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Latest news from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of news from across the Federation

IPPF West Africa EDs and YAM Presidents in Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire

News item

Côte d'Ivoire hosts IPPF Member Associations from West and Central Africa for the launch of the new IPPF sub-office for the sub-region

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Africa regional office gathered from 17 to 22 October in Abidjan, the Executive Directors and Presidents of the Youth Action Movements (YAMs) of its Member Associations in West and Central Africa (Francophone, Anglophone and Lusophone) as part of the launch of its new sub-office for West and Central Africa.
Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF
news item

| 23 February 2021

Anchoring the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in West and Central Africa: visit of a high-level mission to Senegal and Guinea

From January 24 to February 15, 2021, an high-level mission of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) conducted by the Regional Director for Africa, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, went respectively to Senegal and Guinea to explore opportunities to better anchor the IPPF action in West and Central Africa through the establishment of a new sub-office  and the strengthening and diversifying of its partnerships in the region. In Senegal, the mission met with relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Youth, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Family and Gender, the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Cooperation to lay the foundations for the opening of a new IPPFARO sub-office for West and Central Africa in the country.  This new sub-office will enable IPPF to better support its West and Central Africa member associations and increase its local relevance and partnership with human rights and development organizations, sub-regional economic commissions and the donor community in this part of Africa. The authorities met by the delegation encouraged this initiative. According to Jean Antoine Diouf, Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "IPPF's support to access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services is much appreciated and reinforces the actions of African governments ".The Ministry of Youth, Néné Fatoumata Tall, also expressed her enthusiasm regarding the future establishment of a sub-office of IPPF in Senegal, wishing for frank collaboration between her department and IPPF on youth issues. “The changing environment and the high-demand for SRHR services would be better served by an IPPF presence in the sub-region,” she said. The mission also held discussions with international organizations working in the same fields as IPPF such as Amnesty regional office for West and Central Africa, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and OXFAM with a view to creating joint programs and projects or strengthening existing partnerships with a special focus on the support, protection and defense of Human Rights Defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights. In Guinea, the delegation met with the IPPF Member Association “Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF)” to finalize the Association's accreditation process, and visit some of its SRHR delivery facilities.  An affiliate member of IPPF since 1989, AGBEF is a Guinean non-profit NGO, founded in 1984  with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality in Guinea. Today it provides a wide range of SRHR services including family planning, child delivery, screening and care for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), comprehensive sexuality education and SRHR training courses. The delegation also held meetings with Guinean authorities, including the First Lady, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of education, to discuss the strengthening of the collaboration framework between the country and IPPF in the field of SRHR in Guinea, and more particularly on CSE. During her meeting, the First Lady, Conde Djene Kaba expressed her gratitude to IPPF and its partner AGBEF for the efforts made since 1984 to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services in Guinea. She welcomed the visit of IPPF's Regional Director to the country and expressed her unwavering support for AGBEF's initiatives for young people, women and underserved populations in Guinea. The high-level mission was concluded with a visit to the NGO Solidarité Suisse-Guinée in Labe, south of Guinea, to assess the possibility of a collaborative partnership in the fields of SRHR, including the fight against female genital mutilation. During this visit, the delegation had opportunity to visit the NGO's grassroots achievements among which three community health centres providing sexual and reproductive health services with financial support from the NGO Solidarité. The managers of the various centres warmly welcomed the mission, testified to the importance of the current and future support provided by the NGO to their structures to meet the growing needs of the local populations in terms of health in general and SSHR in particular. The discussions held with the Governments of Senegal and Guinea, as well as the different international organizations working in the same field as IPPF laid the groundwork for future collaboration on SRHR issues in general and protection and defense of Human rights defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights in particular. The visits to IPPFARO member association and collaborative partners in these two countries also reinforced the federation’s cohesion with a view to better address challenges and better serve populations.

Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF
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| 23 February 2021

Anchoring the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in West and Central Africa: visit of a high-level mission to Senegal and Guinea

From January 24 to February 15, 2021, an high-level mission of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) conducted by the Regional Director for Africa, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, went respectively to Senegal and Guinea to explore opportunities to better anchor the IPPF action in West and Central Africa through the establishment of a new sub-office  and the strengthening and diversifying of its partnerships in the region. In Senegal, the mission met with relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Youth, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Family and Gender, the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Cooperation to lay the foundations for the opening of a new IPPFARO sub-office for West and Central Africa in the country.  This new sub-office will enable IPPF to better support its West and Central Africa member associations and increase its local relevance and partnership with human rights and development organizations, sub-regional economic commissions and the donor community in this part of Africa. The authorities met by the delegation encouraged this initiative. According to Jean Antoine Diouf, Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "IPPF's support to access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services is much appreciated and reinforces the actions of African governments ".The Ministry of Youth, Néné Fatoumata Tall, also expressed her enthusiasm regarding the future establishment of a sub-office of IPPF in Senegal, wishing for frank collaboration between her department and IPPF on youth issues. “The changing environment and the high-demand for SRHR services would be better served by an IPPF presence in the sub-region,” she said. The mission also held discussions with international organizations working in the same fields as IPPF such as Amnesty regional office for West and Central Africa, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and OXFAM with a view to creating joint programs and projects or strengthening existing partnerships with a special focus on the support, protection and defense of Human Rights Defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights. In Guinea, the delegation met with the IPPF Member Association “Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF)” to finalize the Association's accreditation process, and visit some of its SRHR delivery facilities.  An affiliate member of IPPF since 1989, AGBEF is a Guinean non-profit NGO, founded in 1984  with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality in Guinea. Today it provides a wide range of SRHR services including family planning, child delivery, screening and care for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), comprehensive sexuality education and SRHR training courses. The delegation also held meetings with Guinean authorities, including the First Lady, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of education, to discuss the strengthening of the collaboration framework between the country and IPPF in the field of SRHR in Guinea, and more particularly on CSE. During her meeting, the First Lady, Conde Djene Kaba expressed her gratitude to IPPF and its partner AGBEF for the efforts made since 1984 to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services in Guinea. She welcomed the visit of IPPF's Regional Director to the country and expressed her unwavering support for AGBEF's initiatives for young people, women and underserved populations in Guinea. The high-level mission was concluded with a visit to the NGO Solidarité Suisse-Guinée in Labe, south of Guinea, to assess the possibility of a collaborative partnership in the fields of SRHR, including the fight against female genital mutilation. During this visit, the delegation had opportunity to visit the NGO's grassroots achievements among which three community health centres providing sexual and reproductive health services with financial support from the NGO Solidarité. The managers of the various centres warmly welcomed the mission, testified to the importance of the current and future support provided by the NGO to their structures to meet the growing needs of the local populations in terms of health in general and SSHR in particular. The discussions held with the Governments of Senegal and Guinea, as well as the different international organizations working in the same field as IPPF laid the groundwork for future collaboration on SRHR issues in general and protection and defense of Human rights defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights in particular. The visits to IPPFARO member association and collaborative partners in these two countries also reinforced the federation’s cohesion with a view to better address challenges and better serve populations.

