Wednesday, February 14, 2018

“We young people cannot simply be spectators while somebody else is making decisions for us....

Vindhya Vatsyayan came to the 2nd Global NCD Alliance Forum as a youth delegate, eager to learn how to better represent the voices of those who suffer NCDs in silence. Today she is using the knowledge and inspiration gained there to do just that. Here she shares some of her key reflections.

My father always keeps an eye on what is happening around the world and where he can send his daughter to learn new things, and that's exactly how I ended up attending the Youth Pre-Forum Workshop at the 2nd Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, UAE. I filled in the application form very meticulously; but honestly, it was quite simple because all I had to do was share my story, experiences and the change I want to see in the world.
"People will forget what you did but will remember how you made them feel." - a person living with NCDs
It was not just focused on my qualifications, but more on why I feel so strongly for a cause and how I plan to bring change. For the first time in my life, I was sharing my grandfather's story of being isolated because of a disease the world knew little about. I grew up listening to the stories of people suffering in silence; and therefore, I wanted to bring these voices to the front. I wanted to attend the Forum to learn how to become the voice of the masses.
The morning I learnt of my selection for the Forum was one of the best days of my life. I was excited to meet people from around the world and learn from them. I wanted to come back fully equipped to bring change at all levels. The 2-day Youth Pre-Forum Workshop taught me how important it is to have a story, a story that people can relate to. It taught me facts about NCDs, and why facts are so important to understand the intensity of the problem, but that stories of people are what resonate most powerfully.
"My husband left me in the hospital when I was diagnosed with diabetes. But now I understand my disease and I am strong." PLWNCDs

The right people at the right time


One of my key learnings from the forum was how to engage the right people at the right time. That once you're clear about your mission it is extremely important to map the key stakeholders, set your priorities, and understand the importance and impact of these key priorities. I heard some excellent examples of successful stakeholder engagement and how, in collaboration, we can create an impact at all levels. The forum gave me a new motto: energise, inspire, agitate and communicate. I learned why my voice and those of other young people are so important. We young people cannot simply be spectators while somebody else is making decisions for us. NCDs do not belong to one group or section of society but can affect anyone and everyone.
"Don't try to control the input of young people - don't ask for their input, then ignore it. When you ask them to be part of something, really engage them, really listen, and really follow through and act on their insights with them." - Cajsa Lindberg
At the Forum, people living with NCDs (PLWNCDs) also participated; they gave me the strength I need to fight back. I met strong leaders who made me realise why it is so important to have complete knowledge about everything related to NCDs. From pitching our idea for change in 60 seconds to learning the cost of NCDs in the coming years, the Forum broadened my horizon in all possible ways. In two days’ time, with tons of brainstorming group activities for setting up three key priorities and the role of youth, we were able to prepare the call to action for youth(link is external).
“We young people cannot simply be spectators while somebody else is making decisions for us.”
The Youth Workshop’s success could be seen in next three days at the 2nd Global NCD Alliance Forum, where extraordinary people from civil society organisations, WHO, national NCD Alliances, PLWNCDs, NGOs, ministries, government officials and we young people deliberated and set the agenda for advocacy for the upcoming UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs.
We were given a platform to raise our voices. We were an integral part of the discussions around advocacy and key priorities for the UN High-Level Meeting. The role of youth was discussed in every session at the Forum. Time and again it was emphasised that our role should not be limited to creating awareness but should also exist at policy level. We might not have the experience, but we have the eagerness to learn and bring in the change for present and future generations.

Lasting inspiration for a lifelong mission

"Leaders don’t take action on NCDs because they lack knowledge or courage (or both!)." - Dr. Tom Frieden
Vindhya Vatsyayan adds her commitment to the  map
Towards the end of the forum I also made some commitments for my country; to mobilise youth in response to NCDs, to promote the engagement and meaningful involvement of people living with NCDs, and to mobilise and strengthen the civil society in my country. I now have a vision and a mission and am determined to have a time-bound action plan to be heard at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on NCDs later in 2018. I learned from each and every person I met at the forum, but there were a few people and their words that will stay with me forever and inspire me to courageously pursue the changes we want to see.

About the Author
Vindhya Vatsyayan (@NadaPehchaan(link is external)) holds a Master’s degree in bioinformatics, and her work at improving global health began by developing a biological database on ‘hospital acquired infections’. She is now an independent public health consultant in the field of multi drug resistant tuberculosis and a health advocate with Nada India Foundation.
https://ncdalliance.org/news-events/blog/youth-as-the-voice-of-the-masses?goal=0_1750ef6b4b-efe835da13-64350817

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Workout 4 well being @ Home || By FitSidd Nada Health advocate

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Nada India’s youth advocate @pre NCD Alliance Forum youth workshop in Sharjah

