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Youth Partner

Name: Wakesho Peris David
Age: 22
Nationality: Kenyan
Affiliated Organization:

Family Planning Association of Kenya (FPAK), Mombasa Youth Counselling Center (UNFPA, IPPF)

Peris Wakesho David has a passion for HIV/AIDS work. Her love for helping people has shown itself in her extensive volunteer work.

She has been actively involved in the training of peer educators, facilitating discussion forums and debates on HIV/AIDS, starting of peer educator clubs, lobbying opinion leaders, organizing festivals, parents open days and forming an HIV/AIDS post test club for youth.

Peris has also worked as a center coordinator at WIRED International, a youth advocate at the Kenya Association for the promotion of Adolescent Health, a first aid and area staff officer at the St. John Ambulance Brigade and as an assistant at the Mombasa HIV/AIDS resource center.

Peris likes to travel, meet new people, watch TV and listen to music. One of her favourite sayings is “I should never set out to change the world, I might be disappointed; the best goal is to challenge myself everyday, test my patience and open my mind and heart and set an example.”


UNFPA in Kenya

With its population of over 31 million people, Kenya was the first sub-Saharan African country to adopt a National Family Planning Programme, to which UNFPA has been a contributor since 1974. The most recent National Population Policy document incorporates the principles of the International Conference on Population and Development. In 2001, a draft Adolescent Reproductive Health Policy was developed and accepted by the National Council.

The relatively long history of population programmes in Kenya has led to a number of successes. Kenya is one of only a few sub-Saharan African countries to experience a demographic transition. Since the late 1970s, total fertility per woman has decreased by almost one half, and contraceptive prevalence has doubled. Kenya has 6 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Among 15 to 19 year olds, 40% of females and 60% of males are sexually active. Among unmarried, sexually active men, 82% have multiple partners. Every year in Kenya 11,000 pregnant girls drop out of school and do not return.

In 2001, the number of facilities in Kenya providing integrated reproductive health and youth-friendly services, including reproductive health commodities like the female condom, increased significantly. Advocacy activities through radio, television and workshops also increased in 2001. Opposition from religious groups is one impediment to the provision of information, education and services for youth. Adolescents have, however, been successfully served through outreach efforts in the informal sector.

One of these successful education initiatives is the "Youth Variety Show", a weekly radio show project of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Population Communication Services Project. The project was a collaborative effort with the Family Planning Association of Kenya, the National Council for Population and Development, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, and over 20 youth serving organizations in Kenya. It included advocacy activities and print materials, as well as radio programs. Episodes of the "Youth Variety Show" addressed issues of being an adolescent including health, emotional development, physical changes, pregnancy, STDs, and drug and substance abuse. Specific topics covered included promotion of good health, decision-making, career goals and objectives, boy-girl relationships, communication with parents and peers, teenage pregnancy, STDs including HIV/AIDS, early marriage, and female circumcision. The high production quality of the "Youth Variety Show" attracted the support of UNFPA, which is currently providing $900,000 to fund phase two of the project.

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