Thursday, August 20, 2015

YAM-GRPA, SASOD Launch Advocacy Blogging Competition at Youth Conference

In observance of International Youth Day, the Youth Advocacy Movement - Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (YAM - GRPA) and the Society Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination (SASOD) launched an innovative advocacy blogging competition at the one-day Youth Interaction on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) held on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 at the Cara Lodge in Georgetown.
Lucella Campbell, IPPF Senior Advisor delivering her remarks
The Youth Interaction was opened by International Planned Parenthood Federation Senior Advisor Lucella Campbell, United Nations Population Fund Assistant Representative Patrice La Fleur, United Nations Resident Coordinator Khadija Musa, Regional Councillor Ryan Belgrave, on behalf of the Minister of Social Protection, Hon. Volda Lawrence, and Technical Officer Theresa Gaime, on behalf of the Minister of Governance, Raphael Trotman.
In her remarks, Campbell underscored the importance of engaging the Minister of Education to incorporate comprehensive sexually education in schools, in cultivating strong family relationships that would facilitate the sharing of pertinent information from parent to child and the amendment of laws to align the age of consent and the age of access to sexual and reproductive health services for young people.
La Fleur commended both SASOD and GRPA for coordinating such a timely and important conference. She noted that we fail our young people by denying them access to accurate information and friendly health services, which in turn will support them in making informed and responsible decisions.  According to La Fleur by empowering youth with the necessary information, they are better able to live a life of happiness and pleasure.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Years have gone by and I still feel the burning pain of scars inflected by moral whips.
Freedom, yet like steel bars wrapped around me I feel the cold shackles of rules gagging me to keep quiet. Pinning me to the ground like a common criminal .

Freedom, but the mere touch of a hand that makes my world feel complete causes me to live in exile. Tearing our flesh apart forcefully with threatening disgusted stares.
Freedom, but my voice still screams from behind a prison wall created in their minds, where I remain until eternity. Wishing me away into nothingness.
Freedom, but I still walk around lifeless, I still walk around voiceless, our blood still haunts the streets, I still live in fear of my "masters", freedom but I'm still not my own, I'm owned.
Trapped in the lines you've drawn for me to not walk between. Freedom.

Freedom, when only my hidden half makes me whole. When you break me every day with your one tracked minds.
Freedom, when every day I'm forced to rest in peace. Bidding me farewell when you tell me who I should have been. Firing bullets when I'm forced to see who you see.  
Freedom, but your definition of freedom is defined only by you. You say I'm free but I will never be free until you release your fears. Until the fear of something you know nothing of, releases you. When you are free, only then will I be allowed freedom.
Freedom does not come with conditions. I can never be free if the sight of  my affection shatters your world.

When the lifeless body of stranger hangs because of the jabs you aimlessly throw, that can never be freedom.

When death is the only life I see for me because I live in vain, because what I feel and I should have felt conflicts my very existence .

When I have nothing worthwhile to say because you hear nothing worth listening to. I'm worthless but not only to you .

How can I ever be free when I'm forced to fight for the rights of a human as If I'm nothing more than a beast. When will you ever let me be free. To feel, to live, to laugh, to love? When will you set me free so that I can finally be me

I pray everyday to be emancipated but you hunt me down with every step I try to make. Every time I try to break free I'm sentenced to fifty lashes of ridicule, hate and injustice. You sever my legs so that I know there's no running away from the truth. I'm not free.

I pray for the day I hold my lover's hand not pull away like reflexes when I feel someone approaching .

I pray for the day I stand beside my lover and not hope that we don't look inappropriately close.

I pray for the day I get to breathe and not feel overwhelmed with the secrets I'm forced to keep, or the lies I'm forced to speak every time I try to show who I am.

I pray for the day I get to pray and say "thank you father " and not whisper in fear," protect me please..." Only then will I be free, freedom for me will not only be a day.

- Anonymous.