SARSYC is a platform for young people from SADC to discuss key sexual and reproductive health rights related challenges and issues affecting young people. SARSYC was 1st launched in 2015 and happens biennially. The 1st conference was hosted in Harare Zimbabwe and the 2nd edition in Johannesburg South Africa.
SARSYC 2ND EDITION
“Building A Business Case For A Solid Future through Access To Youth Sexual Rights, Health Services, And Commodities”
The Southern African Regional Students and Youth Conference on Sexual and Reproductive Health (SARSYC -SRH), is an emerging, student and youth-led and organised, regional platform centred on a bi-ennual event first staged in Harare, Zimbabwe in August 2015. A decentralised secretariat hosted by SAYWHAT based in Harare, Zimbabwe organises SARSYC-SRH. The inaugural SARSYC event, officially opened by the Zimbabwe’s Minister of Health and Child Care Dr David Parirenyatwa, was attended by over 350 students, youths and other stakeholders from eight (8) Southern African countries. Amongst several key outcomes of the conference, were calls for:
- Turning the conference into a bi-annual event.
- An Outline of the major advocacy issues and commitments by young people and duty bearers in the SADC region.
- Call for governments, regional entities, health service providers, UN agencies, CSOs, parents, and guardians as well as other relevant stakeholders to prioritise young people’s sexual reproductive health and rights issues.
A communique handed to ICASA was used to communicate the above-referenced outcomes. Executive Director Luc Bodea and President Ihab Ahmed, who also gave closing remarks at the conference, represented ICASA.
The 2017 edition of the conference was held under the theme, “Building a Business Case for a Solid Future through Access to Youth Sexual Rights, Health Services, and Commodities”. The theme followed the cue from the African Union Commission 2017 Theme for youth – “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments for Youths”. SARSYC-SRH 2017 is thus strategically fashioned as a platform at which students and young people can co-create a business case to justify and argue for commitments and improved access to Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) services and commodities for the young people of Southern Africa.
Such a broad vision was anchored upon student based researches and other bodies of knowledge which can help in building a business case for students to be realized as a priority target group. The overarching goal of SARSYC is to engineer a regional reflection, sharing, and planning platform based on students in Southern Africa’s encounters with SRH policy and programming practices in their countries. From these country experiences, SARSYC 2 aimed to take steps and advocate for measures in SRH that can mitigate the possibilities of the anticipated demographic dividend from becoming a demographic disaster through lack of focus and investment in students education and SRH rights.
To that end, the convening of students, academics and other stakeholders critical to the education conversation in Southern Africa through SARSYC2 created a platform for the collaborative and consultative development of a business case for significant investment materially and non-materially into young people’s SRH.