FHOK
news item

| 28 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

FHOK
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| 25 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Girl from Mauritania
news item

| 16 February 2018

Female Genital Mutilation is an Affront to the Gains Made in Human Rights

Despite the numerous global, regional and national protocols and legislative instruments to abolish female genital mutilation (FGM), the cruel and inhuman practice is still widely practiced by many traditional communities in Sub-Saharan Africa as a right for passage for girls. The United Nations estimates that he outmoded and life threatening customary practice  affects at least 200 million young girls and women globally; many of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the UN Women, in Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti, 98%, 97% and 93% respectively of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.   Apart from abusing the rights of women, the crude way of performing the practice, endangers the reproductive health of thousands of young girls who are forced to go through it. In many instances the extent of mutilation affects the physical well-being and the health of the victims. The psychological trauma associated with the practice, affects the self-esteem and dignity of those who are forced into it. The call by the AU to Harness the Demographic Dividend for the socio-economic development of Africa would become a mirage if the future of young girls and women are destroyed through FGM. The time has come to establish more humane and better systems to prepare young girls to graduate into womanhood. In this way, a critical mass of assertive and critical thinkers of a new generation of women would be created to contribute towards  achieving  the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), we take the stand that FGM must be purged! It has no health benefits to women but only harm. It erodes the gains we have made in Human Rights over the years. As the leading voice of sexual reproductive health rights in sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. This practice combined with the conflicts, child marriage and teenage pregnancy specifically affects girls and young women. This brings a unique yet precarious destruction of basic human rights to health. This is why we need to be the champions in protecting their right to health and their access quality health services. The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), wishes to reiterate the need for complete and total abolishing of the practice. As the leading voice of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in Sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. IPPFAR is committed towards ensuring the achievement of SDGs 3 and 5 – Universal Access to Health and Gender Equality respectively. Through our Member Associations in 42 Sub-Saharan countries, we will safeguard, defend and promote SRHR. As world celebrates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, we call on the international community, governments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and state actors to come together to protect the rights of girls and women. With purpose of unity and dedication, the practice of FGM will be eliminated to save the lives and restore the dignity of millions of girls and women, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Lucien Koukou, Regional Director – IPPFAR for International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

Girl from Mauritania
news_item

| 06 February 2018

Female Genital Mutilation is an Affront to the Gains Made in Human Rights

Despite the numerous global, regional and national protocols and legislative instruments to abolish female genital mutilation (FGM), the cruel and inhuman practice is still widely practiced by many traditional communities in Sub-Saharan Africa as a right for passage for girls. The United Nations estimates that he outmoded and life threatening customary practice  affects at least 200 million young girls and women globally; many of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the UN Women, in Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti, 98%, 97% and 93% respectively of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.   Apart from abusing the rights of women, the crude way of performing the practice, endangers the reproductive health of thousands of young girls who are forced to go through it. In many instances the extent of mutilation affects the physical well-being and the health of the victims. The psychological trauma associated with the practice, affects the self-esteem and dignity of those who are forced into it. The call by the AU to Harness the Demographic Dividend for the socio-economic development of Africa would become a mirage if the future of young girls and women are destroyed through FGM. The time has come to establish more humane and better systems to prepare young girls to graduate into womanhood. In this way, a critical mass of assertive and critical thinkers of a new generation of women would be created to contribute towards  achieving  the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), we take the stand that FGM must be purged! It has no health benefits to women but only harm. It erodes the gains we have made in Human Rights over the years. As the leading voice of sexual reproductive health rights in sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. This practice combined with the conflicts, child marriage and teenage pregnancy specifically affects girls and young women. This brings a unique yet precarious destruction of basic human rights to health. This is why we need to be the champions in protecting their right to health and their access quality health services. The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), wishes to reiterate the need for complete and total abolishing of the practice. As the leading voice of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in Sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. IPPFAR is committed towards ensuring the achievement of SDGs 3 and 5 – Universal Access to Health and Gender Equality respectively. Through our Member Associations in 42 Sub-Saharan countries, we will safeguard, defend and promote SRHR. As world celebrates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, we call on the international community, governments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and state actors to come together to protect the rights of girls and women. With purpose of unity and dedication, the practice of FGM will be eliminated to save the lives and restore the dignity of millions of girls and women, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Lucien Koukou, Regional Director – IPPFAR for International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

IPPF European Network
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| 13 February 2017

IPPF European Network Regional Director visits Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK)

The IPPF European Network Regional Director Ms. Caroline Hickson has today paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), Mr. Edward Marienga. FHOK is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya. Ms. Hickson is on a working visit to the IPPF Africa Regional Office located in Nairobi, Kenya. During the meeting, Mr. Marienga oriented Ms. Hickson on FHOK’s work in the country, whose core focus is the provision of quality sexual reproductive health and services to millions of men, women and young people. FHOK, a local Non-Governmental Organization has been a leading service provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the country for over five decades. With a strong grassroots network, FHOK is present in 14 Counties (out of 47), through its Family Care Medical Centers. Through innovative delivery programming and capacity building, FHOK particularly focuses on young people, marginalized groups, underserved and inaccessible populations in the country. FHOK has a pricing policy that offers affordable, quality and easily accessible services to all. The meeting between Ms. Hickson and Mr. Marienga also acted as an experience-sharing forum between the two parties, where both discussed best SRHR implementation practices. FHOK also showcased its successful business models including its Learning Center and other income-generation ventures, which have greatly contributed to the success and sustainability of the organization over the years. “Our work has also been greatly enhanced by the strong partnerships that we have formed with different stakeholders, chief among them the Government of Kenya. We recognize the invaluable support of the Government in the achievement of our goals, and regularly consult with them on various issues. We also collaborate with them in programme activities, such as cervical cancer screening, testing and treatment, as well as various HIV/AIDS activities –including at the grassroots level. FHOK works with other non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, youth networks and other groups towards the realization of it's goals,” Mr. Marienga added. Other issues that were discussed included effective advocacy strategies in the push for supportive SRHR policies and legislations at local, national and regional levels.   Ms. Hickson commended FHOK for its work, saying that there was plenty to learn from the organization, and which can also be emulated by other Member Associations –including those in Europe. IPPF EN includes 39 Member Associations and collaborating partners in as many countries throughout Europe and Central Asia. The Region reaches from Iceland to Kyrgyzstan and from Russia to Israel, from some of the richest countries in the world to some of the poorest, from donor countries to recipient countries, from long-standing democracies to countries still struggling to find their way.  Learn more about IPPFEN here. Learn more about FHOK here.

