• Interfaith prayers for improved access to sexual and reproductive health

    Kigali, RWANDA – 12 NOVEMBER 2018 (F2A) – 200 faith leaders and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) advocates from across the world, jointly commemorated lost lives due to maternal mortality, prayed to overcome obstacles in enabling access to SRH services and celebrated progress in uptake of family planning. Faith to Action Network, Christian Connections for International Health and the Rwandese faith community hosted interfaith prayers on the eve of the fifth International Conference on Family Planning. Interfaith prayers: Remembrance https://youtu.be/p-po6NtG7WMInterfaith prayers: Overcoming challengeshttps://youtu.be/nA_MZyE3mP0Interfaith prayers: Celebrating achievementshttps://youtu.be/JKIaHq8u05kClosing interfaith prayerhttps://youtu.be/JB7ZMMoeFI4 The interfaith prayers reminded participants of lives that should not have been taken away by preventable causes: “Life is a gift from God and is sacred. It ought not to be taken away by preventable causes. We are mindful of those who for lack of information, support and care have lost their lives through childbirth or abortion or conflict; we plead to God for forgiveness. We uphold their families and may this loss inspire us to invest ourselves and our resources, towards improving the conditions of the human family.” They prayed for overcoming challenges and obstacles on the way to universal access to sexual and reproductive health. “We are mindful of challenges and obstacles along the path of providing family planning to our communities. For instance, there is a lack of access to services due to distances, cost, lack of trained personnel, insecurity, and remoteness; there are challenges in how policies do not support family planning; there are cultures that encourage early marriage and religious leaders who oppose FP; there are government policies in which girls do not go back to school if pregnant. There are women who are raped or used as weapons of war during conflicts.” Jointly, participants celebrated achievements and gave thanks for progress realized in sexual and reproductive health: “We are thankful for health services that reach the last mile and increasing availability of low cost of services offered by faith facilities. We celebrate religious leaders who openly support access to sexual and reproductive health services; for increasing collaboration between governments and faith communities in providing quality and accessible services. We are thankful for the increase in uptake in family planning that has reduced maternal mortality and child mortality. We celebrate the youth that are in school and contributing to vibrant economies in their countries.” Together, faith leaders and SRH advocates committed themselves “to being a source of information and encouragement to enable those affected to take informed and responsible decisions. We commit to continuing to provide and support quality family planning service delivery, referrals, and products to all communities.” Interfaith celebrations for family planning, health and wellbeing        


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  • Faith Leaders Say Access to Information and Education Will Empower East African Youth

    Faith to Action Network partnered with PRB to offer Eastern African faith leaders, health workers and young people a voice. An all-new video and policy brief describe their support for policies enabling improved access to age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health information and education in Eastern Africa. The East African Community is home to 38 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24.  Youth have different health needs than adults and require health services that are friendly to these needs. Faith leaders play a vital role to youth in their communities, including sharing SRH information, and faith communities are united in their desire to support youth as the region’s next generation of leaders. Because of faith leaders’ work in local communities, they are intimately familiar with the challenges that youth face, such as girls losing out on education because of adolescent pregnancies and the health risks faced by these young mothers’ children. Leaders from different faiths recognize that their counseling for young people must include providing youth with SRH information and education that is appropriate and relevant to their age and development. Many of them support harmonization of policies on youth SRH in the region. Both the video and the factsheet call on decisionmakers to Engage with faith leaders, who can be effective SRH policy champions in their communities and a valuable resource to decisionmakers; to enact a new East African SRH bill to promote the health and wellbeing of East African youth and build human capital. Video: Faith Leaders Say Access to Information and Education Will Empower East African Youthhttps://youtu.be/aTFBeyGF0_0 Brief: Faith Leaders Say Access to Information and Education Will Empower East African Youth Video: Young people’s health challengeshttps://youtu.be/sNwu8qJS0VEVideo: Faith Leaders Are Champions For Youthhttps://youtu.be/l6npiIvyIIQVideo: Faith Leaders Can Be Partnershttps://youtu.be/ciqJnZIxApAVideo: Responding to young people’s needshttps://youtu.be/vqfwL5ZCpfg


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