Tricky business

I made a quick trip to Washington to facilitate a one day event where reproductive health professionals came together to explore some very tricky business. How does one raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health among young people living in urban slums, in poverty, orphaned or near orphaned with none of the kind of support systems that are associated with resilience.

Researchers shared their findings that showed that the catchall term of urban youth is not that helpful as it hides significant differences. Another reported on attempts to quantify girls’ vulnerability so that we can come up with baselines and endlines, evaluating whether this or that project actually reduced this vulnerability; and then we listened to people working with urban youth groups in Baltimore, DC, Nigeria, Mozambique, Kenya, Malawi and a multitude of other places.

We had structured the design so that my facilitation job was rather easy. An associate of Sita provided the scribing that she usually does – she was engaged someplace else – and wowed the participants with his translation into images of what was discussed. I am now so used to having a scribe in the room that I cannot imagine doing such a forum without one.

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