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Kedah FPA had successfully organized a national advocacy seminar from 23-24 March 2003 in collaboration with the Federation of Family Planning Associations, Malaysia. This Seminar is one of the main activities of the IPPF/BMZ Project: Educating Young People About Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in Malaysia.

Specific Objectives of the Seminar
  • To enhance advocacy and networking amongst partner agencies and various stakeholders in pursuit of the empowerment of Muslim youths on sexual and reproductive health (SRH).
  • To involve Muslim youths to share experiences and contribute to the development of appropriate SRH services for young people in partnership with other stakeholders.
  • To discuss and evaluate current, available and possible mechanisms to disseminate SRH and rights among Muslim youths.
  • To further develop programmes/activities towards the attainment of the holistic development of Muslim youths, particularly with respect to their SRH and healthy lifestyle.

Altogether 70 participants attended the Seminar. There were 52 participants from Kedah and Perlis, comprising policy makers, religious leaders, academicians, service providers and key volunteers of the State FPAs and young people, the latter group accounting for 37% of the participants. The rest of the participants were from the Federal level agencies as members of the FFPAM Steering Committee of this Project.

The Kedah State Exco Member (Information Energy and Multimedia and Non Government Organizations) - YB. Hajjah Rosnah bt Abdul Majib, officiated at the opening of the seminar. The welcoming speech was delivered by Dr Muhammad bin Abdullah, Acting Chairman of Kedah FPA. Dr Kamaruzaman Ali, Chairman of FFPAM presented the first Introductory Address followed by YBhg Datuk Raj Karim, Regional Director, IPPF-ESEAOR who provided the second Introductory Address.

In her official address, YB. Hajjah Rosnah called for greater partnership between government and non-government agencies towards more effective youth development and empowerment. She agreed with the other officials on the need to provide the necessary support by all agencies and stakeholders to ensure that young people have access to information and services related to SRH to enhance their healthy development towards adulthood.

Six papers and the workshop outputs were presented via three Panel Sessions. In addition, a special paper on FFPAM’s Family Life Education Programme and the findings of the Baseline Survey and recommended strategies of the IPPF/BMZ Project was also shared with the participants. The six papers discussed issues of advocacy pertaining to SRH and rights amongst youths in Malaysia which ranged from current strategies/services and further actions, SRH education in national schools via Family Health Education Curriculum and Islamic Studies, Healthy Development and SRH from the Islamic Perspective, current programmes undertaken and proposed Programme of Action.

The outcome of the seminar will serve as an important advocacy tool and in providing effective strategies for the development of intervention activities for young people with specific reference to their sexual reproductive health and rights of in the context of the Islamic values. The intervention activities include the establishment of 6 Youth Centres, 5 in Kedah and 1 in Perlis.

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