Vindhya during Pre-conference Youth Workshop with a smile... 
 Nada India at the Second Global NCD Alliance Forum (7-11 December 2017)
On December 7-11, Nada India’s youth advocate Vindhya was at the pre forum youth workshop and the second Global NCD Alliance Forum in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates!
The second Global NCD Alliance Forum was organized by the NCD Alliance (NCDA) in partnership with local host organization, Friends of Cancer Patients (FoCP). 350 members of the NCD movement from 68 countries attended the Forum from 9 – 11 December in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. This year, an increased number of youth delegates and people living with NCDs participated in this unique event, which reflected the Forum’s objective to promote the engagement of the next generation and people living with NCDs as central parts of the NCD movement.
Vindhya was among the 22 youth delegates who called on their peers, CSO and government to step up the pace on NCDs. The enthusiasm and engagement of 22 youth delegates was reflected in the Youth Call to Action produced at the Forum, as a time-bound and measurable agenda for the next generation in the lead up to the 2018 UN High-Level Meeting on NCDs.
Experiences shared, lessons learnt, and solutions discussed
The pre Forum Youth workshop developed a network of youth advocates focused on the non- communicable disease global agenda in the lead up to the UN High Level Meeting on NCDs in 2018
The focus was on how to engage the right people at the right time; i.e. mapping the key stakeholders, setting up the priorities and the importance and impact of these key priorities. The youth advocates were exposed to some excellent examples of successful stakeholder engagement and how it made an impact at local, national and global levels.
The key stakeholders identified by the youth advocates involved The Ministry of health, finance, social justice, youth, PLWNCDs, caregivers, WHO, private sector, pharmaceutical companies, Hospitals, NGOs...the list is endless but the one who can influence and is interested will lead. And what are the priorities for NCDs? Finance, awareness, access to health care, risk factors and youth behavior, prevention, youth participation, PLWNCDs and the commercial determinants of health.
The participation of youth and people living with NCDs is extremely important at all levels; we learnt how to develop a comprehensive agenda for young advocates using an integrated and inclusive approach keeping in mind that we need room for all, health for all.
“Jack Fischer from NCD Free told us why is it important to have a story to tell while pitching in for an idea. It is easier to connect when you have a real story equipped with facts to tell. There are more chances that the other person will actually listen to you when you can strike a connection. Find your story (could be yours, of a family member, friend or anyone who you know), equip it with facts and present it with your idea to bring in a social change in no more than 60 seconds. Always remember that the busy world doesn't have more than 60 seconds to listen to you and your story. So go and find your story to change the world.”- Vindhya, Youth Advocate, Nada India
Vindhya on behalf of Nada India also set up some commitments for #India at the Forum:
·         To mobilize youth in NCD response.
·         To promote the engagement and meaning involvement of people living with NCDs.
·         To mobilize and strengthen the civil society on my country.
Key highlights from the Pre Forum Youth Workshop
Priorities for “Youth”
·         Throughout the development of the health related frameworks, young people should be at the forefront in advocating for priorities to improve health and wellbeing.
·         Youth voices can put pressure on decision-makers to recognize and include issues that are often side lined, particularly related to alcohol and substance abuse.
·         Young people can develop grassroots campaigns on the prevention and management of alcoholism and should advocate for policy-level changes.
·         Many of these young people are researchers helping to generate evidence being used to support these changes.
·         As young people, they bring unique experiences and perspectives to health agendas and have a right to negotiate the future health of the communities in which we live.
·         Ahead of next year’s high level meeting, advocates must ensure that the priorities of young people are heard and acted upon at every level and that governments are held accountable to their health commitments.
·         Ensure universal and equitable access to high-quality, affordable, age-appropriate health care.
·         Scale up financing and resources for prevention, management, and treatment of NCDs across the life-course.
·         Raise awareness of children, adolescents, and young people, and sensitize government officials about the risk factors, prevalence, and impact of alcohol as one of the major risk factors.
Agenda Action for Youth
·         Advocacy for the prevention and control of alcoholism and drug abuse needs substantial input from youth as drivers of the next generation of innovative solutions and action for health.
·         Deliver youth-generated messages on awareness and advocacy priorities via social media, blogs, and other communication channels.
·         Measuring progress is essential to ensuring these steps achieve their intended results. We commit to monitoring delivery against these actions, as well as celebrating and learning from successes, and identifying further opportunities to sustain momentum towards next year’s meeting.

“We urge you to continue the conversations you started here. Continue communicating with partners – both old and new. Continue listening to and engaging the voices of the next generation. Continue agitating for change…for health equity…for the sake of every person living with or at risk of NCDs…for the sake of us all. – “Katie Dain, CEO, NCD Alliance

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Young Health Advocates prioritizing NCDs agenda @ Yuva Bharat in Delhi...


Our incredible Nada India peer educator Heena sharing her experience of bringing the change in her community. She was a part of the campaign which raised awareness on #NCDs and its risk factors in slum communities in Delhi. She started with her own family and eventually was able to brought in changes throughout the community with everyone taking active part. She has evolved as a person and is now a lot more confident about what she wants to do in life.
 Yuva Bharat, (Nada India youth leader has been part of the leadership) a youth led initiative organized a three day national meet to set a road map for youth advocates in India to bring in change with a focus on alcohol as one of the major risk factors for NCDs. Nada India Youth Health advocates from different communities participated in prioritizing the NCD agenda  and shared their case study featured in NCD Atlas 2017@NCDAlliance publication   as follow up of  #NCDAF2017.  Big shout out to  Amardeep and Sarvoday Samiti for leading it. And @adicsrilanka  for providing the right guidance. @pradip.mohanty @karthik.vangala @drinkrevolution_india @vnmalviya @vsvpit @NCDAlliance  +IOGT International  


Big thanks to all the young participants from different states of India.

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“We young people cannot simply be spectators while somebody else is making decisions for us....

Vindhya Vatsyayan came to the 2nd Global NCD Alliance Forum as a youth delegate, eager to learn how to better represent the voices of thos...