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Abdulazeez Amao

Abdulazeez Amao - 2017 Nominee
Position: Co-founder/ Peer Educator Trainer IYAFP, Nigeria
Organization: Sapphires of Worth
Current Location: Nigeria, Africa
Cambridge A'Levels from British Council Ibadan/GCE Advanced Level
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Young African Leaders Initiative Oline Course, Understanding the Rights of Women and Girls
College of Medicine, University College Hospital Ibadan, Basic Life Support
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Legislative Silver Award
    Awarding Organization:
    Alexander Brown Hall Assembly, University of Ibadan, Ibadan
    Date Awarded:
    June 25, 2016
Amao Abdulazeez is the co-founder of Sapphires of Worth, a youth-led, Non-profit Organization which promotes the well-being of Women and girls by providing medically accurate Sexual/ Reproductive Health and Rights Education to girls and young women. – Chidinma Akpa, Founder at Sapphires of Worth
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I worked with a colleague to found Sapphires of Worth, a non-profit, youth lead organization that focuses on providing comprehensive sexuality education to young people (boys and girls). This opened us up to partnerships with organizations such as The International Youth Alliance for Family Planning and Association for Reproductive and Family Health. I and my colleague worked to develop a Peer Educator Manual. Since founding the organization in 2015, we have trained about 145 peer educators and provided age-appropriate, comprehensive sexuality education for over 1000 students in secondary schools in Ibadan. Our work also extends to students in the university who volunteer with us or invite us for talks during health day programs. This has given us a wider coverage in reaching young people.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My Medical background opened my eyes to the unmet need for contraceptives and the reduced access to comprehensive sexuality education. This has lead to worsening maternal mortality indices, increased prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and maternal mortality due to unsafe abortions. This meant that there was still a lot to do to educate young women about their sexual health and also teach them the methods of family planning in a friendly non-judgemental manner.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

Our challenges for teaching young people about Family Planning includes stiff rejection from the school authorities and parents. In a meeting with school teachers, we were refused and asked not to come and teach students. I particularly stepped in to settle matters with the teachers and this led to her asking us to invite the students individually for the health talk and they came on their own. In leadership, rejection is not always the end of the matter. Sometimes rejection is a redirection.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work? :

Being named a winner would be a huge privilege because it means that I am part of something important and I am making a contribution. I would use this new platform to connect with other young people like me and learn more about overcoming challenges to family planning. I would also contribute money to my organization to help in smooth running of the affairs and execution of other impending projects that we have such as peer educator training program 2017 and secondary school outreach.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work
Peer Educator Training, Family Planing Demonstrations, Team work

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