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Self love and care is just as important as loving those around us.
- Johnash Tocel
Johnash Tocel is the Youth Representative Board member of the Barbados Family Planning Association and an executive floor member of the Youth Advocacy Movement (YAM). In addition, he is am a member of UReport Barbados Steering Committee and Team Leader of Research and Poll Development. Johnash currently holds a BSc. (Hons) Health Sciences with a specialty in Community Health from The University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus. Johnash also interned with the Barbados National Registry for Non-Communicable Diseases and Cancer in 2021. There, he collected data on cancer patients as a Data Abstractor and help ran their social media and online presence. Lastly, he is currently working with the Barbados COVID – 19 Vaccination Programme as a Medical Records Clerk. His passion is Sexual and Reproductive Health among the youth and other minority groups within society.
What ignited your pursuit for gender equality?
Becoming a youth advocate have given me knowledge and insight on the ills of those within my country that suffer from Gender Based Violence (GBV). As a result, I became more passionate about helping vulnerable groups, such as women and girls become more vocal and share light on the issue. Lastly, I live in a very conservative and patriarchal country that still embraces colonial traditions left from our colonial era, and I want to be apart of the generation that break those toxic traits and traditions so we can have a more equal and equitable, and inclusive society.
Please share your biggest wins as an advocate for gender equality.
My biggest win as an advocate for gender equality, was being one of the lead organizers for an online protest during the COVID -19 Pandemic in 2020. This protest, which was called, Protect Our Girls, was to bring awareness about the maltreatment of young adolescents girls within the justice department by the wards and others who should have been protecting them. This online protest brought together over 30 youth NGOs and institutions on the island, and as a result, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs launched an immediate investigation into the matter and new legislation was drafted in parliament to protect the girls.
Outside of your gender equality advocacy work, what do you enjoy doing?
I enjoy traveling and learning about different foods and cultures from across the globe. In addition, I enjoy spending time with friends and family, especially doing outdoor activities. Lastly, I love listening to music and painting to help relax.
- English (Advanced/Native)
- Comprehensive Sexuality Education in a Caribbean context
- Gender Based Violence within the Caribbean
- Climate Change and its impact on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)
Past Awards, Certifications, or Fellowships:
- Sunjet Toastmasters YLP Best Prepared Speech (2012)
- Barbados Humanitarian COVID - 19 Service Award (2022)