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FII’s Founder-Director & Editor-in-chief Japleen Pasricha was selected to participate in Rise Up’s Youth Champions Initiative to foster innovation and quality in sexual and reproductive rights and health worldwide.

Japleen was one of the 22 youth leaders from around the globe selected to join Rise Up’s third cohort of Youth Champions for sexual and reproductive rights, health, and justice out of 600 applicants. The Youth Champions Initiative (YCI) is a program of Rise Up, a leader in the global gender equity movement, supported by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Through this initiative, Rise Up invests in young champions who are leading the sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice (SRHRJ) movement now and for the next generation. Rise Up integrates intensive capacity building, leadership development, project funding, and technical assistance to enable young leaders to launch creative new initiatives to improve SRHRJ in their countries.

Selected from a competitive field of applicants, Japleen, joined a cohort of fellow young visionary young leaders working to advance SRHRJ in India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Rwanda, and the U.S. South.

The initiative launched with an intensive week-long incubator workshop, July 9-16 in San Francisco, California, where Japleen and fellow Youth Champions trained with internationally-recognized SRHRJ experts, grew their skills in innovation and leadership, and developed their own projects to increase access to quality SRHRJ services and information in their communities and countries.

Following the incubator, participating Rise Up Youth Champions and their organizations can apply for competitive seed funding to launch their proposed SRHRJ projects. Rise Up will also provide ongoing technical assistance to support Youth Champions and their organizations in effectively implementing their innovative SRHRJ projects.

Based at the Public Health Institute in Oakland, California, Rise Up is building a global movement for gender equity by identifying visionary leaders, investing in their solutions, and amplifying their voices. 

FII is thrilled for Japleen to join Rise Up’s global network of powerful innovators and advocates to advance girls’ and women’s health, rights, and wellbeing in India and beyond. 

FII’s vision and mission is to provide and to advocate for safe, accessible and youth-friendly SRHRJ resources to women, youth and LGBTQIA+ people. “It was such an exhilarating experience to work along side experts from Pakistan, Rwanda, Ethiopia and the USA, meet doctors, nurses, advocates and service providers. I especially liked how the program was designed and how Rise Up invested in the youth champions not just professionally but also personally. All the facilitators were experts in their fields and made learning fun and interactive. I’m excited to pass on my learnings to my team and the community we work in. I had a lot of fun, learnt so much and gained a global family,” says Japleen.

For more information about Rise Up, please visit riseuptogether.org.

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