Since my last contribution to this blog elections have been held and our politicians have started to engage in developing a challenging combination of parties to form a coalition government.
In the meantime, I picked up on an assignment with Save the Children in the Netherlands. Carrying a shared responsibility for raising our four children, I realise how privileged we are to do so in relatively safe environments. The vast number of children still deprived from a stable and nurturing environment still leads to a staggering number of children, teens and adolescents coping with sexual harassment or abuse or being deprived from comprehensive sexuality education.
Working for Save the Children UK in Ethiopia some five years ago, I remember having to deal with Save the Children US in discussing food security programming in Ethiopia as we were both working in different regions in the country. With Rädda Barnen (Sweden) we were supporting Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia and several other Save's were present each with their own focus area and/or network.
Professionally I have shifted my focus from the basic necessity of food to the basic necessity of a healthy sexual and reproductive life for the time being. Both requiring safe livelihoods to enjoy it. This month I will support Save the Children in the preparation of a proposal for a grant application to the SRHR call that has been issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands. I hope with this call the sexual and reproductive health of marginalized groups and key populations will now receive proper attention, addressing specific vulnerabilities.
Public and private actors will need to share responsibilities in ensuring livelihood security as well as space for healthy sex and responsible family planning services, a prerequisite for a productive and fulfilled life. There may be fierce competition for these funds even with some former colleagues I suppose. I just hope that this will result in best value for money and maximum comparitive advantage rather then a proliferation of coordination structures as we have seen with previous calls.
My name is Reinier van Hoffen.
Click here for a summary.
Also find the text of a lecture Dr. Achterhuis held at the 2012 Bilderberg conference.