My name is Erica and I am a 2015 Planned Parenthood Global Youth Ambassador, or GYA if you will. You can follow my adventures as a GYA here on the PPActionCA.org website in our new Erica Goes Global blog series.
Summer 2015 will be in an adventure of a lifetime! As one of five global youth ambassadors, and two traveling to Kenya, I will work with a partner of Planned Parenthood Global (the international division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America). For more than 40 years, Planned Parenthood Global has been working overseas in partnership with local advocates, medical service providers, youth leaders and more to ensure that women, men, and young people in some of the world’s most neglected areas have access to the health care they need to control their bodies and their futures.
The goals of my fellowship visit are to build relationships with like-missioned organizations, expand my own understanding of global sexual and reproductive health and rights, and apply lessons learned at my home affiliate in California.
Participation in the Global Youth Ambassador Fellowship is the perfect intersection of the policy work I do every day at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California (PPAC) and my background in international relations. In college I spent time abroad, exposing me to different life experiences, different levels of access to health care, and different political systems. That time spent abroad was eye-opening, revealing both similarities and differences. Going to Africa will allow me to see how Planned Parenthood Global’s partner organizations deal with the same struggles we face here at home, including: governmental opposition to contraception and family planning services; lack of accessible and affordable transportation; and lack of preventive health care and sexual health education. I’m excited to have these worlds collide and hope that this is the starting point for PPAC’s increased engagement on issues that impact women all over the world.
I know I cannot wait to get started and I hope you’ll join me on this incredible journey! In case you need a couple of other reasons why you should keep reading this series, I figured I’d give you a little taste of what’s to come:
- You get to learn more about global sexual and reproductive rights and health and international family planning. These facts make for excellent dinner party conversation starters.
- You’ll learn about opportunities to take action in support of global women’s health -- for example, by supporting federal legislation for international family planning funding, thanking supportive members of Congress for their dedication to women around the world, and bringing awareness to reverse global epidemics like HIV/AIDS.
- You’ll get to follow me as I challenge myself and explore a whole new part of the world.
Don’t forget to join me for our next installment of Erica Goes Global, where I will introduce you to the nefarious Global Gag Rule.
Erica, Planned Parenthood Global Youth Ambassador
The opinions expressed on this blog are mine alone and do not reflect the opinions of Planned Parenthood Federation of America or any other Planned Parenthood organization or any employee thereof. Planned Parenthood is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information I supply.