ICASA YouthFront: Leadership, Accountability and Participation to Get to Zero

By Sydney Hushie, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA)

Untitled1Leadership. Accountability. Participation. These are the three principles guiding the ICASA YouthFront at this 17th International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa. The goal of the YouthFront campaign is to draw attention to the gaps in programming for young people, call for accountability from leadership and young people alike, and strengthen participatory mechanisms for young people in the global HIV response.

Now, more than ever, the global HIV response must to make “Getting to Zero” a reality for young people. This means a global response for youth, by youth, with youth.

After two days of presentations, workshops, capacity building, dancing, laughing and learning at the Youth Pre-Conference, the youth at ICASA are out in full force, ready to demand their rights to sexual and reproductive health services, information, resources and support. Youth delegates participated in presentations from Prof. Sheila Tlou, Louise Van Deth from Stop AIDS Now and Rick Olson from UNICEF

The ICASA YouthFront is a coalition of youth-led and youth-serving organizations working on HIV/AIDS and sexual & reproductive health and rights for young people in Africa. The core mandate of the YouthFront is to ensure effective and active participation of young people in the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA). And in order to make sure that this conference has a lasting impact, the YouthFront is expanding their mandate the build strong follow up activities post-ICASA.

The YouthFront has played a major role in shaping the ICASA youth program and conference outcomes. Additionally, the YouthFront ensured that young people have speaking roles throughout the conference, and are comfortable navigating the conference and contributing meaningful interventions.

Participants can find youth voices and opportunities to engage with young people throughout the conference; from the program to the Youth Pavilion to the Community Village by following the sights and sounds in the conference space. The Youth Pavilion will host one of the most vibrant and lively spaces in the conference.

To read more about the Youth Pre-Conference, click here.

To track youth voices at ICASA, follow #ICASAYouth on Twitter and through the Daily Deliveries.

Sydney Hushie is the Program Coordinator for the YouthFront and an Advisory Board member of the Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS. Sydney has over 10 years of experience in the global HIV response as a youth activist and advocate, and is based in Accra, Ghana