Meet Our Members

YouAct is currently made up of young people between 18-29 years old from across the Council of Europe member states.

Current membership includes young people from Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Georgia, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The Network’s Coordinator is Isma Benboulerbah from France.

Coordinator

Isma Benboulerbah
Isma BenboulerbahYouAct Coordinator
Country: France/Belgium
Pronouns: she/her/they

Isma is a strong and passionate feminist activist and has been working for years on programs focusing on fight sexual and gender-based violence and SRHR. Isma is currently working as programmes officer at the End FGM European Network, where she also coordinates community development and youth programmes to end violence against women and girls. Previously, Isma worked in on the project “Building bridges between Europe and Africa to end FGM” and was also elected board member and acted as Secretary General of the French network against FGM Excision Parlons-en! Isma also collaborated with the World Health Organisation for a research on youth and adolescent sexual health in West Africa. After several years of professional experience in France, West Africa and with women from the Arab-Muslim diaspora and FGM-affected communities in Europe, Isma has built up important knowledge on sexual and reproductive rights, gender-based violence, harmful traditional practices around the bodies of girls and women, and particularly on female genital mutilation.

Steering Committee

Sophie Beria
Sophie BeriaChair
Country: Georgia
Pronouns: she/her/they/them

Sophie is a human rights activist, and has experience advocating for Comprehensive Sexuality Education on both local, and EU levels. She is an educator, and the co-creator of the first-ever sexuality education website in Georgia, called “All about You”. In 2019 Sophie became the Generation Equality Forum Civil Society Advisory Group member, representing the European Region. Her work is currently focused on mainstreaming SRHR and gender equality in marginalized communities on a grassroots level. Her most recent projects centre around advocating for comprehensive sexuality education, combating abortion stigma, and empowering young refugees, asylum seekers, and IDPs in Georgia.

Panayiotis Elia
Panayiotis EliaTreasurer
Country: Cyprus/the Netherlands
Pronouns: he/him

Panayiotis is doing a second master’s in Law, focus on Labour Law and Employment Relations in Tilburg University. He has previously worked as a teaching and research assistant in Alexander College Cyprus and since 2017 he has been a member of the Cyprus Bar Association. He has been involved in SRHR, contributing as an advocate, researcher and non-formal education trainer at the Cyprus Family Planning Association. He is primarily engaged with activities related to children’s rights with focus on CSE in both European and national level as well as in the field of sexual discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Adriana Pereira
Adriana PereiraResources Mobilisation Officer
Country: Portugal/Belgium
Pronouns: she/her/they

In 2010 Adriana started volunteering as a peer-educator in a youth-driven NGO promoting sexual health on a social, emotional and physical level, eventually becoming a board member in 2014. During her master’s in Public Health, she did an internship and consultancy at the European Regional Office of WHO, developing the men’s health report and researching on men’s SRH. Adriana was YouAct’s Coordinator from 2018 to 2020 and serves as a member of the Expert Group of the Contraception Atlas. Adriana also serves as the youngest addition to the Board of the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception since May 2019.

Beatriz Octaviano Inhauser Rótoli
Beatriz Octaviano Inhauser RótoliInternal Communications Officer
Country: Brazil/Italy
Pronouns: she/her

Beatriz has been involved for several years with the promotion of information on children and women’s rights at a community level in Brazil. Thanks to her work, during Brazil’s municipal elections, Beatriz was elected as substitute tutelary counsellor to ensure the realisation of the rights of children and adolescents, a governmental work based on the Brazilian Child and Adolescent Statute. Currently, Beatriz is completing her master thesis on asylum seekers’ reproductive rights.

Lucrezia Vittori
Lucrezia VittoriExternal Communications Officer
Country: Italy/ UK Pronouns: She/herLucrezia is a video maker, writer and activist from Italy. Holding a master’s degree in International Journalism at Cardiff University, she has been involved in SRHR advocacy ever since she produced and directed a short documentary on the total abortion ban in the Dominican Republic. After working as freelance journalist and video maker, Lucrezia worked as Communications and Event Officer at the Inspire SRHR Partnership. In 2020 she completed an internship at IPPF, developing IEC materials focused on self-care in SRH. A Gallery Assistant at the Vagina Museum, Lucrezia works at InsightShare a social enterprise focused on participatory media and indigenous rights advocacy.

Members

Anamaria Suciu
Anamaria SuciuCountry: Romania/Belgium
Pronouns: she/her

YouAct member since 2016, Anamaria has been a Steering Committee member for two consecutive years (Secretary in 2017 and Chair in 2018). Anamaria has initiated and coordinated the implementation of several projects on sexuality education and has actively represented the network at various international conferences. She has worked as Programme Assistant at IPPF EN, for the Society for Education on Contraception and Sexuality in Romania and has previously coordinated the regional youth network YSAFE. Anamaria is particularly interested in monitoring and evaluation and research and she believes an intersectional approach is needed to solving society’s problems.

