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Weerawila, Sri Lanka (30 March 2019): ‘Yowunpuraya’ is an annual 3-day youth camp, organized by the National Youth Services Council, that brings together over 8,000 young people from around the island. This year, the camp was held at Weerawila, Hambantota from 28-30 March 2019, and it included a ‘UN Zone’, that included interactive sessions by UN agencies, including the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

​​​​​Findings of the National Youth Health Survey (2012) revealed that 50% of Sri Lankan youth are unaware of the reproductive systems of the opposite sex. As the UN’s agency for sexual and reproductive health and rights, UNFPA strives to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. This means, equipping youth with knowledge and skills to make informed decisions about their bodies.

The UNFPA stall at ‘Yowunpuraya’, titled ‘Learn. Love. Life’, used interactive games and activities to engage youth in a fun-learning way, educating them on their sexual and reproductive health and rights. These activities included a giant maze presenting the life of a 14-year old girl, and her journey through love and life, with each junction presenting a life-changing decision. The stall also included activities and information about the reproductive systems, contraception, and the difference between biological attributes of men and women, and gender stereotypes formed by society.

Minister of Ports & Shipping and Southern Development, Hon. Sagala Ratnayake, visited the UNFPA stall with the Chairman of the National Youth Services Council, Mr. Eranda Weliange. During the visit, the importance of age-appropriate Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) for schools in Sri Lanka was highlighted.