Young people can change the world, if we let them

“I want to change the world!” declared Ulriika Hyry, a young feminist in the beginning of the videos’ launch event. That was the driving force of the project from the beginning to the end to give the power to young people. “Equality and sexual health are not self-evident even in Finland let alone globally” she continued.

Väestöliitto wanted to give the voice to young people and captured their thoughts in four short videos. Three young people from Finland and one from Benin tell viewer how important sexuality education and possibility to family planning is in their lives. Videos were launched at Savoy-Theater in Helsinki September 23rd and are available for the world to see on YouTube. It was part of the International Helsinki Film Festival.

The video launch event consisted of speeches from four young people and one expert. The event was moderated by Member of Parliament Jani Toivola, who also gave opening and closing remarks. MP Jani Toivola emphasized the responsibility of decision makers to enact legislation that enables everyone to make informed decisions and express their identity. “Stories can change the world.” said Jani Toivola “and videos and movies can do just that.” In his welcoming words he emphasized that today we give the voice to who we actually talk about, young people.

In her expert note Elina Korhonen from Väestöliitto gave an empowering speech to the audience, pointing out that we have the power the make world better. “There are still 225 million women without access to contraceptives, and it’s only because lack of political will. That makes me very sad.”

In addition to Ulriika Hyry there were three other young people giving speech: young disabled person Jaana Tiiri, young transgender person Sakris Kupila and young immigrant Aziza Hossaini. In all their speeches they brought up the importance of adults’ responsibility to give sexuality education that takes all the minorities into consideration. “All the disabled people should be able to use family planning as anyone else.” said Jaana Tiiri. Aziza Hossaini explained through her own experience how important sexuality education is to integration to new a home land. “Big portion of immigrants coming to Finland comes from countries where there is no or very little sexuality education. Sexuality education in Finland helps them to understand their rights in a new society.” Hossaini told.

They also emphasized the adult’s responsibility of making contraceptives available to all young people in the world. “Price should not be a barrier to using contraceptives anywhere, they should be free of charge to all young people!” demanded Ulriika Hyry. In all the young people’s speeches one thing rose above the rest: “We know best what we need”. “My sexuality is mine and no one else’s” ended Sakris Kupila his speech.

Watch and share the videos here: