VSO staff sat on ICFP 2022 letters

International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) 2022

ICFP 2022 – the world’s largest conference on Family Planning – is a tremendous platform, bringing together health practitioners and advocates from around the world including civil society organizations from all backgrounds, political leaders, youth as primary actors, academics and researchers, private sector etc. to share knowledge and best practices and collaborate around a strong movement towards the achievement of the Universal Health Coverage by 2030
Papa Diouf
Global Health Lead

VSO are proud sponsors of ICFP 2022. ICFP provides a global stage for countries, organisations, and individuals to make important commitments and celebrate achievements at the world’s largest scientific conference on family planning and sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR).

The ICFP 2022 is more than a conference, it's a movement towards universal access to family planning and health care. It's a community of advocates - political leaders, scientists, researchers, policy makers, faith and youth leaders - exchanging ideas and working together to innovate family planning programming and research, towards achieving universal health coverage.

But what is meant by 'universal health coverage'? Quite simply, this means all people have access to health services, when and where they need them, without risk of financial hardship. The UN Sustainable Development Goals pledges for this to be achieved globally by 2030, but this will not be achieved without the collaboration and innovation of different stakeholders.

VSO's new global health strategy aims that all adolescents and youth, achieve the right to quality health and well-being by 2024, with a focus on Adolescents and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (AYSRHR) and Maternal Newborn Child Health (MNCH). 

VSO's presence at ICFP means we can build strategic partnerships to better help marginalised people gain access to health care, position and lobby key decision makers and presents our robust evidence for using the volunteering for development method to improve global health.

Watch VSO youth volunteer Brown Niyonsaba, present on the ICFP stage

Brown volunteers on the Imbere Heza (Bright Futures) project in Rwanda, working to improve sexual and reproductive health and rights for marginalised and at-risk Deaf young people. Brown has taught SRH to over 80 students, and is supervising a team of Rwandan Sign Language instructors to train 140 community health workers and nurses at local health centres

Brown was selected by the conference for a segment titled ‘How proud I am to be the change' discussing her role in ensuring Deaf youth have access to SRH, which you can watch below.

VSO youth volunteer Brown Niyonsaba, presents on the ICFP stage on her work ensuring Deaf young people aren't excluded from sexual and reproductive health services.
Rwandan volunteer Brown accepting award for Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning
Rwandan volunteer Brown accepting award for Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning (EXCELL)

Brown won an EXCELL award for her contributions to family planning

ICFP ended on a very high note with our youth volunteer and ambassador, Brown, receiving the EXCELL award that recognizes her leadership in Family Planning based on her great contribution to the Imbere Heza project in Rwanda. What a proud moment for Brown and VSO!

The Excellence in Leadership for Family Planning (EXCELL) Award recognises extraordinary individuals, organizations and countries who have made significant contributions to the family planning field, and whose work deserves to be highlighted and used to inspire meaningful dialogue within the community.

This is a strong reaffirmation of VSO’s strong leadership in the sector in not only disability inclusion, social accountability, resilience and youth engagement/leadership but also our primary actor centred core value has definitely wowed more than one.

Hear from our volunteers working in health

The #BeTheChange interactive exhibition encouraged discussions on the transformative change we can jointly realise in universal health coverage, leaving no one behind. Our youth volunteers were very much at the forefront of our presentation throughout the conference. In the below clips and stories, our youth health champions share their volunteering journey.

Meet our youth health champions

Stories from our incredible youth champions were shared at the conference, highlighting the key role youth play in championing health rights.

Youth Health Champion Manisha gives a demonstration on sanitary pads
Smriti Basnet

Meet our health champions: Manisha Kumari Jah

Meet Manisha, a 19 year old volunteer who has been working with VSO for three months as a Youth Health Champion, teaching young people about adolescent health in Nepal.

youth health champion Yvonne
Chosa Mweemba

Meet our health champions: Yvonne Katwishi

Meet Yvonne, a health champion who's improving access to sexual and reproductive health for youth in her community, and empowering girls and boys in rural Zambia to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

Aarati Patel

Meet our health champions: Aarati Patel

Meet Aarati, a health champion working on youth health rights in Nepal. Her work on the strengthening youth and adolescent health access and rights (SYAHAAR) project is helping youth and LGBTQ+ people to access sexual and reproductive health services.

Find out more

Girls at the She Club, a safe space for girls to learn about SRHR
Chosa Mweemba

Adolescent and youth health and wellbeing

Improving health services and empowering people to exercise their right to quality care.

We helped almost 90,000 people access better healthcare in 2022-23.

Regina Mwaba sharing her story and encouragement to some young girls inside the Youth Friendly Space at Mbabala Clinic.
Chosa Mweemba

Inclusive sexual and reproductive health and rights

Supporting the most vulnerable people to realise their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Volunteer Brown Niyonsaba smiles as she sits in front of a blackboard in the classrrom at Umutara School, signing 'VSO volunteer'
VSO/Ben Langdon

The Deaf volunteer struggling for health equality

Around the world, people with disabilities face additional barriers to getting quality healthcare. Brown Niyonsaba, 31, is a young Deaf woman volunteering to change this in her native Rwanda.