Noi, All Adolescent Girls Taking Center Stage On Int’l Day Of The Girl And Child

(KPL) The Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund along with development partners led the International Day of the Girl and Child to review progress made in implementing 2030 Noi Framework, a multi-sectoral initiative advocating for greater investments on adolescent girls in Laos.

This year marks the 3rd anniversary of the 2030 Noi Framework, a road map for the government and partners to work together on empowerment of Lao girl aged 10-19 so that they will unleash their full potential by 2030.

A common name for young girls in Laos, Noi representing all girls in Laos, has been under the spotlight since her creation in 2016.

The Lao PDR is home to 6.5 million people, with 58% under the age of 25 years old. Among them, over 700,000 are girl aged 10-19.

While still being a Least Developed Country, the Lao PDR has achieved high economic growth with over 7% in recent years. However, Lao girls represented by Noi are among those left behind in terms of equitable access to health, education, employment and other opportunities.

Their vulnerabilities are evident with Laos having the highest proportion of early marriage and the highest adolescent birth rate in the region.

The 2030 Noi Framework provides a platform for partners to address challenges Lao girls face in education, sexual and reproductive health, nutrition, employment and gender equality as well as their opportunities to participate in decisions that matter to them. Tracking indications in these area, partners will work together to ensure young girls today grow up to be productive citizens living a fulfilling life by 2030 in line with the sustainable development goals.

Speaking at the event , Dr Bounkong Sihavong , Minister of Health acknowledged the Noi 2030 Framework as an effective multi-sectoral mechanism for multiple partners to focus on adolescent girl from different perspectives.

We need to further enhance partnerships at National and provincial levels to ensure a conducive environment for Noi and all adolescents girls as we strive to achieve the SDGs, said Dr Bounkong.

Ms. Mariam Khan, the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. and UNFPA Representative in Laos, shared her passion on supporting adolescent girls.

She said: “Like all of us, Noi dreams to go to school, to grow up healthy, to get a fulfilling job and to take part in decisions that matter to her. The 2030 Noi Framework unites us to help Noi to realize her dreams.”

Khan expressed her heart-felt thanks to the national government for the strong support on rolling out the 2030 Noi Framework.

She also expressed appreciation to the new partnerships UNFPA has established with the private sector, media and CSOs to support Noi and other initiatives in 2019, the 25h anniversary of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD25) and the 50 anniversary of UNFPA. The expansion of partnership has led to innovations in implementing the 2030 Noi Framework.

Partnering with Centre for Communication and Education on Health of the Ministry of Health and tapping into the technological advances, the Noi-Yakhoo Mobile Application was introduced at the event as a one-stop source for youth friendly sexual and reproductive health, gender and life skill information. The Noi- Yakhoo App makes the full package of messages available at the fingertips of young people using mobile phones with internet connections. At the event, the Vientiane Youth Center volunteers received the first batch of tablets with the Noi-Yakhoo App, a new tool to reach out to their peers effectively.

Led by UNFPA, MOH and a number of new partners, including China Radio International Lao Branch (CRI Lao), Sinouk Coffee and Banque Franco-Lao (BFL), the recently launched Me, My Body, My Planet, My Future social media campaign presents another innovative way of engaging young people.

Source: Lao News Agency