My journey to Uganda to visit a youth-led organization that creates flash mobs was as amazing as it sounds — not just because the dance parties increase awareness of and access to health services, but because the work is driven by compassion and delivered with fearlessness by an amazing group of young Ugandans. The services delivered by a pop-up health clinic on the day their rolling party circled the central marketplace in Luwero, a small town about an hour outside of Kampala, were the kind that have a real impact on communities and families: contraceptive counseling and referrals, HIV counseling and testing, clinic vouchers and de-worming kits.
So writes David Alexander, who works for the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP). This spring, he and Elizabeth Futrell, CCP Program Officer II, traveled to hear the stories of young Ugandans doing the important work of encouraging their peers to adopt healthy behaviors to improve their lives.
Alexander and Futrell spoke at length with members of Public Health Ambassadors Uganda, a respected and rapidly growing youth-led public health organization that uses music, dance, poetry and drama to communicate health messages and connect communities with vital sexual and reproductive health information, services and products.
The work was part of a storytelling project called Family Planning Voices (FPVoices) which documents and shares real stories from real people around the world who are passionate about family planning.
As Alexander put it, “The stories they shared reflect their personal and professional dedication to improving health and lives in their country. With deep conviction and belief that they can change health outcomes in Uganda, they talked about what has inspired them, how they formed their organization, and the real challenges they face.”
To read more and see compelling photos and videos from the trip, visit the “Fearless in Uganda” photo story. Visit the Family Planning Voices website for more information on the initiative, which is run by K4Health, one of CCP’s flagship projects.