IPPF European Network
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| 09 February 2017

IPPF European Network Regional Director visits Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK)

The IPPF European Network Regional Director Ms. Caroline Hickson has today paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), Mr. Edward Marienga. FHOK is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya. Ms. Hickson is on a working visit to the IPPF Africa Regional Office located in Nairobi, Kenya. During the meeting, Mr. Marienga oriented Ms. Hickson on FHOK’s work in the country, whose core focus is the provision of quality sexual reproductive health and services to millions of men, women and young people. FHOK, a local Non-Governmental Organization has been a leading service provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the country for over five decades. With a strong grassroots network, FHOK is present in 14 Counties (out of 47), through its Family Care Medical Centers. Through innovative delivery programming and capacity building, FHOK particularly focuses on young people, marginalized groups, underserved and inaccessible populations in the country. FHOK has a pricing policy that offers affordable, quality and easily accessible services to all. The meeting between Ms. Hickson and Mr. Marienga also acted as an experience-sharing forum between the two parties, where both discussed best SRHR implementation practices. FHOK also showcased its successful business models including its Learning Center and other income-generation ventures, which have greatly contributed to the success and sustainability of the organization over the years. “Our work has also been greatly enhanced by the strong partnerships that we have formed with different stakeholders, chief among them the Government of Kenya. We recognize the invaluable support of the Government in the achievement of our goals, and regularly consult with them on various issues. We also collaborate with them in programme activities, such as cervical cancer screening, testing and treatment, as well as various HIV/AIDS activities –including at the grassroots level. FHOK works with other non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, youth networks and other groups towards the realization of it's goals,” Mr. Marienga added. Other issues that were discussed included effective advocacy strategies in the push for supportive SRHR policies and legislations at local, national and regional levels.   Ms. Hickson commended FHOK for its work, saying that there was plenty to learn from the organization, and which can also be emulated by other Member Associations –including those in Europe. IPPF EN includes 39 Member Associations and collaborating partners in as many countries throughout Europe and Central Asia. The Region reaches from Iceland to Kyrgyzstan and from Russia to Israel, from some of the richest countries in the world to some of the poorest, from donor countries to recipient countries, from long-standing democracies to countries still struggling to find their way.  Learn more about IPPFEN here. Learn more about FHOK here.

Lucien_Kouakou_and_Genet_Mengistu_of_FGAE
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| 31 January 2017

IPPF Africa Regional Director Visits Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE)

Monday 30 January 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The IPPF Africa Region Director Mr. Lucien Kouakou today paid a visit to the IPPF Member Association in Ethiopia –Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). During his visit, Mr. Kouakou met with FGAE members of staff including the Executive Director Ms. Genet Mengistu, whom he congratulated for their remarkable work in providing quality sexual reproductive health services to millions of Ethiopians. Mr. Kouakou, who is in the capital city of Addis Ababa attending activities around the 28th AU Summit, encouraged the members of staff to carry on with their commendable work. “We are proud of FGAE. Just last year, the organization celebrated 50 years of exemplary service and success in Ethiopia. FGAE is recognized as the pioneer organization for the introduction of family planning in the country, and five decades later, it is one of the leading providers of comprehensive, integrated, quality and gender-sensitive sexual reproductive health programs and services focusing on youth, underserved and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia. In addition, the success of FGAE’s Learning Center, which works closely with the Government and other partners in building the capacity of healthcare providers in Ethiopia through provision of needs-based quality sexual reproductive health training, is admirable. Indeed, the laudable success of FGAE is to be emulated not only in Ethiopia, but across Africa,” he said. Mr. Kouakou also assured FGAE of IPPF’s continued technical, financial and material support in regards to achievements of the organization’s goals. He further encouraged the Member Association to strive to establish and maintain formidable partnerships with other development stakeholders in the country, among them the Government, international, regional and national organizations, as well as local grassroots entities. “If we are to achieve our goals for sustainable development, then we must embrace the partnership of other organizations that share in our vision and the vision of ‘the Africa we Want’. When organizations work together, then they are able to accelerate development goals of the country and the continent, he said. The Regional Director further encouraged the Member Association to step up its efforts in resource mobilization, especially from domestic sources. “The African continent must steer its own development. We have to drive our own development agenda by investing our resources into innovative development-driven initiatives. Funding our own programmes will help avert some of the challenges that many development institutions face today –such as dwindling international donor funds or complete cut-back of funds. It is time for Africa to support Africa’s development through ventures such as domestic funding,” he said. In July last year, IPPF Africa Region launched the African Citizens Initiative (ACI) for sexual and reproductive health, which is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that aligns with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 commitment to the principle of self-reliance as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The FGAE Executive Director, Ms. Genet Mengistu reiterated FGAE’s commitment to serving millions of Ethiopian men, women, youth and children through its unmatched services. She further reiterated the Regional Director’s call for the establishment of strategic partnerships with other development players towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. “We will endeavor to seek more partnerships at all levels, as this will help boost the delivery of our wide range of services. While in Addis Ababa, among key meetings that the Regional Director has participated in is the Forum of African Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FPA) side event, in which he called for more investment in family planning, girls and young people in the realization of harnessing the demographic dividend. He also called on African Parliamentarians to deliver on their commitments to the Dakar Declaration, in their capacity as key influencers. “Parliamentarians have the ability to influence their colleagues to push for the support and implementation of policies and legislations, especially those related to youth, health, population and development. They can call for more budgetary allocation to related Ministries such as those of Youth, Gender and Social Affairs, Health, Education Planning and Development, as well as other institutions that focus on the youth and their reproductive health. They can also take the lead in seeking innovative ways of mobilizing resources at the local level that would champion population and related issues. Seeking African solutions to African problems through domestic funding is one way to realizing Africa’s development, and we count on our Parliamentarians to champion this cause,” he said. Read the full article here: African Parliamentarians are Key to the Realization of the Demographic Dividend Story by Maryanne W. Waweru. For more updates on our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Lucien_Kouakou_and_Genet_Mengistu_of_FGAE
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| 30 January 2017