Ana Sofia Perez Lomeli
Ana Sofia Perez LomeliCountry: Mexico/Hungary
Pronouns: she/her

Ana Sofia holds a BA on International Relations and an MSc in Public Policy and Management. Ana Sofia had her feminist awakening moment during her bachelor’s and followed that path ever since. Ana Sofia wrote both of her thesis on gender issues, one on how to rebuild post-conflict countries with a gender-perspective and the other one analysed how city design and urban planning affects women’s everyday life. She has participated in academic research on women’s empowerment and taken part in specialised courses and trainings on gender mainstreaming and human rights from the OAS and Amnesty International. Ana Sofia has a special interest in abortion laws and policies.

Anuki (Ana) Mosiashvili
Anuki (Ana) MosiashviliCountry: Georgia/Sweden
Pronouns: she/her

Anuki is a youth advocate and educator from Georgia. She has been advocating for CSE, youth meaningful participation and youth SRHR since 2012 when she first started her activism in her local community. Anuki is pursuing master’s degree in International Human Rights Law at Lund University. She is an international coordinator in charge of capacity building of the Y-PEER Network, as well as One Young World Peace Ambassador and a member of the Swedish Institute Network for Future Global Leaders. She has been working with national, regional and international organizations and initiatives, including Women Deliver, UNFPA, EU institutions and more.

Bilge Eylem Dedeoglu
Bilge Eylem Dedeoglu Country: Turkey
Pronouns: she/her

Eylem is an SRHR advocate and medical doctor from Istanbul, working in the Eastern Europe and the Middle East region. She is the previous Internal Communications Officer of YouAct, where she promoted CSE for youth in Europe. Eylem is also the Steering Committee of Y-PEER Turkey – Youth Approaches to Health Association where she has campaigned for accessible and affordable SRH services for young people. She is currently working as a consultant for migrant survivors of sexual violence and ill-treatment at an international humanitarian organization. During her medical education, Eylem completed Gender Studies and Community Engagement programs at Koç University.

Camila Ochoa Mendoza
Camila Ochoa MendozaCountry: Venezuela/Sweden
Pronouns: she/her

Camila Ochoa Mendoza is a reproductive justice activist and academic, currently doing her masters in Gothenburg, Sweden. She is currently writing her thesis on including trans people’s experiences and needs in the discussion of abortion and reproductive justice. Camila has centred her work and studies around abortion stigma and messaging, particularly looking at how abortion is connected to other aspects of social justice. At the core of Camila’s activism is the belief that all issues are connected, and that they are all rooted in white supremacist-capitalist-patriarchy.

Chenai Elizabeth Muchena
Chenai Elizabeth MuchenaCountry: Zimbabwe/ Denmark
Pronouns: she/her

Chenai is a gender and health equity advocate, who has been promoting women’s health awareness and access to quality healthcare since 2012 in Zimbabwe, Cyprus and Denmark. Her research interests are focused around Non-communicable diseases (cervical and breast cancer) and their impact on women in low resource settings. Chenai is pursuing a Masters’ degree in Pharmaceutical design and Engineering with the Denmark Technical university and working as a Public health research assistant for the department of infectious diseases at Rigshospitalet. She is also a Women Deliver Young Leader and World Economic Forum Global Shaper.

Frida Gunnarsson
Frida GunnarssonCountry: Sweden
Pronouns: she/her

Frida is from Sweden and currently studying for a masters in gender studies in London. She joined YouAct in 2017 and has been involved with different projects since joining, and also been in the steering committee for one year as External Communications Officer. Through YouAct she has developed position papers, been a consultant for the EC-funded project SAFER to end gender-based violence and worked with communications. Before joining YouAct she founded a Feminist Society at her university in the Netherlands.

Gersi Gashi
Gersi GashiCountry: Kosovo
Pronouns: he/him

Gersi Gashi has been a civil society activist for the last five years. He has been engaged in the civil society sector as a project manager and researcher for organizations such as Democracy for Development, Peer Educators Network, and Levizja FOL. Gersi majored in public policy and economics at the Rochester Institute of Technology. An author and co-author on different publications and articles, he is particularly experienced in anticorruption, with focus on the judiciary, welfare policies, higher education, and labour mobility. Currently, he has a start-up company focusing on automation and engineering.

Hannah Edwards
Hannah EdwardsCountry: United Kingdom
Pronouns: she/her

Hannah currently works at Plan International and she is hugely passionate about gender equality and human rights. She has an MSc in Applied International Development (Law and Development Pathway) and is an intersectional feminist striving for social justice.

Katinka Goffin
Katinka GoffinCountry: Norway
Pronouns: she/her

Katinka is a long-time SRHR activist, advocating through volunteerism, academia and freelance work. For her Bachelor’s thesis in Psychology she wrote about the genderization of sexual victimhood, and is now researching perspectives on sexual consent in Norway for her Master’s. Katinka recently wrote a published report about sexual assault and prevention in Oslo, and has previously been on the board of IPPF Norway, as well as the head of their youth organization, SNU. She is also a Beijing+25 youth representative for UN Women. Her focuses are CSE, consent and sexual violence, LGBTQIA+ issues, and intersectional feminism.

Kristy Romain
Kristy RomainCountry: France
Pronouns: she/her

Kristy is a passionate black feminist and SRHR advocate who aims to specialise in reproductive justice in the long term. She holds degrees in gender studies, human rights, English and communication. She is particularly interested in researching how class, gender, race and sexual orientation impact people’s access to sexual and reproductive services. She has previously worked at an NGO advocating for women and girls’ reproductive rights in West Africa and volunteered at her local family planning clinic in France.

Laura Honders
Laura HondersCountry: The Netherlands
Pronouns: she/her

Laura has been active in SRHR since she wrote her master thesis on women with disabilities’ access to SRHR services in Sri Lanka. She has a special interest in the meaningful inclusion of marginalised groups in SRHR, especially when it comes to comprehensive sexuality education and advocacy, and her main field of expertise is in children and youth with disabilities. She holds the position of SRHR adviser at the Liliane Foundation, a Dutch organisation working on the inclusion of children and youth with disabilities in low and middle income countries.

Lily Biddell
Lily BiddellCountry: United Kingdom/Spain
Pronouns: she/her

Lily is currently living in Madrid, working as an advocacy intern for the African women’s organisation Make Every Woman Count. She has been interested in SRHR activism since studying Anthropology in her hometown of London where she focused on social and medical anthropology. With a particular passion for access to safe abortion, she is carrying out research on the impact of Covid-19 on abortion access in Kenya, as well as the increased use of self-managed abortion telemedicine during the pandemic. She hopes to complete her doula or midwifery training soon.

Lina Al-Hassany
Lina Al-HassanyCountry: the Netherlands
Pronouns: she/her

Besides being a medical student, Lina is a youth advocate for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Over the past years, she engaged in volunteering with several national non-profit organisations, where she developed her communications, training and advocacy skills. Lina’s main interests in advocating are the focus of a global health and intersectional (diverse) perspective. Lina feels that being part of YouAct is a unique opportunity to speak on empowerment and justice within the SRHR section, while using creative skills to engage others.

Luca Arfini
Luca ArfiniCountry: Belgium/Italy
Pronouns: he/him

Luca is a young communications professional who holds a master’s degree in European Studies. He is passionate about EU politics, Human Rights and Media freedom. In his free time, he likes writing articles on various topics and discover different countries and cultures.

Maria Codina
Maria CodinaCountry: Spain
Pronouns: she/her

Maria Codina is a feminist and a gender and sexuality expert. From a young age, Maria has been involved in the creation of CSE workshops and programmes in Spain and the Netherlands. Maria completed her master’s degree in Gender and Sexuality in the Netherlands focusing her research on the conceptualisation of virginity (loss) and purity among young people in Spain. She volunteered at Sex Matters developing four workshops on CSE. She is currently part of the SRHR team at KIT Royal Tropical Institute, where she works as SRHR advisor and as a country coordinator for Share-Net International.

Martin Karadzhov
Martin KaradzhovCountry: UK/Bulgaria
Martin started working in the field of SRHR when he was 14 by facilitating workshops at his schools and later participating on national and international trainings. Martin worked as youth coordinator of his local NGO, where he had the chance to work with different groups such as juvenile offenders, minorities and youth from shelters on topics related to SRHR.
Myriam Mhamedi
Myriam MhamediCountry: France/Morocco/Belgium
Pronouns: she/her

Myriam is French Moroccan and has a background in Gender & Development and in Communications. She has previously worked in a European Institution on Gender Equality and she now works for End FGM EU. Myriam also uses her free time to volunteer in different organisations working on human rights. Throughout the years, doing case work as a volunteer and working with marginalised and vulnerable people has given her an understanding of mechanisms of marginalisation in Europe and their intersectional nature. She is particularly interested in the intersections between culture, race and gender inequalities.

Nicole Moran
Nicole MoranCountry: Ireland/the Netherlands
Pronouns: she/her

Nicole is an advisor on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Her areas of focus lie at the intersection of gender and health, with her background in gender studies allowing her to approach global health with a strong intersectional, feminist and sociological perspective. Nicole is a dedicated activist who works closely with a number of feminist movements both in Ireland and in the Netherlands that focus on access to safe abortion and bodily autonomy. She has a strong advocacy background to accompany the advisory work that she now does and strives to incorporate this experience into her role at YouAct.

Pierre Gilliot
Pierre GilliotCountry: Belgium
Pronouns: he/him

Pierre is a young Belgian activist for LGBT rights and HIV prevention. He has volunteered on many occasions for the LGBT cause, and his most important mission was to set up the Brussels LGBT Shelter project in 2018. Aside from his volunteering activities, he works in the EU lobbyism sector for industrial and environmental causes. Pierre speaks, French, English and Spanish. He has lived in Thailand, India and Costa Rica, and he is the proud father of a 10K followers’ YouTube channel.

Rhoda Aduah
Rhoda AduahCountry: Ghana/Sweden
Rhoda is an experienced and fully qualified nurse who is efficient, thorough and passionate about delivering the best of care to clients. Rhoda is currently studying for a Masters in Global Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights at Dalarna University in Sweden. Rhoda has been working for two years as a volunteer with Marie Stopes Ghana. Rhoda also works at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and is very passionate about Sexual Reproductive Health and Right especially adolescent sexual reproductive health.
Silvia Schroeder
Silvia SchroederCountry: Italy/Sweden
Pronouns: she/her

Silvia recently graduated from Uppsala University with a master’s degree in Human Rights. During her master studies, Silvia focused on youth’s rights, women’s rights and SRHR, three fields that she has great interest in. Her master thesis focused on how civil society organisations approach and work with the question of FGC in Sweden. Silvia currently works part time at the organisation ActionAid International Sweden with a project regarding FGC in Sweden and she also works at Stockholm’s Municipal District Office as an administrator, cultural secretary and officer for Stockholm’s summer camp organisation.

Victor Rocha
Victor RochaCountry: Brazil/Portugal
Pronouns: he/him

Victor started his work in defence of sexual and reproductive rights in 2017, when he was an intern at an NGO in his hometown, that fights for the rights of people living with HIV. After that experience, he directed his professional trajectory to academia where he combines activism as his experience living with HIV and his studies in law and public health. He is currently completing a master’s degree at University of Lisbon, where he is writing his thesis on risk management in bareback sex in men who have sex with men.

Former Coordinators

Adriana Pereira
Adriana Pereira2020-2018 YouAct Coordinator
Country: Portugal/Belgium
Pronouns: she/her/they

In 2010 Adriana started volunteering as a peer-educator in a youth-driven NGO promoting sexual health on a social, emotional and physical level, eventually becoming a board member in 2014. During her master’s in Public Health, she did an internship and consultancy at the European Regional Office of WHO, developing the men’s health report and researching on men’s SRH. Adriana was YouAct’s Coordinator from 2018 to 2020 and serves as a member of the Expert Group of the Contraception Atlas. Adriana also serves as the youngest addition to the Board of the European Consortium for Emergency Contraception since May 2019.

Ana Rizescu
Ana Rizescu2018-2016 YouAct Coordinator
Country: Romania
Pronouns: she/her

Ana was involved in the youth NGO field sector started when she was 15 years old and became a volunteer of Youth for Youth, working on issues related to youth health and rights, in particular sexual and reproductive health and rights. Since then, she has collaborated with partners from Europe, Central Asia, Arab States and Asia Pacific to organise various capacity building events, conferences and advocacy initiatives. She started getting to know YouAct in 2010 and since then she has been involved in several youth SRHR coalitions with YouAct. Few years later, in the autumn of 2014, she became the network coordinator.

Alumni

Eimear Annalivia Sparks
Eimear Annalivia SparksCountry: Ireland
Growing up in Ireland has had a huge influence on Eimear’s decision to become involved in SRHR. Having gone to an all-girl Catholic school, the vestiges of the repressed sexuality produced by the Church’s stranglehold on the education system, was very much evident in her sexual education. When she went to university and started taking modules in gender and sexuality, she saw how lacking her sexual education had been and realised this was mirrored in the experience of many of her peers. Thus she was influenced to attempt to change such a situation. She has been involved in various aspects of the pro-choice movement in Ireland by directing and producing a video for the pro-choice campaign at her university. Eimear appeared on TV to speak about the issue and attended meetings about the campaign and volunteered at street stalls.
Ivy Miltiadou
Ivy MiltiadouCountry: Cyprus
Ivy started to work in the SRHR field since the age of 15, with the Cyprus Family Planning Association, right after taking a training on how to train peers on HIV/AIDS, within school. Her work experience since then has evolved and developed from national level to regional and international throughout my YSAFE membership and by gaining the position of the YSAFE Coordinator for 1,5 years.
Ivy first heard about YouAct, back in Cyprus from fellow SRHR volunteers. Once she took over YSAFE coordination, she learned more about YouAct, by assisting to the input provision for the European Advocacy Handbook, attending the EP hearing on CSE and co-writing an article for Entres-Nous magazine with then YouAct coordinator: Grace Wilentz.
Anna Johanson Dahl
Anna Johanson DahlCountry: Sweden
Anna has been working within the field of SRHR for over four years. From the beginning, she was driven by the thought of every ones right to their own sexuality. That means every ones right to comprehensive knowledge about SRHR and the right to live how they want with who they want to love. Sexuality should be based on the freedom to choose and to live, with responsibility to respect and listen to yourself and others.
Anna’s engagement started within the Swedish member organization of IPPF RFSU. At RFSU she worked at a regional and national level focusing on SRHR for everyone in every county, the right to abortion and international SRHR. Anna also engaged with RFSU as part of a network of youths working with advocate within the field of SRHR on a national level.
Charoula Matthaiou
Charoula MatthaiouCountry: Cyprus
Charoula has been an active volunteer of Cyprus Family Planning Association (CFPA) since October 2011, when she returned back to Cyprus from her postgraduate studies in the UK. It wasn’t ‘love at first sight’ though. It took Charoula a couple of weeks to realise the scope of the association’s work and how important it is, especially for young people. As a volunteer she participates in the implementation of European and research projects on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and also in awareness-raising campaigns. Between January 2013-January 2015, Charoula was the national project coordinator of the Daphne III «Keep me Safe» project: Empowering Young People with Learning Disabilities (YPWLD) to protect themselves against sexual abuse and violence across Europe, which was coordinated by the European Network of International Planned Parenthood Federation.
Luciana Grosu
Luciana GrosuCountry: Romania
Luciana is a psychologist and journalist passionate about women rights. Over the years, she have engaged in volunteering with several national and international nonprofit organizations , developing her skills in the fields of Reporting, Psychological Counseling, Training and Intercultural Dialogue. Luciana is an innovator at heart with many ideas for combating violence against women and girls.
Gosia Kot
Gosia KotCountry: Poland
Gosia has been an activist for sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people, especially comprehensive sexuality education for 5 years. She gained a ground experience through work in Ponton Group of Sex Educators, youth organization advocating for CSE in Poland. Gosia has been responsible for counselling for young people, organization of street events and coordination of various projects, e.g. regarding youth access to sexual and reproductive health services and counteracting sexual violence among adolescents. Gosia graduated from sociology and continue studies in social sciences on PhD level. Her areas of scientific interest are queer sociology, non-heteronormative identities and relationships, queer motherhood.
Cecilie Morville
Cecilie MorvilleCountry: Denmark
Cecilie started working on SRHR already in high school as a sexuality teacher. When she started studying anthropology, she became the ambassador for a maternal health campaign; Sign of Life, in Uganda and did volunteer work with the Danish Family Planning Association. It was then when her interest for working on women’s health issues started. After her bachelor, Cecilie moved to Brussels to be the coordinator for YSAFE. In this capacity, Cecilie participated in several UN and EU meetings advocating for youth SRHR. It was especially her experiences at ICPD+20 and CPD47 where her interest for SRHR advocacy started.
Yana Panfilova
Yana PanfilovaCountry: Ukraine
My name is Yana, I am 18 and I am from Ukraine.I represent the “Eurasian Union of adolescents and youth “Teenergizer””. I started working on this topic because of lack of information about reproductive and sexual health in Ukraine.
Even though I am only 18 years old, I want to bring real results to the improvement of the quality of life of teenagers, touched by the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Eastern European and Central Asian Region. By joining YouAct, I think it is a good opportunity for me to get new information, that can be useful in work at home and in my region. Also, I can share my experience with the rest of the members of YouAct.
Rhodé Janssen
Rhodé JanssenCountry: The Netherlands
Ever since pastor Gideon Byamugisha gave a lecture at my university on his personal journey with HIV and AIDS in 2012, I have been intrigued with the entanglement between the public and religious sphere in relation to SRHR. It was fascinating to see how he was able to discuss sex and sexual health, including condom use, from his religious perspective. This motivated me to become active in the field of HIV and SRHR.
In March 2014 I have been involved with the European Dialogue, organised by YouAct and CHOICE, and got to share my SRHR story in the European Parliament, focussing on the differences in SRHR dialogues that religious and secular organisations have and emphasised the need for Comprehensive Sexual Education.
Next steps included capacity building at a local NGO based in South Africa. Here I updated their comprehensive HIV and AIDS training manual and worked on the ‘Thursdays in Black’ campaign, a programme raising awareness and advocating against Gender Based Violence. Whilst working in sub-Saharan Africa I noticed that a rights-based approach is not always sufficient within this context, and local norms and values, including religion, should be addressed too.
The main reason for becoming a member of YouAct is that I want to formalise my commitment to SRHR advocacy, and would like to be the link between the public and religious spheres. Furthermore, during my work in South Africa, I’ve gained extensive experience on Gender Based Violence, HIV and AIDS, and SRHR and would love to share this knowledge and skills with other YouAct members. Finally, I want to give youth a voice in decision-making. Especially regarding decisions that influence their lives, e.g. access to sexual and reproductive health facilities, adequate sexual education and information sharing. As I personally experienced the constraints of being insufficiently informed, I want to help inform others.
Peter Mladenov
Peter MladenovCountry: Bulgaria
Peter has more than 6 years of extensively experience in public health, HIV prevention, youth policy, sexual and reproductive health and rights in more than 35 countries in the world. He has been working for 3 years at the National Center of Public Health and Analysis of Bulgaria where he was involvement in project implementation in the field of public health with focus on CSE in 20 countries from the region of Europe and Central Asia. In addition, he was involved in conducting various researches and reports on the above mentioned topics. He also served as consultant to UNAIDS, UNFPA, European Commission, Ministry of Social Justice (Bulgaria) in field of CSE, SRHR and HIV Prevention. He undertook various international and regional consultancies tasks related to review and analysis to documents and existing recourses on CSE. Peter is a certified trainer on Advocacy and Policy Dialogue and he undertook more than 20 trainings regionally and globally mainly focusing on access to CSE. He served as member of the National Delegation of Bulgaria to the UN for 2 years during which he was mainly involved in meetings on ensuring policies for access to CSE (CPD, CSW, CsocD, GA). He was also extensively involved in the Post-2015 Development Process in the past few years. He was a panelist at various international forums and conferences where he was focusing on topics related to CSE and young people. He is a civil servant at the Ministry of Youth where he holds a portfolio on international youth policies and Health and well-being of young people. He was project leader of several projects on ensuring access to CSE. Peter was serving as an international coordinator of a youth-led CSO for three years where he was working on CSE, HIV prevention and SRHR. He was also involved in the global CSE technical expert meeting in 2015 in Washington, DC and now he is identified as a key expert in the development of the global CSE hub. He is a co-author of two articles on CSE published by the “Entre Nous” WHO, UNFPA’s magazine. Last but not the least he was identified as a youth leader in Eastern Europe and Central Asia for CSE by UNADIS in 2014.
Liam Sutcliffe
Liam SutcliffeCountry: UK (Scotland)
During my undergraduate medical studies, I have had the opportunity to experience the field of sexual and reproductive health through placements in local sexual and reproductive health centres. I have seen the ill effects of poor access to sexual and reproductive health education, and have seen the need for greater knowledge amongst young people in the area, and greater awareness of the rights they have. I have also seen how marginalised groups, such as men who have sex with men, often have a lower awareness of their rights and struggle to access services, generally having poorer health outcomes as a result. To improve health, promotion of rights and education is essential.
I believe that in order to improve peoples’ sexual health and wellbeing, knowledge of rights and education is essential. As a result, I want to be part of an organisation which works to improve rights and education for young people. Furthermore, I believe greater change is able to be enacted when people come together from many different backgrounds with the same ideals and ambitions. Because of YouAct’s Europe-wide reach, it is an attractive organisation to be a part of in order to influence change.
Cristina Moreno
Cristina MorenoCountry: Spain
Cristina has been active in health activism and advocacy for global health and HIV/AIDS health and rights in the United Kingdom since 2012, when she became a member of Student StopAIDS Campaign whilst studying a degree in biomedical sciences (and specialized in infectious diseases) at the University of Edinburgh. Since then, Cristina has often collaborated with international NGOs such as Restless Development, STOP AIDS or MSF Access in campaigning and lobbying for global access to health care and medicines for infectious diseases. Cristina is currently studying a Masters degree in medical anthropology and global health to continue a career in research and education in health. While discovering the intricacies of lobbying and advocacy for health, Cristina found herself in the need to seek for a more domestic contribution to the cause within her community in Scotland. That was when she came across Shafted Theatrical Dissidents, discovering the potentials of grassroots activism, and community empowerment. By collaborating in this project creating and organizing a cabaret performance show to raise awareness of the realities encountered by people living with HIV in Scotland, Cristina explored further the powers of using humour, dance, the spoken word, and theater as tools for tackling stigma, and giving people in marginalised contexts a chance to bring their issues forward.
Gabriel Brumariu
Gabriel BrumariuCountry: Romania
I have started 3 years ago as a volunteer at The Society for Education on Contraception and Sexuality- SECS. In Romania we don’t have a class in schools that teaches sexuality education and on the other part we have the biggest rates of teenage pregnancies in EU (between other bad statistics relating STI’s and HIV). From that point I realised the need (also after hearing so many misinterpretations and myths) and started getting involved in facilitating hours of sexuality education in schools, working on various projects and now i am the volunteer’s coordinator and youth activities at SECS.
On one hand, i want to get more involved in a international frame and on the other hand i think that exchanging “know how” from an area to another and coalising, helps building the background SRHR needs in so many countries around Europe and not only.
Through YouAct, we have a great opportunity to do so and it’s a wonderful place to grow up youth implication.
Laura Cooper Hall
Laura Cooper HallCountry: UK
Laura has always been interested in gender issues, her “passion” really surfaced when she was working on a GBV project in Myanmar through the organization Population Services International (PSI). After working in Myanmar, Laura studied for a masters degree in public policy and during her first year was also working as a Junior Programme Coordinator at dance4life, an organization working on educating youth on SRHR. While working with PSI and dance4life, Laura realized how important SRHR issues are. Ensuring equality, safety and security is extremely connected to SRHR, a fact that is often overlooked or ignored within development and humanitarian contexts. Recognizing that involving youth and encouraging them to realize their opinions are valued is extremely important for the benefit of the global community.
Hannah Beth Kunzlik
Hannah Beth KunzlikCountry: UK (Scotland)
A childhood passion for battling injustice and protecting human rights led Hannah into the field of politics and NGOs. Here 2015 internship with EuroNGOs – the European NGOs for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Population and Development – provided a whirlwind introduction to many of the issues faced by women and minority groups globally, and how SRHR issues intersect with countless other human rights issues – from women’s rights to refugee crises, climate change to disability rights, educational equity to income inequality. From January to June 2016, Hannah held the Lantos-Humanity in Action Congressional Fellowship working for Congressman Mike Honda. One of the priority policy areas in her portfolio was reproductive justice, and involved combating the regressive and dangerous anti-choice initiatives have been taking root across the US under the guise of protecting women’s health or religious freedom. Without meaningful youth participation, any political agreement or law that affects young people will be fundamentally flawed – yet, youth are often overlooked and undermined in political processes. As a lifelong activist, Hannah experienced firsthand the difficulties faced by young people trying to play an active role in adult-centric organisations and campaigns.
Emma Dooney
Emma DooneyCountry: Ireland
Emma discovered her passion for this cause when she started her studies in Trinity College. Emma was elected as DU Amnesty’s My Body My Rights campaign coordinator from 2014-2016. This job entailed running meetings for new Amnesty members, facilitating discussion and organizing events to support the campaign. Focusing on the Repeal the Eighth campaign, they hosted a wide range of events, including panel discussions about the dangerous implications of the Eighth Amendment, abortion testimonies, petition signings and campus demonstrations. Emma was also awarded Amnesty Ireland’s Student Activist of the Year 2016 for her campaign work. Emma wishes to empower other young people to stand up for these issues and to recognise bodily autonomy as a human right, not a privilege.
Hannah Pearson
Hannah PearsonCountry: UK
Hanna has been working within the field of SRHR for five years now. From interning at Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) in the Netherlands in 2011, to her current role as Policy Coordinator at the Equality Network, an LGBTI human rights organisation in Edinburgh UK, SRHR has always been her passion and a significant part of her work. Hannah holds an MSc in Equality and Human Rights from the University of Glasgow, where she conducted her postgraduate research into barriers to abortion access in Scotland, in collaboration with Amnesty Scotland and Amnesty International’s My Body My Rights campaign. Hannah was subsequently asked to be a member of the Abortion Rights Scotland Committee, and accepted to present her research at the Abortion and Reproductive Justice- The Unfinished Revolution international conference.
Anna Postovoitova
Anna PostovoitovaCountry: Ukraine
Once she asked herself “When did I learn about sex?” and she could not find an exact answer. Anna could not clearly remember who told her about STIs and HIV prevention methods, how to use a condom, shared real information about sexual health. For sure, Anna would not even expect to receive this information from her school teachers in a small Eastern Ukrainian city where she was born. Anna’s motivation is to make a visible improvement in promoting sexual and reproductive health among teenagers and young people, to break stereotypes and start talk about sexual health. That is why she joined team of Union of Adolescents and Youth ”Teenergizer” in Ukraine.
Fatma Hacioglu
Fatma HaciogluCountry: Turkey
She was at the second grade in University (2003) Fatma joined a university club called “Fight Against AIDS”. That’s when she I learnt more on HIV/AIDS and started doing outreach activities within the university. Later on she was trained as peer educator on SRHR by Y-PEER Network and UNFPA which enabled her both in terms of knowledge and skills on youth SRHR. A YouAct since 2006, Fatma has worked on youth SRHR issues within Turkey, European region and globally, graduated from university as a science teacher and completed a Masters on Women and Gender Studies. Fatma worked for UNFPA Turkey Country Office as a Youth Project Assistant, coordinating a youth SRHR campaign in Turkey. From 2007 she worked with UNFPA under Reproductive Health Programme as a Programme Associate under RH Programme.
Ruth Ennis
Ruth EnnisCountry: Germany/ Ireland
Working in the field of SRHR has become something of a second skin, given her active engagement over what is now almost a decade. Ruth first became a member of YouAct in 2006. The passion, intelligence and expertise of YouAct members motivated her every day to keep up the fight for full recognisement and fulfillment of Sexual Rights.
Johanna Selander
Johanna SelanderCountry: Sweden
Johanna started studying Human Rights in 2011 and shortly realized that SRHR interested her most. In 2013 she took a course in gender studies and decided to become an active member of RFSU (the Swedish Association for Sexuality Education). Since then Johanna has been a group leader of activity groups within the association. She did her internship at RFSU and was active in RFSU Gothenburg’s network working with HIV and AIDS prevention as well as in the abortion rights network of RFSU. Johanna is a certified informant in the field of sexual education and in 2014 she was responsible for the coordination of informants in the field of sexual education in RFSU Malmö.
Sanda-Daniela Alexeiciuc
Sanda-Daniela AlexeiciucCountry: Moldova/Russia
Sanda-Daniela always believed in SRHR and cultural-intellectual interchange. Her strong desire to promote developing influence of human rights in the post-Soviet countries stimulated her interest to participate at a ToT at national level organized by UNFPA. Working as a volunteer, staff member, activist, trainer and expert with the non-governmental organizations all over the world in SRHR from Kenya and Britain to Sweden and Czech Republic, Sanda tried to develop an ability to think globally and to operate locally in a successful way. High quality of the intellectual environment in YouAct with emphasis on creative approach and social participation, improved her growth as the defender of human rights and promoted enrichment of her scientific potential. Sanda’s special anxiety is concerning gender discrimination, LGBTQ rights, violence and is caused with that as the practical worker she observed intended distortions of a HR problematic both in authorities, non-governmental sector and in mass media.
Anush Hayrapetyan
Anush HayrapetyanCountry: Armenia
Anush started working in the SRHR field while getting involved with YouAct in October 2011. Having just graduated the University with a Master’s degree in Public International Law and Human Rights, she was eager to learn more about gender equality issues. While getting involved with YouAct she learned more than she expected. YouAct has been a great platform for learning about and engaging into action not only for gender equality issues, but also comprehensive sexuality education and informed decision-making, youthfriendly services and many other issues of the field which are so vital for the well-being of each person.
 Agata Loewe
Agata LoeweCountry: Poland
Agata has been working in SRHR field for the last 7 years. She started at Campaign Against Homophobia, later with Trans -fuzja, Ponton sex educators and IGLYO, You Act and now both in Campaign Against Homophobia and her own Sex Positive Institute. Agata works in help (psychologist,sexologist) , educator (workshops on GSD- gender and sexual diversities and activist for sexpositive/critical movements.
Margarita Kapsou
Margarita KapsouCountry: Cyprus
Margarita started working in SRHR as a volunteer, then Program Officer with the Cyprus Family Planning Association. An important experience for her was the Study Session during which a group of 28 young people from different parts of Europe worked together to draft the European Youth Charter on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights. Margarita organized a very successful Summer School on Sexual Rights for students and young graduates in the university where she works!
Adam Ovist
Adam OvistCountry: Denmark
Adam first heard of YouAct when volunteering for Sex&Samfund (Danish member of IPPF). He became a YouAct’er soon after, during the actions and HIV- campaign at the 2005 Catholic World Youth day in Köln. Lessons learned through years of YouAct’ing continue to prove valuable in how Adam engages himself with organizing and collectives today, and in insisting on the significance of transparent decision-making.
Joana Almeida
Joana AlmeidaCountry: Portugal
Joana’s work in SRHR started early with her parents doing sex education in schools and her being embarassed with them. At 24 years, Joana started meeting more people involved in pro-abortion movements in Portugal, in family planning and LGBT community.
Yana Mladenova
Yana MladenovaCountry: Bulgaria
Yana’s first direct involvement with SRHR was when she started working as a project coordinator in a bulgarian NGO called SMART Foundation. At SMART, Yana joined project “ACT!2015” – a unique youth-led accountability initiative supported by the UNAIDS aimed at empowering young people to advocate towards the effective implementation of CSE – path that led her to participate in the Global Youth Summit – ACT!2015 in New Delhi – India.
Rada Elenkova
Rada ElenkovaCountry: Bulgaria
Rada’s active involvement in the SRHR sphere began with her membership in You Act in 2009. Beforehand, she was manly dealing with gender-based violence topics. Since then, Rada has been a keen activist pushing for the realization of women and young people’s SRHR. Rada’s work experience includes , among other, implementing youth campaigns for HIV prevention, safe sex and healthy relationships. Lobbying on national and international levels for women’s right to abortion and eradication of violence against labouring women. At YouAct, Rada had the chance to participate in key international meetings like Women Deliver, CSW 2010, and World Youth Catholic Day 2011.
Gvantsa Khizanishvili
Gvantsa KhizanishviliCountry: Georgia
Gvantsa started out as a volunteer/peer educator for local youth camps when she was a medical student. After graduating from Tbilisi State Medical University with degree in medicine, Gvantsa started working with Planned Parenthood organization in Georgia. In 2007 she became a member of YouAct, when she attended trainings, several conferences and meetings. Gvantsa got awarded the Edmund S. Muskie Graduate Fellowship that allowed her to pursue Master’s in Public Health at the University of Missouri-Columbia. During her time with YouAct, she facilitated several trainings on human rights, youth sexual and reproductive health and rights and youth participation. Having worked in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights for more than 7 years, Gvantsa realises that YouAct influenced her strongly, allowing her to grow professionally and personally.
Magdalena Pochec
Magdalena PochecCountry: Poland
Magdalena’s involvement in the field of SRHR started in 2007 at the Polish Federation for Women and Family Planning, which advocates for the liberalization of the restrictive anti-abortion law in Poland. At the Federation she was responsible for compiling alternative report on the implementation of CEDAW and then became a coordinator of Astra Youth. For over five years Magdalena worked for KARAT Coalition (www.karat.org) as a Programme Officer of its Women’s Human Rights initiative, and at Stefan Batory Foundation, where she coordinated the grant-making process in the field of combating discrimination. Being a part of YouAct had a huge formative influence on her. It introduced her to advocacy at the UN level (e.g. UN High Level Meeting on the Rights of the Child) and provided her the opportunity to participate in a dialogue with decision-makers , which was a very empowering and energizing experience.