Written by YPEC
The Youth Public Engagement Champions (YPEC) are a group of six Canadian young adults working together to support meaningful youth engagement around Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) globally and in Canada.
They formed in 2022 as part of the SHE SOARS (Sexual and reproductive Health and Economic empowerment Supporting Out-of-school Adolescent girls’ Rights and Skills) project. The youth, between the ages of 19 and 24, are part of the first 2-year cohort of YPEC and have a special interest and experience in youth-led SRHR advocacy.
The group has a few core goals – first, they strive to inform their Canadian peers about challenges and activities to increase adolescent girls’ enjoyment of health rights globally as well as mobilize them to take action in their own lives. They also aim to demonstrate the connections between global issues and a Canadian context, while championing the SHE SOARS project and CARE Canada’s related work around women’s empowerment and fighting global poverty.
YPEC is the Canadian public engagement arm of the SHE SOARS project, a collaborative CARE Canada project in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, working to advocate for and improve the delivery and uptake of sexual and reproductive health services, with a focus on adolescent girls. YPEC is working in parallel with SHE SOARS partners to promote youth public engagement in global and related local issues and solutions.
The SHE SOARS YPEC is particularly focused on the use of multimedia approaches to engage with youth on SRHR. The group meets regularly to design and create social media content and podcast episodes that centre around topics related to sexual health and rights, health equity, humanitarian work and sex education. Members regularly reflect on what they themselves wish they’d had opportunities to learn earlier and build content they hope will get others interested in the same issues. They take careful consideration of the information that’s already available to youth, and how YPEC can create resources that are different and approachable.
Keep up with the SHE SOARS YPEC on Instagram (@carecanada) and the CARE Canada website. Check out the YPEC Instagram story highlight for bios on each member and regular updates on their work! This project is generously funded by Global Affairs Canada.