Irene Choge

75 Public Votes Reached!
Irene Choge - 2017 Nominee
Position: Media Advocacy Coordinator
Organization: Jhpiego
Bachelor of Education Arts (French, English & Literature) from Moi University Eldoret, Kenya
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Masters in Public Health ( Awaiting defense)
2008-2009: Post Graduate training in Journalism: Nation Media Group Lab, Nairobi Kenya
2013 : Missouri School of Journalism – Broadcast Journalism Training
2012: Google / World Bank Data journalism Boot Camp – Trained on how to use data to analyze concepts and get story ideas
2013 : News and TV production training, Organised by JICA- Tokyo ,Japan
2011: Health Journalism Fellowship- Inter-news Kenya
2010: Training on Family Planning & Reproductive Health Reporting- Inter-news Kenya
2009: Journalists/Editors Training on Maternal , Infant and Child Health and Development in Africa- African Union, Addis Ababa.
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    1st Runners Up . (Health Reporting)
    Awarding Organization:
    Media Council Of Kenya Awards
    Date Awarded:
    May 3, 2014
  • Award:
    Best TV Journalist in Female Genital Mutilation Category
    Awarding Organization:
    Date Awarded:
    November 25, 2011
  • Award:
    Best Children Rights Awards (Environment Category)
    Awarding Organization:
    Children rights Media Awards
    Date Awarded:
    October 28, 2012
Irene has found a way to combine her passions for journalism and public health by developing creative ways to engage the Kenyan media on covering family planning. On a daily basis, she uses her skills to catalyze action for family planning across Kenya. – Catherine Ndungu, Communications Manager at Jhpiego
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have successfully used media as an advocacy tool catalyzing action for family planning across Kenya. In less than a year, I have come up with creative ways to engage the Kenyan media on telling the family planning story.
Through my leadership as the media advocacy coordinator with Advance Family Planning (AFP) initiative implemented by Jhpiego, three radio stations have committed to running regular segments to educate and inform Kenyans on family planning. This initiative has unlocked private sector money and goodwill for family planning.I have also engaged numerous decision makers on the need for better policies on family planning.In Kwale County, through my media work,I have helped the government come up with an action plan to prevent teenage pregnancy.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

In 2011 as journalist at NTV, I did a lot of sad stories on maternal and child deaths. Given that I interacted very closely with the women whose stories I told,(some I followed before and after delivery) it saddened me when I got news that we lost these lives. Had the women spaced their children or even stopped at the 10th pregnancy, these needless deaths would have been averted. I vowed to help stop these deaths by including family planning in my storytelling to show that FP can save lives

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

I have helped train 14 journalists and mentor many more across Kenya. In mentorship, I work closely with journalists to produce stories that demonstrate family planning as a development agenda.
The stories include;
It won the Michael Elliot Award! 
Through my efforts, Advance Family Planning is building strong linkages with the media . So far, 33 family-planning stories have been published/ aired as a direct result of the training and mentorship.

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? :

If I am named a winner of 120 under 40, I will use the new platform to reach more journalists and storytellers and work with them towards telling more family planning stories.I hope to mentor more journalists especially those from community radio stations on finding and telling good family planning stories which can deliver impact in the community. I will work with them to produce stories that set the agenda, shape debates and stories that speak to decision makers and in turn advance policy.

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