IPPF Africa Regional Director Visits Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE)

Monday 30 January 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The IPPF Africa Region Director Mr. Lucien Kouakou today paid a visit to the IPPF Member Association in Ethiopia –Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). During his visit, Mr. Kouakou met with FGAE members of staff including the Executive Director Ms. Genet Mengistu, whom he congratulated for their remarkable work in providing quality sexual reproductive health services to millions of Ethiopians. Mr. Kouakou, who is in the capital city of Addis Ababa attending activities around the 28th AU Summit, encouraged the members of staff to carry on with their commendable work. “We are proud of FGAE. Just last year, the organization celebrated 50 years of exemplary service and success in Ethiopia. FGAE is recognized as the pioneer organization for the introduction of family planning in the country, and five decades later, it is one of the leading providers of comprehensive, integrated, quality and gender-sensitive sexual reproductive health programs and services focusing on youth, underserved and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia. In addition, the success of FGAE’s Learning Center, which works closely with the Government and other partners in building the capacity of healthcare providers in Ethiopia through provision of needs-based quality sexual reproductive health training, is admirable. Indeed, the laudable success of FGAE is to be emulated not only in Ethiopia, but across Africa,” he said. Mr. Kouakou also assured FGAE of IPPF’s continued technical, financial and material support in regards to achievements of the organization’s goals. He further encouraged the Member Association to strive to establish and maintain formidable partnerships with other development stakeholders in the country, among them the Government, international, regional and national organizations, as well as local grassroots entities. “If we are to achieve our goals for sustainable development, then we must embrace the partnership of other organizations that share in our vision and the vision of ‘the Africa we Want’. When organizations work together, then they are able to accelerate development goals of the country and the continent, he said. The Regional Director further encouraged the Member Association to step up its efforts in resource mobilization, especially from domestic sources. “The African continent must steer its own development. We have to drive our own development agenda by investing our resources into innovative development-driven initiatives. Funding our own programmes will help avert some of the challenges that many development institutions face today –such as dwindling international donor funds or complete cut-back of funds. It is time for Africa to support Africa’s development through ventures such as domestic funding,” he said. In July last year, IPPF Africa Region launched the African Citizens Initiative (ACI) for sexual and reproductive health, which is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that aligns with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 commitment to the principle of self-reliance as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The FGAE Executive Director, Ms. Genet Mengistu reiterated FGAE’s commitment to serving millions of Ethiopian men, women, youth and children through its unmatched services. She further reiterated the Regional Director’s call for the establishment of strategic partnerships with other development players towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. “We will endeavor to seek more partnerships at all levels, as this will help boost the delivery of our wide range of services. While in Addis Ababa, among key meetings that the Regional Director has participated in is the Forum of African Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FPA) side event, in which he called for more investment in family planning, girls and young people in the realization of harnessing the demographic dividend. He also called on African Parliamentarians to deliver on their commitments to the Dakar Declaration, in their capacity as key influencers. “Parliamentarians have the ability to influence their colleagues to push for the support and implementation of policies and legislations, especially those related to youth, health, population and development. They can call for more budgetary allocation to related Ministries such as those of Youth, Gender and Social Affairs, Health, Education Planning and Development, as well as other institutions that focus on the youth and their reproductive health. They can also take the lead in seeking innovative ways of mobilizing resources at the local level that would champion population and related issues. Seeking African solutions to African problems through domestic funding is one way to realizing Africa’s development, and we count on our Parliamentarians to champion this cause,” he said. Read the full article here: African Parliamentarians are Key to the Realization of the Demographic Dividend Story by Maryanne W. Waweru. For more updates on our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF
news item

| 23 February 2021

Anchoring the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in West and Central Africa: visit of a high-level mission to Senegal and Guinea

From January 24 to February 15, 2021, an high-level mission of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) conducted by the Regional Director for Africa, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, went respectively to Senegal and Guinea to explore opportunities to better anchor the IPPF action in West and Central Africa through the establishment of a new sub-office  and the strengthening and diversifying of its partnerships in the region. In Senegal, the mission met with relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Youth, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Family and Gender, the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Cooperation to lay the foundations for the opening of a new IPPFARO sub-office for West and Central Africa in the country.  This new sub-office will enable IPPF to better support its West and Central Africa member associations and increase its local relevance and partnership with human rights and development organizations, sub-regional economic commissions and the donor community in this part of Africa. The authorities met by the delegation encouraged this initiative. According to Jean Antoine Diouf, Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "IPPF's support to access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services is much appreciated and reinforces the actions of African governments ".The Ministry of Youth, Néné Fatoumata Tall, also expressed her enthusiasm regarding the future establishment of a sub-office of IPPF in Senegal, wishing for frank collaboration between her department and IPPF on youth issues. “The changing environment and the high-demand for SRHR services would be better served by an IPPF presence in the sub-region,” she said. The mission also held discussions with international organizations working in the same fields as IPPF such as Amnesty regional office for West and Central Africa, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and OXFAM with a view to creating joint programs and projects or strengthening existing partnerships with a special focus on the support, protection and defense of Human Rights Defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights. In Guinea, the delegation met with the IPPF Member Association “Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF)” to finalize the Association's accreditation process, and visit some of its SRHR delivery facilities.  An affiliate member of IPPF since 1989, AGBEF is a Guinean non-profit NGO, founded in 1984  with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality in Guinea. Today it provides a wide range of SRHR services including family planning, child delivery, screening and care for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), comprehensive sexuality education and SRHR training courses. The delegation also held meetings with Guinean authorities, including the First Lady, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of education, to discuss the strengthening of the collaboration framework between the country and IPPF in the field of SRHR in Guinea, and more particularly on CSE. During her meeting, the First Lady, Conde Djene Kaba expressed her gratitude to IPPF and its partner AGBEF for the efforts made since 1984 to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services in Guinea. She welcomed the visit of IPPF's Regional Director to the country and expressed her unwavering support for AGBEF's initiatives for young people, women and underserved populations in Guinea. The high-level mission was concluded with a visit to the NGO Solidarité Suisse-Guinée in Labe, south of Guinea, to assess the possibility of a collaborative partnership in the fields of SRHR, including the fight against female genital mutilation. During this visit, the delegation had opportunity to visit the NGO's grassroots achievements among which three community health centres providing sexual and reproductive health services with financial support from the NGO Solidarité. The managers of the various centres warmly welcomed the mission, testified to the importance of the current and future support provided by the NGO to their structures to meet the growing needs of the local populations in terms of health in general and SSHR in particular. The discussions held with the Governments of Senegal and Guinea, as well as the different international organizations working in the same field as IPPF laid the groundwork for future collaboration on SRHR issues in general and protection and defense of Human rights defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights in particular. The visits to IPPFARO member association and collaborative partners in these two countries also reinforced the federation’s cohesion with a view to better address challenges and better serve populations.

Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF
news_item

| 23 February 2021

Anchoring the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in West and Central Africa: visit of a high-level mission to Senegal and Guinea

From January 24 to February 15, 2021, an high-level mission of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) conducted by the Regional Director for Africa, Marie-Evelyne Petrus-Barry, went respectively to Senegal and Guinea to explore opportunities to better anchor the IPPF action in West and Central Africa through the establishment of a new sub-office  and the strengthening and diversifying of its partnerships in the region. In Senegal, the mission met with relevant authorities, including the Ministry of Youth, the General Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Family and Gender, the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Director of the Cooperation to lay the foundations for the opening of a new IPPFARO sub-office for West and Central Africa in the country.  This new sub-office will enable IPPF to better support its West and Central Africa member associations and increase its local relevance and partnership with human rights and development organizations, sub-regional economic commissions and the donor community in this part of Africa. The authorities met by the delegation encouraged this initiative. According to Jean Antoine Diouf, Chief of Cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "IPPF's support to access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services is much appreciated and reinforces the actions of African governments ".The Ministry of Youth, Néné Fatoumata Tall, also expressed her enthusiasm regarding the future establishment of a sub-office of IPPF in Senegal, wishing for frank collaboration between her department and IPPF on youth issues. “The changing environment and the high-demand for SRHR services would be better served by an IPPF presence in the sub-region,” she said. The mission also held discussions with international organizations working in the same fields as IPPF such as Amnesty regional office for West and Central Africa, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and OXFAM with a view to creating joint programs and projects or strengthening existing partnerships with a special focus on the support, protection and defense of Human Rights Defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights. In Guinea, the delegation met with the IPPF Member Association “Guinean Association for Family Welfare (AGBEF)” to finalize the Association's accreditation process, and visit some of its SRHR delivery facilities.  An affiliate member of IPPF since 1989, AGBEF is a Guinean non-profit NGO, founded in 1984  with the aim of reducing infant and maternal mortality in Guinea. Today it provides a wide range of SRHR services including family planning, child delivery, screening and care for People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), comprehensive sexuality education and SRHR training courses. The delegation also held meetings with Guinean authorities, including the First Lady, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of education, to discuss the strengthening of the collaboration framework between the country and IPPF in the field of SRHR in Guinea, and more particularly on CSE. During her meeting, the First Lady, Conde Djene Kaba expressed her gratitude to IPPF and its partner AGBEF for the efforts made since 1984 to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services in Guinea. She welcomed the visit of IPPF's Regional Director to the country and expressed her unwavering support for AGBEF's initiatives for young people, women and underserved populations in Guinea. The high-level mission was concluded with a visit to the NGO Solidarité Suisse-Guinée in Labe, south of Guinea, to assess the possibility of a collaborative partnership in the fields of SRHR, including the fight against female genital mutilation. During this visit, the delegation had opportunity to visit the NGO's grassroots achievements among which three community health centres providing sexual and reproductive health services with financial support from the NGO Solidarité. The managers of the various centres warmly welcomed the mission, testified to the importance of the current and future support provided by the NGO to their structures to meet the growing needs of the local populations in terms of health in general and SSHR in particular. The discussions held with the Governments of Senegal and Guinea, as well as the different international organizations working in the same field as IPPF laid the groundwork for future collaboration on SRHR issues in general and protection and defense of Human rights defenders working in the field of reproductive health and rights in particular. The visits to IPPFARO member association and collaborative partners in these two countries also reinforced the federation’s cohesion with a view to better address challenges and better serve populations.

FHOK
news item

| 28 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

FHOK
news_item

| 25 May 2018

FHOK’s Social Enterprise Model, SMART Care System Lauded by IPPFAR Member Associations

Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), which is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya this week played host to a team of Program Directors and Directors of Finance drawn from different Member Associations (MAs) in the Africa region. The Directors are in Nairobi attending a strategic workshop aimed at enhancing their capacity for the improvement of the programmatic, financial and operational management practices of their MAs. During one of their activities, which included the visit to FHOK’s headquarters in Nairobi, the Directors received insights into the different programs that FHOK is currently implementing. With a rich experience spanning over five decades, FHOK is recognized as one of the leading service providers in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) in Kenya. FHOK has 16 health facilities and 9 youth centers located in different parts of the country. During the learning visit, FHOK shared its experiences in the areas of: clinical services, finance and administration, project implementation, governance, networking, building partnerships, advocacy and human resource. Some of the projects that FHOK is currently implementing include those around the integration of SRHR issues with environmental stability and climate change, mitigating the impact of the Global Gag Rule (GGR) through the social enterprise model, and innovative youth programmes that target both in-school and out-of-school youth. The Directors also toured FHOK’s Nairobi West Family Care Medical Center & Maternity. The center, started in 1999, operates on a 24-hour basis and offers a wide range of in and out-patient services. They include: counselling, family planning, STI treatment and management, HIV services, pre-nantal and post-natal care, maternity services, well baby clinics, gynaecological services, curative services and specialist clinics, among others. The medical center has a well-stocked pharmacy and a well-equipped laboratory. The visiting Directors lauded FHOK for its innovative projects and passion for serving the Kenyan population with quality health services. “Indeed, there is a lot to learn from FHOK. Their intense resource mobilization efforts, that have resulted in funding for several projects is impressive. This is something that other MAs should emulate,” said Mr. Desta Kebede, Program Director at Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). “There is also plenty to learn from FHOK’s social enterprise model, which is fueled by the organization’s desire to shift its focus from traditional revenue streams -to that of using different entrepreneurial methods to create social impact,” he added. The Directors also commended FHOK for its electronic data management system -SMART Care. This is a system that has helped the organization effectively manage its operations such as in logistics, where it is able to use data to forecast and manage commodities. The use of SMART Care has helped the MA avoid cases of stock-outs. The paperless SMART Care system has also benefitted FHOK in the integration of finances and statistics, as well as in the management of human resources at clinic level. “SMART Care has significantly reduced the workload of our service providers when it comes to capturing of essential data in real time, and consequent generation of reports. Through SMART Care, consumer specific reports -MoH, FHOK, IPPF and donor reports are readily generated at the end of each month by our health personnel within a very short time. The system has gone a long way in ensuring quality data and enhancing compliance to reporting timelines within FHOK,” said Ms. Esther Muketo, Director, Resource Mobilization at FHOK. FHOK is also recognized as one of IPPFAR’s Learning Centers. IPPFAR’s Learning Center Initiative (LCI) is aimed at building capacity through its Member Association network by developing and sharing innovative and best practice approaches on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH). Learning Centers such as FHOK are regarded as centers of excellence, technical hubs and technical advisory facilities. They assist in the cementing and positioning IPPFAR as a leading service provider in Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). Story by Maryanne W. Waweru, Governance and Compliance Officer, IPPF Africa Region. For more information about the work of IPPF Africa Region, connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Girl from Mauritania
news item

| 16 February 2018

Female Genital Mutilation is an Affront to the Gains Made in Human Rights

Despite the numerous global, regional and national protocols and legislative instruments to abolish female genital mutilation (FGM), the cruel and inhuman practice is still widely practiced by many traditional communities in Sub-Saharan Africa as a right for passage for girls. The United Nations estimates that he outmoded and life threatening customary practice  affects at least 200 million young girls and women globally; many of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the UN Women, in Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti, 98%, 97% and 93% respectively of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.   Apart from abusing the rights of women, the crude way of performing the practice, endangers the reproductive health of thousands of young girls who are forced to go through it. In many instances the extent of mutilation affects the physical well-being and the health of the victims. The psychological trauma associated with the practice, affects the self-esteem and dignity of those who are forced into it. The call by the AU to Harness the Demographic Dividend for the socio-economic development of Africa would become a mirage if the future of young girls and women are destroyed through FGM. The time has come to establish more humane and better systems to prepare young girls to graduate into womanhood. In this way, a critical mass of assertive and critical thinkers of a new generation of women would be created to contribute towards  achieving  the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), we take the stand that FGM must be purged! It has no health benefits to women but only harm. It erodes the gains we have made in Human Rights over the years. As the leading voice of sexual reproductive health rights in sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. This practice combined with the conflicts, child marriage and teenage pregnancy specifically affects girls and young women. This brings a unique yet precarious destruction of basic human rights to health. This is why we need to be the champions in protecting their right to health and their access quality health services. The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), wishes to reiterate the need for complete and total abolishing of the practice. As the leading voice of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in Sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. IPPFAR is committed towards ensuring the achievement of SDGs 3 and 5 – Universal Access to Health and Gender Equality respectively. Through our Member Associations in 42 Sub-Saharan countries, we will safeguard, defend and promote SRHR. As world celebrates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, we call on the international community, governments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and state actors to come together to protect the rights of girls and women. With purpose of unity and dedication, the practice of FGM will be eliminated to save the lives and restore the dignity of millions of girls and women, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Lucien Koukou, Regional Director – IPPFAR for International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

Girl from Mauritania
news_item

| 06 February 2018

Female Genital Mutilation is an Affront to the Gains Made in Human Rights

Despite the numerous global, regional and national protocols and legislative instruments to abolish female genital mutilation (FGM), the cruel and inhuman practice is still widely practiced by many traditional communities in Sub-Saharan Africa as a right for passage for girls. The United Nations estimates that he outmoded and life threatening customary practice  affects at least 200 million young girls and women globally; many of whom are in Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the UN Women, in Somalia, Guinea and Djibouti, 98%, 97% and 93% respectively of women aged 15 to 49 have undergone FGM.   Apart from abusing the rights of women, the crude way of performing the practice, endangers the reproductive health of thousands of young girls who are forced to go through it. In many instances the extent of mutilation affects the physical well-being and the health of the victims. The psychological trauma associated with the practice, affects the self-esteem and dignity of those who are forced into it. The call by the AU to Harness the Demographic Dividend for the socio-economic development of Africa would become a mirage if the future of young girls and women are destroyed through FGM. The time has come to establish more humane and better systems to prepare young girls to graduate into womanhood. In this way, a critical mass of assertive and critical thinkers of a new generation of women would be created to contribute towards  achieving  the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As the International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), we take the stand that FGM must be purged! It has no health benefits to women but only harm. It erodes the gains we have made in Human Rights over the years. As the leading voice of sexual reproductive health rights in sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. This practice combined with the conflicts, child marriage and teenage pregnancy specifically affects girls and young women. This brings a unique yet precarious destruction of basic human rights to health. This is why we need to be the champions in protecting their right to health and their access quality health services. The International Planned Parenthood Federation Africa Region (IPPFAR), wishes to reiterate the need for complete and total abolishing of the practice. As the leading voice of sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) in Sub-Saharan Africa, we speak for the voiceless girls and young women who suffer this injustice. IPPFAR is committed towards ensuring the achievement of SDGs 3 and 5 – Universal Access to Health and Gender Equality respectively. Through our Member Associations in 42 Sub-Saharan countries, we will safeguard, defend and promote SRHR. As world celebrates the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM, we call on the international community, governments, civil society organisations (CSOs) and state actors to come together to protect the rights of girls and women. With purpose of unity and dedication, the practice of FGM will be eliminated to save the lives and restore the dignity of millions of girls and women, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.   Lucien Koukou, Regional Director – IPPFAR for International Day of Zero Tolerance to FGM

