Natasha Salifyanji Kaoma

2019 Winner

Position: CEO-Copper Rose Zambia, FP2020 Youth Focal Point
Organization: Copper Rose Zambia

Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBCHB) from University of Zambia

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
 Strategic Management
Copenhagen Business School, 2017
 Certificate in M&E Frameworks for HIV/AIDS Programs
Global Health E-Learning Center (USAID+ Johns Hopkins Bloomberg), 2016
 Comprehensive Sexuality Education for Out of School Youth
Ministry of Youth and Sport Zambia/UNFPA, 2015
 Promising Programmatic Approaches Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health
Global Health E-Learning Center (USAID+ Johns Hopkins Bloomberg), 2015
 Certificate in Gender and Health Systems Strengthening
Global Health E-Learning Center (USAID+ Johns Hopkins Bloomberg), 2015
 Diploma in Project Management
Advanced Learning Interactive Systems Online (Alison), 2014
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Queens Young Leaders Award
    Awarding Organization:
    Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust- Buckingham Palace
    Date Awarded:
    May 26, 2017
  • Award:
    Zambian Woman of the Year- Healthcare Champion
    Awarding Organization:
    Zambian Women of the Year Awards
    Date Awarded:
    August 19, 2017
  • Award:
    Commonwealth Masters Scholarship 2019- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
    Awarding Organization:
    Commonwealth Scholarship Commission
    Date Awarded:
    April 16, 2019

“Natasha is CEO of Copper Rose Zambia, a youth led organisation providing services, generating demand and advocacy for adolescent and youth access to family planning. She is the FP2020 youth focal point and her work has reached 65,000+ young people”


Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have been working on family planning programs for the last 11 years. I started out as a peer educator in high school then when I went into medical school I founded Copper Rose which works with adolescents&youth to improve reproductive health outcomes. I have contributed to the training of more than 150 peer educators, 65 family planning advocates & 96 healthcare providers in five provinces in Zambia. These trained individuals have gone to provide information and services to more than 65,000+ beneficiaries. I am a local and international advocate working on simplifying policies so that young and low-level providers can understand them for more effective implementation. My advocacy has also seen increased youth participation in in-country high level spaces such as technical working groups.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I first became interested in reproductive health in 13 years ago when my period came later than normal. However, what sparked my passion was when I took a community based course in a rural area in 2013.I saw for the first time, girls who were 10-12 become pregnant and then instantly I knew; menstruation was the best point to begin conversations about family planning. So I gathered medical students and began doing community work in nearby area. By the end of that year, we had reached out to 929 girls.

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

I am the youngest member of the family planning technical working group under the ministry of health where I participate in policy discussions, implementation and national program development.
I am the FP2020 youth focal point for Zambia were I represent all the youth organisations in the technical work space.
I am also the youngest member of the Zambia ECHO Trial Task Force and have recently been nominated as one of the youngest experts on WHO FP guidelines development working group

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? 

My goal has been to reach out to 1million adolescents and youth by 2021. I am well aware that I cannot do this with Copper Rose alone. For this reason, I will use the $1000 to mobilise the youth movement in Zambia, training advocates and building other young leaders so that together we may advance the family planning work in Zambia. I would like to build a movement and mentor younger leaders so that the momentum will not be lost long after I have grown out of the youth age gap.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work: