Gimbiya Akapson

2017 Winner

Position: Program Officer
Organization: Centre For Girls Education
Current Location: Nigeria, Africa

B.ed Geography from University of Jos, Plateau State Nigeria

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
•M.Sc Geography – In-view

Gimbiya Kuyet Akapson moved from being an educational and health research assistant to a deputy program officer at the Centre for Girls Education (CGE), a program of Population and Reproductive Health Initiative (PRHI) that is concerned with increasing age of marriage and reducing maternal mortality rate of women in rural areas by providing adolescent girls/mothers with literacy, numeracy, life skills and also ASRH knowledge. She is a young, dynamic and passionate girl child advocate who champions the education and health rights of marginalized adolescent girls/mothers in Northern Nigeria by leading and participating in several advocacy campaigns for promoting girls access to free, safe and quality education including their rights to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services. She is also an active advocate and member of the Child Right Bill Advocacy Project (CRIBAP) team for the domestication and implementation of the Child Right Act in Kaduna State, Nigeria.Gimbiya helps to build social networks among adolescent girls/mothers through mentoring and she believes that every adolescent girls needs to explore and reach her maximum potentials as they are the mirror of our future society. Connect with Gimbiya via her e-mail and/or social media platforms as follows: E-mail: Twitter: @gimbiyakapson Facebook: /Gimbiyaakapson19

“Gimbiya campions the education & health rights of marginalized adolescent girls by leading several advocacy campaigns in Northern Nigeria promoting girls’ access to quality, free and safe education including ASRH information and services.

– Margaret Bolaji, Program officer at Population and Reproductive Health Initiative

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

My work has engaged me in mentoring over 3000 adolescent in-school girls & over 500 out-of-school girls(including adolescent mothers) on life skills concerning their SRH practices & educational training of literacy/numeracy skills in rural communities. I organized & participate in various advocacy projects that delve into the unmet needs of FP in rural areas.I’m involved in advocating for Child Right Act to be domesticated & implemented in my state;this is important for girls to remain in school & to eliminate early marriage especially for girls in rural communities, this will in turn strengthen girls’ rights to their SRH.I also engage in efforts to make ASRH information paramount by addressing the gender/social barriers to ASRH & helping people access accurate information on FP services.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

The adolescent girls/mothers I work with ignited my passion for sexual and reproductive health & FP advocacy because of the unmet needs of FP in their rural communities.I further realized that adolescent mothers at the grassroots need to be at the center of FP discourse to break circles of poverty by eliminating fear of unintended pregnancies.I am very happy to openly advocate for FP & undoubtedly,this is a strong tool in helping adolescent girls reach their maximum potentials. This I stand for!

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

I coordinate advocacy programs among relevant stakeholders & at the community level; I organize adolescent girls/mothers mentor-ship programs & health campaigns to increase access to SRHR information & services. The mentor-ship programs is to educate & create awareness among this adolescent girls/mothers of their sexual & reproductive health practices & to secure better access to contraceptives.

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?

Using the grants I will advance my work by:
-Conducting community engagement to sensitize 200 traditional and religious leaders in rural communities on the benefits of women and girls’ access to FP products and services.
-Initiate a standard adolescent girl’s mentor-ship program to equip 25 girls from rural communities on advocacy skills towards organizing advocacy campaigns for the girls to share their stories on challenges faced while trying to access FP product & services.

Video Introduction

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work