Light to Life celebrates World Health Day
On the occasion of World Health Day 2022, Light to Life hosted daylong activities on the interlinkages between Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Climate change, in partnership with The Bill and Melinda Gates Institute, Pathfinder International, Bayer, and 120 under 40. The event was held on April 7, 2022, at Bishwo Shahitto Kendro, Dhaka.
More than 100 youths around the country joined the event with the theme "Our Planet Our Health". International and national experts on youth engagement, health, and climate change shared their insights.
Sadia Rahman, Program Director of Light to Life moderated the opening panel on the role of women-led climate resilience initiatives.
The panel discussed how climate change has an effect on child marriage, school dropout and migration. The panel also discussed the health impact on adolescent and young women and girls in coastal belts due to increased salinity, cyclones and other natural disasters.
Md Azmal Hossain, Program Analyst- Urban Health from UNFPA facilitated a data driven session on the interlinkages between SRHR and Climate change, where he presented a recent study conducted by UNFPA on climate migrants in Dhaka slums and the impact of this migration.
He added during his session, "Youth needs to work on the ground to ensure sexual and reproductive rights of youths from urban slums as they are neglected in a systematic way."
Labib Tazone Utshab, Founder and Technical Advisor of Light to Life, in his speech said, ''Empowering youth voices from the ground can make a difference at national level to improve SRHR and knowledge around climate change."
Speakers and panellists included Dr Fatema Shabnam, Adolescent and youth specialist, Pathfinder, Samia Afrin, Member, Naripokkho, Ayreen Khan, Founder, iCan Foundation, Yeamin Al Ashab, Youth Trailblazer awardee, Gates Institutes, Md Amzad Hossain, The Hunger Project, Abdur Sabur, Head of Young Bangla, CRI, Rana Talukder, Ajker Jubo Projonmo.
One of the youth participants Nayeem said, "I did not know scarcity of drinking water can result in child marriages. This kind of awareness programs should be arranged more frequently to inform us all about the impact of climate change".
Light to Life aims to initiate an online platform titled, "School of (Im)Possible", where teachers will focus on different art techniques, connecting climate change and SRHR.
Focusing on behavioural change efforts and awareness on SRHR issues within climate change, the initiative will promote inclusive SRHR and climate education through play-based learning and participatory experience. It will reach adolescents and youths aged between 13 to 30 years in the coastal belts of Bangladesh.