Student becomes Youth Ambassador for UN Population Fund
Third-year Media and Cultural Studies student, Ms Nkosingphile Ntshangase, has been chosen as a Youth Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
‘Being a Youth Advisory Panel (YAP) member means I will be able to participate in forums and processes that seek to improve the situation of young people and establish an improved understanding and knowledge of sexual and reproduction health rights, gender equality, HIV prevention and youth development,’ said Ntshangase.
She will participate in national and provincial co-ordination forums and youth advisory panel meetings. As a YAP member, she identifies strategies or mechanisms to ensure youth friendliness of UNFPA policies and programmes as well as developing joint advocacy initiatives and providing practical guidance on youth participation as well as other outputs which will be determined through the process of deliberations of the panel.
Said Ntshangase: ‘The position of being a Youth Ambassador is important as it gives me the platform to empower young people by encouraging them to participate in decisions that affect their lives and also to express their views and opinions in accordance with basic human rights principles. Being a YAP member gives young people a voice and aids in guiding the UNFPA priority setting of their mandate and designing youth friendly policies and programmes based on this.’
Her future plans include pursuing postgraduate studies and to work for the United Nations as an advocate for social change.
Offering advice to young women, she said: ‘Don’t underestimate your capabilities, self-worth and power. Grasp every opportunity you come across. Believe in yourself.’
Words and photograph: Melissa Mungroo