I have been working in SRH for 10 years and FP for 5. I have had the chance to be involve in FP program planning, design, implementation and evaluation in Africa, South east Asia and Latin America. I have strived for quality of services offered and improved communication, especially when reaching out to youth i.e finding innovative ways to involve youth (male and females) so they take ownership of their reproductive lives. I am the most proud of my contribution to successful comprehensive SRH (with strong FP component) youth-led programs in Benin and Mali. These programs under PSI technical leadership have really applied the motto "by the youth for the youth"
My life experience sparked my passion, being from a country/place in the world where natality/fertility is essential to a women life or being, I believe this social norm should not hinder women chances to grow, learn and accomplish what they are destined to be. The way to live in my society and not be at odd with the norm was to engage in improving women's health, and I believe FP is a strong component of that.
My biggest challenge has been engaging religious leaders in northern areas of a west African countries to accept the set up of an FP programs for hundred of women of their community. This experience made me realize how gender barrier, perceived norms and overall mistrust of FP could clutter the understanding of the most engaged religious/community leaders. Learning from this failure, I am still working to overcome this barriers by looking at ways to better engage religious/community leaders on this issue. They have rallied against HIV so they can do the same for FP!
Norms around services provision lack of task shifting), community/societal norms around FP (understanding, fear of side effects, not knowing where to go to get confidential services).
Demonstrate through the research project that i am currently working on that FP is not at odd with African culture/societal norms. I'd love the be able to craft messages that resonate with women and men personally, and above all engage youth (male and females) about the importance of understanding their options.