Stephanie Musho Ageng'o
- Award:Moremi Initiative Leadership Empowerment and Development (MILEAD) FellowshipAwarding Organization:Moremi Initiative for Women's Leadership in AfricaDate Awarded:May 15, 2015
- Award:Wege Prize 2016Awarding Organization:Wege FoundationDate Awarded:March 21, 2016
I started a reproductive health and rights blog -reproyouth (that is currently being revamped). Here I discuss a range of SRHR issues but with a focus on FP. The target audience are young women in their early 20s; university and high-school students. Being a new blog, I have a reach of over 600.
I also advocate for women and youth inclusion in decision making and subscribe to the premise, that who better than women and youth to legislate on issues affecting them, among them access to affordable FP services. I started an online campaign for passing of the Gender Bill that would see to this. Unfortunately our male dominated parliament shot down the Bill however we saw hundreds join in on the conversation
I also hold quarterly forums in the slums for awareness raising.
I had always been engaged in women's health rights advocacy particularly through the SOAWR campaign - advocacy on the ratification and implementation of the Maputo Protocol. However, in 2015, I underwent a horrific experience that almost killed me and left me suffering PTSD and depression. I then decided to focus on FP advocacy as I believe if I was on contraceptives at the time, the physical and psychological effects resulting from my experience wouldn't have been as dire.
Family planning is not an easy area to engage communities on; mainly due to cultural and religious beliefs. While raising awareness on the importance of contraception use, I always must be cautious not to undermine these beliefs. I train volunteers on the need to remain respectful and non-judgemental to the views held by those we work with. Being a YALI alumni and a MILEAD Fellow, servant leadership is ingrained in me.
Being that 70% of my advocacy is online-based, I will use the grant to set up a simple but interactive website as well as initial funding towards a mobile application that I am currently developing on reproductive health. Partnering with different organizations and providers, the app will feature information on SRHR including FP; where to access affordable and friendly reproductive health and counselling services and a hotline for those in distress among other features.