Youth Champion, CARE Canada
Youth Champion, CARE Canada
Hear from Canadian youth leading a unique campaign raising awareness of girls’ access to health services globally.
We are Canadian youth advocates who strongly believe in supporting youth empowerment and women’s and girls’ leadership. We believe that young people have a unique perspective and energy that can be harnessed to bring about positive change. By taking action individually and together, we can create a more just world where girls have equal rights and opportunities.
As CARE Canada’s Youth Champions, we’ve been involved in the youth-led SHE SOARS project, which is increasing girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia. SRHR includes providing youth-friendly information and health services, which enable girls to make decisions about their own bodies and lives.
Over the last year, our work as Youth Champions has led us to engage with other youth who are leading change in girls’ health rights. We’re also engaging our peers across Canada to learn more about SRHR through our SHE SOARS podcast and Instagram page.
We’re exploring different topics such as barriers young people face when accessing information about their rights, contraception, and other health services, and highlighting how youth are leading change in public spaces. We create educational and inspiring content to spark conversations about SRHR issues and youth leadership. Our podcast has become a powerful tool to connect with other youth advocates, amplify our message and engage a new generation of change-makers in the SRHR sphere.
In our experience working on a youth-led project, we’ve seen firsthand the power of young people coming together to make a difference. Through our involvement in the project, we’ve developed new skills, gained confidence, and built relationships with other youth leaders in the non-profit sector.
We asked a few of our fellow Youth Champions at CARE Canada about their experiences with youth empowerment and advocacy.
What made you want to be involved in the SRHR space?
“The more I learned, the more I realized how important SRHR is and how prominent the SRHR service and education gap is across the globe, including in Canada. When I saw the opportunity to work with CARE Canada, I thought it would be a great chance to learn more and advocate for change!”
— Lauren Tilley
What are highlights from your work with the Youth Champions so far?
“It’s been such an amazing and educational experience, both in terms of learning more about podcast production and having the chance to meet and talk to so many incredible guests who are working on the SHE SOARS project and in other areas of the SRHR space. It’s also been great to meet and work so closely with other youth.”
— Madeline Cuillerier
What skills have you gained as a youth advocate?
“I’ve learned about the unique contexts within the SRHR space in each of the SHE SOARS project countries — I hadn’t realized before joining the Youth Champions how complex and different the situations of young people could be.”
— Shannon Thom
If you’re interested in our work and want to get involved, give our SHE SOARS podcast a listen and check out our social media accounts @carecanada. All it takes to become an advocate for youth empowerment is one small action!
Listen to the SHE SOARS podcast today at care.ca/shesoars.