Meaningfully Engaging Young People in the Global Fund and Related National Processes Through Youth to Youth

Posted on May 13, 2024

Bangkok, Thailand, 3 April—The Youth to Youth (Y2Y) Consortium, a collaborative initiative comprising three regional and global partner organisations, Youth LEAD, Y+ Global, and Youth Organisation for Drug Addiction (YODA), recently gathered for their first in-person planning meeting. The consortium was formed in early 2024 to align and strategise efforts for the upcoming three-year collaboration under the Global Fund’s community engagement strategic initiative (CE SI). 

During the meeting, the three networks reviewed plans and discussed interventions for their top priority countries: Mongolia (Youth LEAD), Ukraine (YODA), and Cameroon (Y+ Global). The consortium's primary objective is to support youth-led, inclusive, and effective engagement in the Global Fund processes, with a focus on young key populations (YKPs) and addressing the unique challenges faced by those most affected by HIV.

“I'm excited to see the positive impact this partnership can have on the lives of young people in the three countries. Each network brings a unique strength to the table, and we are all very committed to ensuring our impact is seen. Through this partnership, we hope to inform, educate, and engage young people in the Global Fund and provide better support to local organisations to lead,” says Maximina Jokonya, Executive Director of Y+ Global.

In Cameroon, Y+ Global has partnered with the Center for Advocacy in Gender Equality and Action for Development (CAGEAD) and CS4ME to implement advocacy activities related to the Global Fund. These activities involve engaging young people in the country-coordinating mechanisms and training civil society around the meaningful engagement of young people in national HIV responses. They also plan to organise workshops on the GC7 process and develop and implement the #UPROOT roadmap with other youth-led organisations, empowering them to monitor Global Fund activities. 

Youth LEAD and their partner Youth LEAD Mongolia are focusing their efforts on qualitative data generation and building on the success of the sensitisation of healthcare workers on YKP issues project, done in collaboration with UNAIDS and DFAT. Youth LEAD aims to increase the awareness of YKPs on HIV prevalence and conditions and train youth leaders on community-led monitoring, HIV support services, human rights, and The Global Fund processes. Through these activities, Youth LEAD aims to build the capacity of national youth-led networks to advocate for data-driven decision-making and foster a supportive and inclusive environment to provide healthcare services for YKPs. 

"Y2Y Consortium was established for two primary reasons: empowering young people on the Global Fund processes and advocacy. It’s clear from this meeting, and the many meetings we have on the Global Fund, that young people want to learn more and do more, and our role is to help fill those gaps,” says Ikka Noviyanti, Regional Coordinator for Youth LEAD. 

YODA and Way Home are partnering in Ukraine to promote harm reduction efforts and education on young key population issues among healthcare workers. Despite the ongoing conflict in the country, YODA is increasing its efforts to empower youth leaders with essential skills in community-led monitoring, access to HIV support services, knowledge of human rights, and insights on Global Fund processes. The activities under this grant, and similar to those of  Y+ Global and Youth LEAD, will include workshops on harm reduction strategies and community-led monitoring, sensitisation sessions for healthcare providers, and advocacy for policy changes to improve access to services.

“We are excited about this new partnership with Y+ Global and Youth LEAD. Working with our local partner in Ukraine, Way Home, and navigating through the complex terrain brought on by conflict and internal displacement, support is needed more than ever to ensure young people who use drugs and people most affected by HIV have access to those services,” says Jan Stolan, Executive Director of YODA. 

Despite the many achievements over the last few years in equipping young people with the knowledge and skills on the Global Fund and its processes and even supporting young people to take up seats in the CCM, they still face considerable barriers to their meaningful engagement, especially for young key populations. Greater attention to young people’s needs and rights within the Global Fund reflects a heightened global awareness of this issue.

With the support of the Global Fund CE SI, Y2Y aims to fill in those gaps and missing links. Through capacity building, technical assistance, and mentoring, Y2Y is pooling its resources, expertise, and connections to help drive policy change and help organisations at the country level improve their funding requests and engagement in the Global Fund processes. 

About the Global Fund CE SI

The community engagement strategic initiative (CE SI) aims to strengthen the engagement and leadership of communities most affected by HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria in Global Fund and related national processes. These organisations implement the Global Fund support programs through their grants. For more information, please visit