation and bringing the positive change in the society.

  • Owais Karim Kheraj
  • Sarmad Muhammad Soomar
  • Muhammad Arsalan
  • Hani Baloch
  • Sumbal Rana
  • Malik Mohsin
  • Naba Khan
  • Sara Saleem Valliani
  • Sonia Surani
  • Mirza Ammad Baig
  • Neha Khan
  • Nayyab Ali

A video competition was also conducted and 3 winners got selected for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Position. A cash price was given to the winners of Video Competition.

  • 1st Prize: Team WO KAHANI
  • 2nd Prize: Muhammad Abdullah Ijaz
  • Jennifer Wycliffe

After theatre performance, a musical performance was also performed by the LAAL band to promote the artistic medium for social change and to motivate youth people to play their active role in society through different mediums. They performed a few great songs to engage the audience.

Afterwards, the final remarks were given by Ms. Samia Ali Shah (Project Director – Population Council). She highlighted the importance of Family Planning awareness among young generation and appreciated the endeavors of youth for organizing such event in the time of Corona when the entire world is going through critical crises.

Finally the event was conclude by Joshua Dilawar, who thanked all the participants, team members and partners especially the main partners; Population Council and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and from other technical partners including FP2020, Population Centre Pakistan (PCP), Idara-E-Taleem-O-Aagahi (ITA), Road to Rights, MASHAL, Activist Alliance Foundation (AAF) and Pakistan Advocacy Network (PAN).