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Florida Uzoaru

75 Public Votes Reached!
Florida Uzoaru - 2017 Nominee
Position: Founder
Organization: MerDroits Limited
Current Location: Nigeria, Africa
Masters Degree from Queen Mary University of London
Florida has launched the slide Safe box- an innovative pack that is able to deliver condoms, STI test kits and emergency contraceptive pills to young people in Nigeria in a discreet and timely manner via online purchase. – Morenike Fajemisin, Regulatory affairs & Medical marketing manager at DKT Nigeria
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

My contribution to as been through MerDroits/Slide Safe. I started MerDroits last year, using it as a platform for the needed conversations around sex that Nigeria was in dire need of. I chose to use Twitter as an advocacy tool because this is where a large number of young people are; I wanted to go to them, rather than make them come to me. I did this through the tweet chat, MerDroits60 which began Feb. 2016. MerDroits60 was a bottom-up approach to sex education - sex education via storytelling. MerDroits60 was about letting the people share their own SRH stories, to tell it in their own voice. Many topics that normally would have caused an uproar was respectfully discussed on MerDriots60, including but not limited to contraceptive side effects, abortion, homosexuality and sexual abuse.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Growing up, having as good as zero exposure to sex education, I was the girl everyone waited to get pregnant outside wedlock. I fit the bill - I was light-skinned, I was visible, I was anything but demure. But somehow, I self-taught myself about protection - with generous helping of good luck. I don't want young girls to have to rely on luck and wit to keep safe and protected. I want to better their odds, not only with right information, but shame- and judgment-free access to SRH services.

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

I strongly believe one way I have displayed leadership in my family planning work is the work I am doing with Slide Safe/MerDroits. Especially as I am doing it as a social enterprise, and have till date personally funded every single expense since inception last year. I am doing this full-time because it is a cause I am very passionate about.

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? :

Slide Safe Kit Boxes cost between N3000 ($8) and N5000 ($13), which is not accessible to a large population of young people within the 18 - 24 age group. If I am a winner, I will use the grant to provide 70 boxes (inclusive of delivery cost), to people of this population who are high risk because they are most vulnerable to shame and stigma that surrounds SRH services. The boxes will be sold to them at 90% discount, so they only have pay a token for it.

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