March 1, 2022
When we were thinking about how to effectively engage and connect with the latest cohort of young leaders we knew exactly who to turn to: Our alums.
In preparation for this recent leader training, we embarked on a new journey in partnership with Rise Up alumni to inform all aspects of our work—the curriculum, leader selection criteria, dissemination of the application, applicant interviews, and training design—to ensure our programming is meaningful, useful, and inspiring. Importantly, young Rise Up alums had decision-making power and co-facilitated sessions on abortion and abortion stigma, gender and sexuality, and disability rights.
By centering Rise Up Leaders in the creation and execution of our latest training, all aspects of the program came to life and felt energized with enthusiasm and knowledge.
The end result? 33 powerful young leaders from Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the United States learned how to create large-scale change in sexual and reproductive health, rights, and justice through leadership development, technology, innovation, and advocacy.
These young leaders shared how this opportunity strengthened their confidence in making an impact, gave them new insights into approaching the challenges they face, and connected them to a powerful global community.
We asked a few leaders to share their reflections on this experience.
Alexis Hicks, United States
“My favorite part about being a Rise Up Leader was the community that we built. I loved how our facilitators—Chelsea, Claudia, and Josie—poured so much into making it a safe and inclusive space. I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity with my friends in Ethiopia, India, Pakistan, Rwanda, and the United States. I’m also especially excited to see how folks launch their innovation strategy and inspire change within their local communities.”
Patience Iribagiza, Rwanda
“Even though the training was virtual, it felt like we were meeting in person. The training helped me explore and learn different approaches used across the world to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equity.”
Hira Amjad, Pakistan
“I just won a grant of USD $10,000 because of the session on grant and proposal writing. [The training] is already helping and I couldn’t be more grateful to the Rise Up team.”