Youth Pop-up Volunteer- Roni Shakya

Roni Shakya joined Marie Stopes Nepal in 2014. She has been working as Youth Pop-Up volunteer for the last three years. Recently she has been promoted to Youth Pop-Up leader. Working in the field of Sexual and Reproductive Health and reaching young people in schools, colleges and communities was never been easy for her. However, making other young people of her age aware on risk behaviors, safe sex, contraceptives and safe abortion always motivated her to continue working as youth pop-up at Marie Stopes Nepal.

Roni remembers a moment where school teachers perceive her team as coming for the organization which teaches young people “SEX”. She shares teachers and parents relate Marie Stopes Nepal as one of the leading organization providing “ABORTION”. Three years back when she started approaching schools, colleges, community groups, youth groups for Comprehensive Sexuality Education, Marie Stopes Nepal is only associated as organization killing babies. However, she is now satisfied with her job as the same schools, colleges, community groups & youth groups have approached her to be a resource person to conduct SRH sessions. She feels proud to represent Marie Stopes. Roni says it has been great experience to approach people by going door to door in the community and informing them about Marie Stopes Centres in Kathmandu providing youth-friendly SRH services.

Roni- “We go door to door, put our Rockets & Space stalls in busy roads, coordinate with schools & colleges for SRH sessions and participate in non SRH events and make young people aware of “Safe, Legal and Confidential” abortion service that Marie Stopes Centre provides. We have our Rockets & Space Helpline cards and we make sure they call our helpline numbers whenever they come across with SRH issues. We follow-up with our session participants, young people talking services from our centres, assisting our youth focused counselor to entry the data regarding our activities. Our team supports us a lot. Our seniors always acknowledge our work. They keep informing and evaluating our works. We also receive compliments on Facebook page and helpline. It’s fun.”

Roni is one of the oldest Youth pop-up volunteers. Young people are not homogeneous group. The youth project has been reaching out high impact clients like young people with disability, commercial sex workers, GBV survivors, internally displaced group, sexual orientation and many more. Roni feels that there is still long way to go to reach every communities in Nepal with information and services on SRH for young people.