IPPF European Network
news item

| 13 February 2017

IPPF European Network Regional Director visits Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK)

The IPPF European Network Regional Director Ms. Caroline Hickson has today paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), Mr. Edward Marienga. FHOK is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya. Ms. Hickson is on a working visit to the IPPF Africa Regional Office located in Nairobi, Kenya. During the meeting, Mr. Marienga oriented Ms. Hickson on FHOK’s work in the country, whose core focus is the provision of quality sexual reproductive health and services to millions of men, women and young people. FHOK, a local Non-Governmental Organization has been a leading service provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the country for over five decades. With a strong grassroots network, FHOK is present in 14 Counties (out of 47), through its Family Care Medical Centers. Through innovative delivery programming and capacity building, FHOK particularly focuses on young people, marginalized groups, underserved and inaccessible populations in the country. FHOK has a pricing policy that offers affordable, quality and easily accessible services to all. The meeting between Ms. Hickson and Mr. Marienga also acted as an experience-sharing forum between the two parties, where both discussed best SRHR implementation practices. FHOK also showcased its successful business models including its Learning Center and other income-generation ventures, which have greatly contributed to the success and sustainability of the organization over the years. “Our work has also been greatly enhanced by the strong partnerships that we have formed with different stakeholders, chief among them the Government of Kenya. We recognize the invaluable support of the Government in the achievement of our goals, and regularly consult with them on various issues. We also collaborate with them in programme activities, such as cervical cancer screening, testing and treatment, as well as various HIV/AIDS activities –including at the grassroots level. FHOK works with other non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, youth networks and other groups towards the realization of it's goals,” Mr. Marienga added. Other issues that were discussed included effective advocacy strategies in the push for supportive SRHR policies and legislations at local, national and regional levels.   Ms. Hickson commended FHOK for its work, saying that there was plenty to learn from the organization, and which can also be emulated by other Member Associations –including those in Europe. IPPF EN includes 39 Member Associations and collaborating partners in as many countries throughout Europe and Central Asia. The Region reaches from Iceland to Kyrgyzstan and from Russia to Israel, from some of the richest countries in the world to some of the poorest, from donor countries to recipient countries, from long-standing democracies to countries still struggling to find their way.  Learn more about IPPFEN here. Learn more about FHOK here.

IPPF European Network
news_item

| 09 February 2017

IPPF European Network Regional Director visits Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK)

The IPPF European Network Regional Director Ms. Caroline Hickson has today paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Director of Family Health Options Kenya (FHOK), Mr. Edward Marienga. FHOK is IPPF’s Member Association in Kenya. Ms. Hickson is on a working visit to the IPPF Africa Regional Office located in Nairobi, Kenya. During the meeting, Mr. Marienga oriented Ms. Hickson on FHOK’s work in the country, whose core focus is the provision of quality sexual reproductive health and services to millions of men, women and young people. FHOK, a local Non-Governmental Organization has been a leading service provider of sexual and reproductive health services in the country for over five decades. With a strong grassroots network, FHOK is present in 14 Counties (out of 47), through its Family Care Medical Centers. Through innovative delivery programming and capacity building, FHOK particularly focuses on young people, marginalized groups, underserved and inaccessible populations in the country. FHOK has a pricing policy that offers affordable, quality and easily accessible services to all. The meeting between Ms. Hickson and Mr. Marienga also acted as an experience-sharing forum between the two parties, where both discussed best SRHR implementation practices. FHOK also showcased its successful business models including its Learning Center and other income-generation ventures, which have greatly contributed to the success and sustainability of the organization over the years. “Our work has also been greatly enhanced by the strong partnerships that we have formed with different stakeholders, chief among them the Government of Kenya. We recognize the invaluable support of the Government in the achievement of our goals, and regularly consult with them on various issues. We also collaborate with them in programme activities, such as cervical cancer screening, testing and treatment, as well as various HIV/AIDS activities –including at the grassroots level. FHOK works with other non-governmental organizations, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, youth networks and other groups towards the realization of it's goals,” Mr. Marienga added. Other issues that were discussed included effective advocacy strategies in the push for supportive SRHR policies and legislations at local, national and regional levels.   Ms. Hickson commended FHOK for its work, saying that there was plenty to learn from the organization, and which can also be emulated by other Member Associations –including those in Europe. IPPF EN includes 39 Member Associations and collaborating partners in as many countries throughout Europe and Central Asia. The Region reaches from Iceland to Kyrgyzstan and from Russia to Israel, from some of the richest countries in the world to some of the poorest, from donor countries to recipient countries, from long-standing democracies to countries still struggling to find their way.  Learn more about IPPFEN here. Learn more about FHOK here.

Lucien_Kouakou_and_Genet_Mengistu_of_FGAE
news item

| 31 January 2017

IPPF Africa Regional Director Visits Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE)

Monday 30 January 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The IPPF Africa Region Director Mr. Lucien Kouakou today paid a visit to the IPPF Member Association in Ethiopia –Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). During his visit, Mr. Kouakou met with FGAE members of staff including the Executive Director Ms. Genet Mengistu, whom he congratulated for their remarkable work in providing quality sexual reproductive health services to millions of Ethiopians. Mr. Kouakou, who is in the capital city of Addis Ababa attending activities around the 28th AU Summit, encouraged the members of staff to carry on with their commendable work. “We are proud of FGAE. Just last year, the organization celebrated 50 years of exemplary service and success in Ethiopia. FGAE is recognized as the pioneer organization for the introduction of family planning in the country, and five decades later, it is one of the leading providers of comprehensive, integrated, quality and gender-sensitive sexual reproductive health programs and services focusing on youth, underserved and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia. In addition, the success of FGAE’s Learning Center, which works closely with the Government and other partners in building the capacity of healthcare providers in Ethiopia through provision of needs-based quality sexual reproductive health training, is admirable. Indeed, the laudable success of FGAE is to be emulated not only in Ethiopia, but across Africa,” he said. Mr. Kouakou also assured FGAE of IPPF’s continued technical, financial and material support in regards to achievements of the organization’s goals. He further encouraged the Member Association to strive to establish and maintain formidable partnerships with other development stakeholders in the country, among them the Government, international, regional and national organizations, as well as local grassroots entities. “If we are to achieve our goals for sustainable development, then we must embrace the partnership of other organizations that share in our vision and the vision of ‘the Africa we Want’. When organizations work together, then they are able to accelerate development goals of the country and the continent, he said. The Regional Director further encouraged the Member Association to step up its efforts in resource mobilization, especially from domestic sources. “The African continent must steer its own development. We have to drive our own development agenda by investing our resources into innovative development-driven initiatives. Funding our own programmes will help avert some of the challenges that many development institutions face today –such as dwindling international donor funds or complete cut-back of funds. It is time for Africa to support Africa’s development through ventures such as domestic funding,” he said. In July last year, IPPF Africa Region launched the African Citizens Initiative (ACI) for sexual and reproductive health, which is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that aligns with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 commitment to the principle of self-reliance as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The FGAE Executive Director, Ms. Genet Mengistu reiterated FGAE’s commitment to serving millions of Ethiopian men, women, youth and children through its unmatched services. She further reiterated the Regional Director’s call for the establishment of strategic partnerships with other development players towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. “We will endeavor to seek more partnerships at all levels, as this will help boost the delivery of our wide range of services. While in Addis Ababa, among key meetings that the Regional Director has participated in is the Forum of African Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FPA) side event, in which he called for more investment in family planning, girls and young people in the realization of harnessing the demographic dividend. He also called on African Parliamentarians to deliver on their commitments to the Dakar Declaration, in their capacity as key influencers. “Parliamentarians have the ability to influence their colleagues to push for the support and implementation of policies and legislations, especially those related to youth, health, population and development. They can call for more budgetary allocation to related Ministries such as those of Youth, Gender and Social Affairs, Health, Education Planning and Development, as well as other institutions that focus on the youth and their reproductive health. They can also take the lead in seeking innovative ways of mobilizing resources at the local level that would champion population and related issues. Seeking African solutions to African problems through domestic funding is one way to realizing Africa’s development, and we count on our Parliamentarians to champion this cause,” he said. Read the full article here: African Parliamentarians are Key to the Realization of the Demographic Dividend Story by Maryanne W. Waweru. For more updates on our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Lucien_Kouakou_and_Genet_Mengistu_of_FGAE
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| 30 January 2017

IPPF Africa Regional Director Visits Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE)

Monday 30 January 2017, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia The IPPF Africa Region Director Mr. Lucien Kouakou today paid a visit to the IPPF Member Association in Ethiopia –Family Guidance Association of Ethiopia (FGAE). During his visit, Mr. Kouakou met with FGAE members of staff including the Executive Director Ms. Genet Mengistu, whom he congratulated for their remarkable work in providing quality sexual reproductive health services to millions of Ethiopians. Mr. Kouakou, who is in the capital city of Addis Ababa attending activities around the 28th AU Summit, encouraged the members of staff to carry on with their commendable work. “We are proud of FGAE. Just last year, the organization celebrated 50 years of exemplary service and success in Ethiopia. FGAE is recognized as the pioneer organization for the introduction of family planning in the country, and five decades later, it is one of the leading providers of comprehensive, integrated, quality and gender-sensitive sexual reproductive health programs and services focusing on youth, underserved and vulnerable populations in Ethiopia. In addition, the success of FGAE’s Learning Center, which works closely with the Government and other partners in building the capacity of healthcare providers in Ethiopia through provision of needs-based quality sexual reproductive health training, is admirable. Indeed, the laudable success of FGAE is to be emulated not only in Ethiopia, but across Africa,” he said. Mr. Kouakou also assured FGAE of IPPF’s continued technical, financial and material support in regards to achievements of the organization’s goals. He further encouraged the Member Association to strive to establish and maintain formidable partnerships with other development stakeholders in the country, among them the Government, international, regional and national organizations, as well as local grassroots entities. “If we are to achieve our goals for sustainable development, then we must embrace the partnership of other organizations that share in our vision and the vision of ‘the Africa we Want’. When organizations work together, then they are able to accelerate development goals of the country and the continent, he said. The Regional Director further encouraged the Member Association to step up its efforts in resource mobilization, especially from domestic sources. “The African continent must steer its own development. We have to drive our own development agenda by investing our resources into innovative development-driven initiatives. Funding our own programmes will help avert some of the challenges that many development institutions face today –such as dwindling international donor funds or complete cut-back of funds. It is time for Africa to support Africa’s development through ventures such as domestic funding,” he said. In July last year, IPPF Africa Region launched the African Citizens Initiative (ACI) for sexual and reproductive health, which is a peer-to-peer fundraising campaign that aligns with the Africa Union’s Agenda 2063 commitment to the principle of self-reliance as well as the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The FGAE Executive Director, Ms. Genet Mengistu reiterated FGAE’s commitment to serving millions of Ethiopian men, women, youth and children through its unmatched services. She further reiterated the Regional Director’s call for the establishment of strategic partnerships with other development players towards the achievement of the organization’s goals. “We will endeavor to seek more partnerships at all levels, as this will help boost the delivery of our wide range of services. While in Addis Ababa, among key meetings that the Regional Director has participated in is the Forum of African Parliamentarians on Population and Development (FPA) side event, in which he called for more investment in family planning, girls and young people in the realization of harnessing the demographic dividend. He also called on African Parliamentarians to deliver on their commitments to the Dakar Declaration, in their capacity as key influencers. “Parliamentarians have the ability to influence their colleagues to push for the support and implementation of policies and legislations, especially those related to youth, health, population and development. They can call for more budgetary allocation to related Ministries such as those of Youth, Gender and Social Affairs, Health, Education Planning and Development, as well as other institutions that focus on the youth and their reproductive health. They can also take the lead in seeking innovative ways of mobilizing resources at the local level that would champion population and related issues. Seeking African solutions to African problems through domestic funding is one way to realizing Africa’s development, and we count on our Parliamentarians to champion this cause,” he said. Read the full article here: African Parliamentarians are Key to the Realization of the Demographic Dividend Story by Maryanne W. Waweru. For more updates on our work, follow us on Facebook and Twitter