Washington, D.C. — (Oct. 9, 2013) — U.S. Congresswoman Betty McCollum (MN-4) met with Anzaira Roxas – a native of the Philippines who is a Friends of UNFPA 2013 International Honoree.
Friends of UNFPA recognized Ms. Roxas’ work as a health educator and advocate. Her work focuses on sexual and reproductive health and rights.
Anzaira Roxas is the Deputy Project Coordinator at UNFPA’s implementing partner, the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines, a member of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. In 2007 she earned her degree as a nurse and then in 2009 as a midwife. Now 27, she currently provides youth services through the Choices Project, focusing on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She is active in the Youth Peer Education Network (Y-PEER), a groundbreaking and comprehensive youth-to-youth initiative pioneered by UNFPA, which is a network of more than 500 non-profit organizations and governmental institutions.
In 2011, when Y-PEER’s base of operations and much of the Philippines were devastated by Typhoon Washi (Sendong), Anzaira trained young people, ranging from 10 to 24 years of age, to become leaders in healthcare services and at evacuation centers.
She provided health education to affected young people, lactating mothers, and pregnant women. She also worked with UNFPA to compile disaggregated data, helping government agencies collect information on previously unrepresented populations, allowing them to design disaster response efforts more specially aligned with citizens’ needs.
Anzaira and her fellow youth advocates in the Philippines were instrumental in the dramatic passage of the Reproductive Health Law in December 2012, that mandates the provision of youth friendly services and sexuality education.
With FPOP, Anzaira is now heading the National Steering Committee on Comprehensive Sexuality Education in the Philippines, to ensure the quality integration of sexuality education in curriculums.