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Meshack Acholla

Meshack Acholla - 2019 Nominee
Position: Communications Officer
Organization: Evidence for Action Mama Ye (Options)
Current Location: Kenya, Africa
Bachelor of Technology, Design- Interactive & Digital Media from School of Creative Arts & Digital Media Technologies
75 Public Votes Reached!
A champion of traditional and social media, Meshack spearheads campaigns to mobilise government, grassroots community organisations and young people on issues including family planning. #JazaShelves is one example of this commitment and talent. – Amy Jackson, Technical Officer at Options Consultancy Services and Evidence for Action Mama Ye
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

As a SRHR champion, I have been able to engage leaders in Kenya on the demographic dividend agenda. In 2013, I worked within a network of youth advocates and presented policy memos to county governments in Kenya to include investments young people's health and education- in the midst of all these, we urged the county governments to invest in the provision of quality youth friendly services. By doing so, they would ensure access to contraceptives for young people. One big result is that most county integrated development plans -a key policy documents included our suggestion.

Recently, I have been involved in the creation of a campaign that sought to address family planning commodity security as an issue in most counties in Kenya. This campaign has shown key results on budget allocation.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

My passion for family planning is sparked by the belief that women require a choice and the power on the decision to have children and when to have children. I have seen many of my classmates, drop out of school while the boys who impregnated them continue with their academics. I felt moved to champion for family planning and end stigma associated with it. I believe in a society where all men and women including the youth enjoy their sexual reproductive health and rights.

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

I spearheaded and demostrated great leadership to coordinate the efforts of about 20 youth advocates in Kenya who were championing for the demographic dividend agenda. I supported them by reviewing their memos as they planned to engage county governments. During these times, I wrote articles on the newspapers to shape up the agenda.

Secondly, I offered media support for the family planning commodity security campaign #JAZASHELVES ensuring the conversation is out there and people pay attention

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 named winner, I would use the resources provided to train 15 young people in Kenya with key media advocacy skills and how they can use campaigns and effective communication to champion for their family planning agenda. I would ensure they get the opportunity to reach out and engage leaders. I would invest in their skills and capacity hoping that they would become leaders and use that knowledge to champion for increased resources for family planning in their communities.

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