Desmond Atanga

75 Public Votes Reached!
Desmond Atanga - 2017 Nominee
Position: Founder
Organization: Deserve Cameroon
Current Location: Cameroon, Africa
Postgraduate Diploma from The University of Bamenda/ Education and Economics
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Bachelor of Science in Economics; University of Dschang, Cameroon
Graduate Diploma in Education; The University of Bamenda, Cameroon
Certificate of Recognition in Health and Rights, Advocacy and Communication; Women Deliver Young Leaders Programme.
Certificate of Recognition in Project Design and Management, Grant Seeking and Proposal Development and Completing Project Proposals; Women Deliver Young Leaders Programme.
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    President of the Republic of Cameroon's Prize of Excellence for Meritorious University Students
    Awarding Organization:
    Ministry of Higher Education
    Date Awarded:
    November 25, 2016
  • Award:
    Women Deliver USD 5,000 Seed Grant
    Awarding Organization:
    Women Deliver and the Johnson and Johnson Foundation
    Date Awarded:
    June 10, 2016
  • Award:
    Cameroon' Best Youth Leader for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS
    Awarding Organization:
    Project for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS in the Central Africa (PPSAC)
    Date Awarded:
    December 17, 2013
Desmond started youth work&leadership at the age of 12. He has more than 10 years of experience working on the socio-economic empowerment of youth, providing access to SRHR& family planning among key vulnerable populations like girls, women and youth – Margaret Bolaji, program officer at Population and Reproductive Health Initiative
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I made contributions through the project, ‘Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE): A Needful Approach to Sexuality Education in Cameroon Secondary Schools’ which I developed from research proving the inadequate access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services among adolescents in Cameroon. I won a $ 5,000 grant from Women Deliver and the Johnson and Johnson Foundation in June 2016 enabling us to develop a CSE scheme for use in secondary schools by 1,384 school counsellors, copiously explaining family planning. I also got 25 government officials commit to institutionalizing CSE in secondary schools. In collaboration with the Ministry of Secondary Education, I trained 31 school counsellors on teaching CSE using example lessons on family planning.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I grew up, live and work in a community where unintended pregnancy is regretfully widespread. Most of the girls consequently drop out of school. I was upset in 2011 when two of my teenage nieces nearly died from pregnancy-related causes, and dropped out of school. My research and experiences in the far-flung areas of Cameroon are dismal, seeing that access to basic knowledge on contraceptives is a rarity. As an Economist, I believe welfare is bettered with quality family planning.

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

As founder/CEO of Deserve, I work with team members to execute model CSE lessons on family planning in schools, in the presence of school counsellors.

I am guest to well-liked shows on Cameroon Radio and Television (CRTV) where I talk and teach about family planning. My March 2017 media outing registered above 8,000 facebook views. I also leverage my skills as Expert Advisory Member of FP 2020 in local efforts to reduce stock-out and ensure easy access of contraceptives to girls and youth.

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? :

I shall use the 120 under 40 stage to strengthen my network of partners and likeminded colleagues; to share my best practices and learn others. Furthermore, I shall use my $ 1,000 grant to sustain my CSE project in Cameroon by training an additional 100 school counsellors and also carryout a behaviour change monitoring and evaluation of the number of adolescents who have benefited. I shall also distribute 20 copies of the CSE text I have authored to 2 schools in each of Cameroon’s 10 regions.

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