Oxfam Canada is pleased to announce the third and final round of the Her Future Her Choice Financial Support for Community-Based Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) Initiative recipients, generously funded by Global Affairs Canada. This initiative is part of the five-year Her Future Her Choice program which aims to strengthen SRHR in Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Canada, directly reaching over 240,000 people, particularly young women and girls.
The Her Future, Her Choice program aims to raise awareness about sexual and reproductive health and rights across Canada by supporting community-based public engagement initiatives spearheaded by youth (aged 18 to 29) and women's rights or youth-led organizations.
We are thrilled to announce this community-based initiative's six final projects and recipients.
Gift Igbin (she/her) – New Westminster, British Columbia
Gift and the Odihi Foundation are producing the Agape Initiative, a podcast highlighting BIPOC women going through fertility issues. The podcast aims to spark conversations around these and other topics, like the struggles of new mothers and how the pandemic has impacted sexual and reproductive health. By creating a safe space for BIPOC women to talk about their experiences, the podcast seeks to enable solidarity in the community and raise awareness of the stigma surrounding these matters.
Fun Fact: Gift has been an actor and business owner since the age of 16.
Rae Jardine (she/they) – Toronto, Ontario
Rae will work on the Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Map. It'll be an open-source, free, interactive website with physical materials to chart sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) resources and services in Ontario. Initially, its focus will be primarily on Toronto, but eventually, it'll cover all of Canada.
The map's digital component will include a comprehensive multimedia directory with detailed information on all services and resources relating to SRHR. Users will be able to filter by criteria or service type, location, cost, waitlist times, and accessibility. This project builds on the work already being done by the grassroots organization SRHR Hubs. Specifically, this grant will be used to host a series of community consultations, meetings, and focus groups to ensure the map responds to community needs and provides systems for immediate reporting of grievances and feedback.
Fun Fact: Rae is a New Brunswicker living in Tkaronto.
Salma Mohamed (she/her) – Victoria, British Columbia
With her involvement in the Medical Herstory project, Salma will host "Storytelling to Undo Stigma." This event series will facilitate a brave space for individuals of diverse experiences to share their lived experiences relating to sexual and reproductive health. Each event will focus on a specific health experience relating to protecting bodily autonomy, addressing medical harm, improving medical education, and developing self-advocacy skills. Topics to be covered include experiences of and access to abortion, living with HIV, trans and non-binary healthcare, and sex and disability.
Fun Fact: Salma learned to ride a bike last year at the age of 23.
Simran Jawanda (she/her) – Brampton, Ontario
Simran will support the research initiative, 'Our Bodies Our Voices:' Reimagining Reproductive Justice in 'Punjabi Canada,' by doctoral candidate Amrita Kumar-Ratta.
This research aims to understand and give voice to the reproductive experiences of Punjabi women in Canada. This is in response to policy and media interventions around issues of marriage, family planning, and family violence that tend to frame Punjabi communities as perpetrators of "culturally-rooted" violence against women. Simran will work on a series of community-based storytelling workshops exploring the participants' reproductive experiences. These workshops will allow the researchers to understand better what constitutes reproductive well-being for Punjabi women and how they negotiate reproductive agency and advocacy for reproductive justice.
Fun Fact: Simran considers herself a professional Spotify playlist creator.
Tess Vardy (they/she) – Guelph, Ontario
Tess will run the monthly Sex & Self Book Club. It's a virtual sex-positive space where Canadian youth can engage in dialogue and (un)learn sexual narratives and perspectives. The book club will focus on sex-positive texts about sexuality, gender, and race. Local authors and educators will facilitate the conversations and lead each session. Tess believes providing young people with youth-friendly sexual and reproductive health services rooted in science allows people to make educated and objective decisions about their bodies, especially as comprehensive sex education in Canada isn't widely available in schools.
Fun Fact: Tess loves photography and dreams of working as a travel photographer in the future.
Zeba Khan (she/her) – Vancouver, British Columbia
Zeba will create a social media campaign on contraception and care options for youth living in Canada. Targeting youth 16 to 24, she'll share videos on Instagram and TikTok, answering frequently asked questions on sexual and reproductive health and rights in celebration of Sexual Health Month.
Fun Fact: Zeba has been spending her summers in a small town in Newfoundland since 2020. She loves the serenity and contrast it provides to her city life in Vancouver.
Lisa Gunn is a SRHR program officer in Oxfam Canada's Canadian program.
Thanks to Our Supporters!
This project is undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada, provided through Global Affairs Canada, and the generous Canadian public.