Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Kakanyo: An icon of youth advocacy

The death of her dad, an Interpol Diplomat, in a car crash while she was still young sharpened her desire to become a Diplomat one day.

This motivation together with passion for welfare of women and youth’s reproductive health inculcated on her, advocacy skills. She gained recognition and has to herself some laurels she achieved through this challenging task.

By the time she stepped into Tertiary Education, Kagoyarona Kakanyo kicked off an active involvement in advocating and building capacities of youth through the Wise-Up campaign coordinated by United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and supported by the National Aids Coordinating Agency (NACA). This was in the year 2010.

“Wise-up…! Is a program that mainly targets young people between 10-24 years using ICT to sensitise them on Sexual Reproductive Health (SRH) issues of concern including prevention of HIV. I devoted my attention to women and children’s health, including autism, the elimination of violence against women, and the campaign to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS,” she says with a sense of delight.

She says the following year – 2011; the United Nations Population’s Fund (UNFPA) recruited her to become a Young Leader actively advocating for population economic sustainable development, on national and Global platforms. Her advocacy role continued to flourish when she was elected Vice Chairperson for tertiary Education AIDS Limkokwing Botswana and nominated the Face of Transactional sex.

When she completed her tertiary in March, 2013, she was nominated to participate in a youth Dialogue with the Executive Director for UNFPA, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, the same month she was nominated again to conduct a multimedia forum for young people with United Nations Children’s Fund Executive Director Anthony Lake. The same year, Kakanyo was recruited, to work on a project for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Ministry of Health Botswana Task force team under the maternal health project coordinated by Botswana Family Welfare Association (BOFWA).

“In 2014, i coordinated the campaign themed “harnessing sport with Sexual reproductive Health,” in partnership with the 2nd African Youth Games Team, BOFWA and other stake-holders. Due to my advocacy for sexual reproductive health, unemployed population development and outstanding skills, I was awarded for Best performance command and University Colours by Limkokwing. The same year, 2014; the UNOCHA nominated me to represent civil society in Botswana at the World Humanitarian,” said the Advocacy Assistant at BOFWA.

Her quintessential ambition is to innovate packaged and profiled opportunities nationally and globally thus contributing towards the realisation of economic diversification and attract financing for mining sector, local development projects, through Public Private Partnership.

“It is also my dream, to see young people from far away areas like Hebron and other rural areas appearing in the media, representing Botswana at various forums. I even feel indebted to ensure i motivate them to stardom by first disciplining themselves and doing well in their studies,” says the 26-year-old second born from Mabeleapudi, north of Serowe in Central District.

She has been travelling almost every other month the past year, either locally or abroad spreading the gospel of safe maternal health and humanitarianism. While there she questioned the plight of expectant mothers in times of floods and other disasters.

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