Enock Omondi
Team Leader and Speaker, Ugunja Youth Parliament

The Ugunja Youth Parliament has adopted smart advocacy strategies, mutual engagement and collaboration with duty bearers.... this is the only platform that ensures young people hold objective discussions every fortnight, voluntarily and with passion and commitment and ensuring that their concerns are addressed

Enock Omondi has galvanized young people in Kenya by creating a youth parliament initiative to advocate for increased commitment to health systems. He is the founding coordinator, team leader and speaker of Ugunja Youth Parliament (UYP), a youth advocacy initiative that is fighting for increased budgetary allocation to health programs. The initiative is based in Siaya County, a predominantly rural region in Western Kenya.

In this county, there are continuously high rates of HIV, malaria, maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy. In response to these public health challenges, UYP engaged in consistent community debates in 2018 to identify the gaps in health and social systems that were directly and indirectly contributing to rise in HIV infections and teen pregnancy among youth in the county. The debates also unearthed rampant sexual abuse, stigma surrounding contraception, unrestricted distribution of alcohol and illegal drugs, and an overall weak health management system. As a result, the county’s budget allocation to youth sexual reproductive health programs was eventually increased. 

The initiative Omondi founded replicates the actual parliament and mobilizes the youth to voluntarily and progressively participate in social accountability through aggressive budget advocacy. Under Omondi’s leadership, the initiative’s model was at the Africa Health Agenda International Conference (AHAIC) in Kigali, Rwanda. At 35 years old, he has demonstrated exceptional leadership in fighting for improved health systems he has become a passionate crusader youth sexual reproductive health.