Arising anew from the Y+ Summit: the story of Samanya Ibrahim

Arising anew from the Y+ Summit: the story of Samanya Ibrahim

By PITCH partner Uganda Network of Young People Living With HIV& AIDS (UNYPA) in Uganda 

We reached out to Samanya Ibrahim one evening as he returned home from delivering ART and TB treatment to clients in Iganga district, Eastern Uganda. Samanya is one of our ambassadors in the region and was one of the attendees at the Y+ Summit 2020 organised by UNYPA in March 2020, which was themed “Changing The Narrative”. He is also the Team Leader of the Iganga Network of Young People living with HIV/AIDS (INYPA), an Iganga based subsidiary of the Uganda Network of Young People living with HIV/AIDS (UNYPA). 

On a regular day, Samanya spends time with his friends after completing his work in a community that he describes as “a friendly environment” for young people’s health. 

“The adults and young people are meaningfully involved in the implementation of integrated SRH/HIV services and youth-friendly information to the young people” Samanya notes, before adding that some of the health services provided in the community are cost effective to young people, which is not the case in some other areas. 

Before attending the Y+ Summit, Samanya was aware of the many challenges his friends and other peers in his age group are facing. He mentioned that drug stock-outs are a big challenge for young people living with HIV, and this is compounded by negative attitudes from some health workers and parents that make it difficult for disclosure. Keeping this background in mind, he registered for the Y+ Summit. 

I knew that as an ambassador I would gain knowledge and skills, but I would also be more believable to health workers, district officials and my peers

The Summit in 2020 was big on advocacy and gender equality, and it was interesting to see that the lessons he picked from it were pretty much in line with those core values. 

Advocacy is not about baseless insults directed at people you disagree with. It is coming together with them and joining the forces of activism, social cohesion and lobbying

He also credits the Summit for teaching him more about the Youth, Adolescents and Peer Support (YAPS) model, where young people living with HIV reach out to schools and communities and sensitize people about various SRHR topics, and create referral links to health centres, among other services. 

These lessons have enabled Samanya to grow as an advocate for the well-being of his peers, especially those living with HIV. He has been at the forefront of advocacy to implement Universal Health Care in Iganga District, always in and out of the offices of the district health officials and those in charge of health facilities. He has also been directly and meaningfully involved in district health campaigns, while being at the front of youth-adult partnerships for better implementation of SRHR. 

The summit also gave Samanya insights on financial management. 

“If I got a billion shillings today, I would put half away into savings. With the other half, I would build myself a nice home, use some of the amount to support INYPA and some to solve the real-life health challenges people face daily” he says with a hopeful smile. uses cookies to offer the best website experience possible and to anonymously analyze website behaviour. More information.