In this blog I would like to give a short report about developing structures of youth participation at Pro Familia, Germany‘s family planning association.
Since I connected in October 2014 with other YSAFE volunteers participating in a meeting among IPPF member associations in Cyprus, a little group of 10 active young people has grown up around Pro Familia in Germany. In 2015, Pro Familia held a first meeting of young activists from all its regional counselling centres. Since then we have been been reaching out to interested young people to invite them to be part of YSAFE, and building structures at the regional level of the organisation. In 2016, the second meeting of young activists took place, focusing on the needs of young people who want to be active for Pro Familia in their city or region.
Pro Familia is a big and (in relation to other European organisations) an old institution for health care, with lots of service centres across the whole country. It is quite difficult to build volunteering structures for young people because many have qualifications and want to earn money. But it is very important for us as a social association that we build structures for young volunteers who campaign for comprehensive sexuality education, legal abortion etc… and the needs of young people.
I am a member of the federal board of Pro Familia Germany, and in 2016 we adopted a binding plan for recruitment and volunteering of young people. The next meeting of young Pro Familia participants will take place in October 2016 in Berlin.
Now that we have spent two years building primary structures for young volunteers at Pro Familia, including two very intensive meetings (like annual meetings), and now that we have young people in the federal board of the organisation, the next step will be to employ a coordinator for all young volunteers in Pro Familia.
This coordinator would be the link between all young people at Pro Familia, to the staff members of the organisation and the volunteers and staff from IPPF/YSAFE. We are looking forward to having that person in place as soon as possible in the next year!