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Profiles of Persistence: Lucella Campbell
planning was so taboo it was socially acceptable to publicly humiliate them.
Today, family planning is openly advertised and widely practiced.
And while we’ve made so much progress, there is still more to do to
challenge taboos that sweep sex and sexuality under the carpet, so
that we can celebrate them as central to the human experience. I am
hopeful that the Caribbean Coalition on Sexual and Reproductive Rights, recently
formed by IPPF/WHR’s Caribbean partners, is a major achievement that will serve
to move that agenda forward.
In my 29 years with IPPF/WHR, I have come to appreciate the value of partnership
and organizing. Two decades ago, I initiated the Under-Twenty Clubs in the
Caribbean, which facilitated youth involvement in our member associations’ efforts
to better serve youth. Today, with the leadership of young people and our partners’
staff, it has evolved into the Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM), and it is making
a huge difference across the region. This is best reflected in the words of a YAM
member who said, “If it were not for YAM, I might have ended up in jail like so
many of my friends. Instead, here I am–the President of YAM, Belize.”
I’ve also learned that even in the darkest of times, progress is always
possible. Our Haitian partner, Profamil, emerged from the ashes of the devastating
earthquake in 2010, and is a striking example of that. We mobilized and provided
critical services in the tent cities even while Profamil had lost two clinics and Haiti
was reeling. Regardless, we persevered.
These experiences have been life lessons. It’s important to take the first step because
you never know what the end result will be. So, start something—no matter
how small it may seem. Bring people along with you, and never give up.