Sangay Dechen Gyanzo

“I’ve been a member of Y-PEER since 2019. I’m currently the National Coordinator for Y-PEER Bhutan network, along with being a trained peer educator. We advocate for young people on SRHR and teach important skills in this field. I was aware of some components of SRHR before college but realised ways to use that knowledge after joining Y-PEER. I joined the network to build my capacity and skills but learned quickly that this journey would be more than just personal gain.

I’ve facilitated 4 batches of young peer educators and a National E-course. I’ve met many amazing people through this line of work with whom I’ve gotten pretty close. I used to be very assertive about my opinions and ideas – I learned to be more receptive to others’ perspectives since I joined the network. I’m also more open and definitely more humble. I’ve met people who have done a lot, which reminds me that I have a long way to go. The network has changed many of our lives. One of the most memorable of such moments was when one of my college juniors came out during a national training. He is gentle, feminine and loving but was bullied for his gender expression. To see him come out as gay in front of a group of people touched me. He was finally able to be himself. I applied for the National Coordinator position because I want to give back to the network.

My final year research project found that students need SRHR education from a younger age. We also need to inform the general population on the availability of SRHR facilities. But the biggest challenge remains the acceptance of conversations about sex and reproductive health in our society. As advocates, we must find new ways to reach the population – both old and young.

Believing that the finest steel goes through the hottest furnace has helped me get through difficult times. I want to make a difference. I want to be in the field working with young people and talking about issues that really matter. If we don’t start talking about the issues that matter to us, no one else will.”

Humans of Thimphu with YPEER Asia Pacific Center -Ypeer AP celebrates all youth advocates trying to make a positive change in their communities.

🎙 Learn more about Sangay’s journey on the HoT Podcast episode 6 at https://tinyurl.com/35bwtfph

#SRHRforEveryone #HumansofThimphu #HumanStories

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