Elvis Okolie

75 Public Votes Reached!
Elvis Okolie - 2017 Nominee
Position: Youth Advocate
Organization: United Nations Population Fund-Youth Participatory Platform (UNFPA-YPP)
Current Location: Nigeria, Africa
Bachelor of Public Health from University of Calabar, Calabar.
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Certificate on Understanding the Rights of Women and Girls ( awarded by Young African Leaders Initiative [YALI])
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Best Social Media Advocate
    Awarding Organization:
    United Nations Population Fund
    Date Awarded:
    December 30, 2016
  • Award:
    Most Outstanding Student
    Awarding Organization:
    National Association of Public Health Students
    Date Awarded:
    October 28, 2016
Elvis is a youth advocate with UNFPA, project manager at Anamme Nigeria Enterprise, peer educator for MTV Staying Alive Foundation for the MTVSHUGA Project, focal person in Cross River State for IYAFP & a member-National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS – Margaret Bolaji, Program officer at Population and Reproductive Health Initiative
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Through the years in my work as a volunteer and youth advocate, I have focused on demand creation and service uptake advocacy for sexual and reproductive health services for young people especially those that are unmarried and sexually active. Through the platform offered me by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), MTVShuga, International Youth Alliance for Family Planning (IYAFP), National Youth Network on HIV/AIDS (NYNETHA) and other NGOs, I have built the knowledge of over 8,000 young people on family planning through trainings and conferences. I also played a huge role as a coordinator in WISE-UP campaign (2016) that reached over 150,000 young people with contraceptive information and services in Cross River State.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My passion for family planning was sparked by two factors. Growing up as the last child in a family of 11 was very challenging due to paucity of resources and this is what the next child born into the world should not face. Also, the pain of seeing young girls in my community getting pregnant and loosing their prospective careers and in some cases dying from pregnancy related complications were significant cues to action for me.

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

I currently serve as a team leader in managing a linkage (Wise Connect) project designed to ensure functional and sustainable referral of young people to access Family Planning services from Health care professionals who have been trained on youth friendly service delivery.
I also mentor, coordinate and provide oversight to over 500 young peer educators across different Youth Networks focusing on creating awareness for sexual and reproductive health services and rights in Nigeria.

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? :

Many young people in Nigeria still lack access to basic sexual and reproductive health information and services for several reasons. I will use this platform and the $1,000 grant to intensify awareness campaigns on family planning access especially for young people in selected rural areas with a view to creating demand. I will also increase my work on creating linkages between young people and health service providers that offer youth friendly services with the view of improving service uptake.

Video Introduction
Photos of the nominee in the field/at work
Secondary School Outreach, Wise Up Cross River, Be Bold For Change

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