There is a movement stirring in the global community to build a new strategy to address maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health around the world. One of these mechanisms is the proposed Global Financing Facility (The GFF). The GFF in support of Every Woman Every Child aims to contribute to global efforts to improve the lives of women, children. With more resources effectively allocated towards innovative solutions and programs it is estimated that 4 million maternal deaths, 107 million child deaths and 22 million stillbirths can be prevented between 2015-2030 in over seventy countries.

While significant progress has been made to improve the the health of women, children and adolescents, there is still more that needs to be done. Youth voices are vital to this global conversation. Young people around the world are already doing amazing work to empower communities and save lives. Often with little resources, youth are making an enormous impact in their communities. Samuel Kissi is one of these young leaders. As a core team member of the organization Curious Minds, Kissi works to ensure that all children and youth have a seat at the table to create change. Similarly, Felogene Anumo, Girls’ Globe blogger, reproductive health activist and Program Associate for the Africa Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) passionately works to raise awareness and mobilize communities for women’s health and rights.

Yesterday, we “sat down” with Samuel and Felogene in an engaging Google+ Hangout. They openly shared their opinions and perspectives related to a new post-2015 global strategy for women, children and adolescent health. Addressing issues of literacy, child marriage, female genital mutilation were outer lying issues that were highlighted. Both remarked about the enormous potential the Global Financing Facility can have on improving maternal, children and adolescent health. These passionate advocates boldly expressed that in order for true change to occur there must be a shift in the conversation. A handful of youth can not be the only ones sitting at the decision making table. There is a need for scores of youth voices to be taken into consideration. If given the opportunity, young people can directly influence change for women, children and adolescents not only at a grassroots level but an international level.

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