Pasay City, 29 September – European Union (EU) Ambassador to the Philippines Luc Véron visited adolescents and youth who benefit from an EU project to support universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) by young people in Pasay City.
Ambassador Véron engaged with the young people during an awareness-raising session on HIV and AIDS led by Community and Family Services International (CFSI), EU’s partner in implementing the SRH project in the Philippines. The session focused on explaining the causes, effects and ways to manage the spread of HIV to participants aged 14 to 17, the age group reportedly most at risk from the disease in Pasay City.
"For everybody to lead healthy lives we need easy access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information as well as quality education and affordable health-care services. This is a priority for the EU worldwide and also in the Philippines”, said EU Ambassador Luc Véron during his visit. Praising the SRH project’s approach, he underlined that “working with youth, peer educators and community mobilisers is a crucial way of reaching the youth.” In his intervention to the young beneficiaries, he added that the awareness session “is a key opportunity for you to be better informed and to be real actors of change in your communities, in order to curb the increase of HIV/AIDS infection, in particular among youth in the Philippines.”
The SRH project aims to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people aged 10 to 24 in Pasay City. The project is implemented by CFSI, a Philippine-based international humanitarian organization, in partnership with Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World).
CFSI Executive Director Steven Muncy reaffirmed CFSI’s continuing commitment to promoting the health and well-being of young people in Pasay City.
“CFSI has been working for and with the adolescents and youth in Pasay City for nearly two decades. We remain committed to providing support to adolescents and youth as well as their families, especially services that are not easily accessible in the time of the pandemic,” Muncy said.
“We are grateful for the long-standing partnership we have with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Pasay, the Barangay LGUs (BLGUs), and community members, including adolescent and youth leaders,” Muncy added.
The SRH project applies a peer-to-peer approach in providing adolescent-friendly and integrated SRH services to young people. Ambassador Véron also met with CFSI’s Youth Community Mobilizers, the volunteers who reach out to their fellow young people to promote health-seeking behavior and refer them to SRH professionals as needed. Young people and their families can access SRH services at the CFSI Clinic in Pasay.
Jenny Rose Torzar, one of the youth volunteers, shared that she values the chance of serving her fellow youth through the SRH project. Other mobilizers emphasized that the peer-to-peer approach fosters a safe space for young people without discrimination.
During his visit, Ambassador Véron had interactions with Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council) leaders and Barangay officials, who also serve as partners in implementing the SRH project. He will further follow up on this visit in a call with Pasay City Mayor Imelda “Emi” Calixto Rubiano, which is planned to take place in the coming days.
Barangay 91 Chairperson Severino Dela Peña said the program for the youth and the existence of an SRH Clinic “are a big help to the barangay and to all the surrounding barangays in Pasay.”
“I am happy because the partnership between the barangay and CFSI is growing,” he added.
The SRH project continues to provide rights-based and needs-driven SRH information as well as services that would enable young people to avoid the dangers of unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted infections, and gender-based violence, thereby empowering them to develop life skills for a brighter future. The project is implemented in Pasay City until November 2023. #
For more information, please contact: