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Sheila Yegon, from Nairobi, is a member of the Organisation of the African Youth Kenya




"I was a shy teenager, new to humanitarian work, when I started to volunteer for OAY Kenya. But I have grown so much in confidence that I now speak out to big crowds and dignitaries. I certainly feel my voice is being heard.


I worked with school clubs on health. I mentor other young people to build their confidence in advocating for policy change, so that we can improve adolescent wellbeing.


I saw we could change policies, so we gathered evidence on the gaps in health services. We did surveys to find out what young people need, the challenges they face, at different ages and stages. We used that evidence to advocate at county, then district and then national level.


Last year Parliament drafted a Children's Bill and I was part of the team that responded to the call for public participation. I stood up to speak at a big meeting to say what should change, what should be scrapped or added. We were happy this year it was passed into an Act, and in response to our contribution, it includes the needs of vulnerable children, adolescents in foster care, vulnerable children and it supports the wellbeing of those going through court proceedings.


When we had elections in Kenya we approached candidates and requested them to add Adolescent Wellbeing into their manifestos. That felt good. In Kenya 75% of the population is below the age of 35. So yes the government has realised this is important and they are listening, now more than ever before.


I want a world in which our health is prioritised, and tailored to young people."

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