Kevin Karuga

Kevin Karuga - 2016 Nominee
Position: Field Asssistant
Organization: Family Health Options Kenya
He implemented a project called ask that was creating access to contraceptives among young people. He made good use of Social Media, Message development and online referral systems – Nominator
He has been our champion on SRHR message development, choice based reproductive health services, advocate of ASRHR health policies, CSE trainer and Social media advocate of SRH especially access to services, gender & girls empowerment. – Gordon Ochieng, Youth Programs Manager at Family Health Options Kenya
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I implemented the ASK project which was focusing on increasing access to family planning services and knowledge among youth in Kenya. I was actively involved as a field trainer and advocate as well as making referrals for services.

I am an SRH trainer in a youth center, my day to day work involves organizing sensitization activities and conducting values clarification sessions on family planning and other reproductive health issues. My main target are students in institutions of higher learning. I have so far reached out to 6020 and more on social media

I have developed several family planning IEC materials

I led the 'I decide' campaign, a petition to UN to prioritize on family planning services, I collected the most signatures and made the campaign successful.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I saw and heard of many cases of unsafe abortions, teenage pregnancies while growing up. I then began noticing social stigma and contraceptives myths and misconceptions in my home town, The experiences sparked my passion to be an advocate for family planning. I now volunteer in my local area as a trainer where I link young people to youth friendly reproductive health services. My inspiration and aspiration is to contribute towards the reduction of SRH challenges among young people.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

The biggest challenge was creating access to affordable, confidential and quality family planning services for young people in learning institutions. Their obstacle was fear of being discriminated and stigmatization by service providers.
I overcame the challenge by creating awareness on free youth friendly family planning services which was being offered in health facilities supported by civil society organisation, eg Familycare Medical center supported by IPPF Africa, Social media was key.

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

My region's biggest challenge to family planning is cultural beliefs and misconceptions associated with modern family planning methods.

This challenge can be addressed by conducting values clarifications and attitude transformation sessions among community opinion leaders who are culture custodians. It should be followed by documenting and sharing on the benefits of family planning for effective demand creation.

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I want to go back to school and finish my studies in Community Development studies. This will add value in my acquired skills of working with young people on Sexual and reproductive health.
I want to make sure I contribute in creating access to quality and youth friendly family planning services to more than 120,000 young women with unmet needs around Uasin Gishu County annually, 70% of the 120,000 are college students between 16-24 years.

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