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Nick Oketch

Nick Oketch - 2019 Nominee
Position: Director/Founder
Organization: Paradigm Youth Network Organization
Current Location: Kenya, Africa
Bsc. from Electrical and Computer Engineering
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Civic Leadership at Wagner College in New York
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders.
    Awarding Organization:
    U.S. Department of State
    Date Awarded:
    February 22, 2018
  • Award:
    Women Deliver Young Gobal Leader
    Awarding Organization:
    Women Deliver
    Date Awarded:
    August 11, 2016
  • Award:
    Johnson and Jonson/ Devex Fellow
    Awarding Organization:
    Johnson and Jonson/ Devex
    Date Awarded:
    July 9, 2018
75 Public Votes Reached!
Nick Oketch is passionate about designing a messenger chatbot to improve access to quality information on birth control options. He designed LucyBot, a Facebook-Messenger A.I chatbot that disseminates HIV/AIDS and sexual health education information. – Brian Juma Omala, Global Health Corps Fellow at Covenant House, New Jersey, U.S.A
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I designed LucyBot, a Facebook Messenger chatbot powered by Artificial Intelligence (A.I) that disseminate HIV/AIDS and sexual health education information with an aim of improving access to family planning options, including contraceptives and services, and boosting peer-to-peer content, information sharing, and interactivity to reduce teenage pregnancy, unsafe abortions, and the transmission of sexual infections among adolescent girls aged 13-24 years in Kenya. To date over 10,000 young people have accessed information through the Chatbot. I also run a Peer Health Exchange program in colleges in Siaya County in Kenya, training students on safe sexual lifestyles to help empower them with knowledge, skills, and resources to make healthy and informed decisions.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

In the community, we work in—Siaya County in Kenya; 1 in 2 girls have given birth by the time they turn 18. Among girls aged 15-19 living in this rural area, 45% are in a marriage or union and only 25% are using a modern method of contraception. So I decided to use the power of technology and social media to bridge this gap by creating awareness around sexual and reproductive health rights to young people in this area. We have seen an increased number of young people demanding SRH services.

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

As the Director and Founder of Paradigm Youth Network Organization, I am responsible for the provision of strategic leadership, research, networking, resource mobilization, project development and management, and developing successful monitoring, evaluation, and reporting tools. To ensure we are successful, measures have been put in place, for example, aligning partners and engaging communities into our advocacy program activities and inspiring staff to improve the quality of their outputs.

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? :

The $1000 grant will be a big boost to my Advocacy work. It will go towards training and capacity building of young people across Siaya in issues of Family Planning and Birth Control services. It will also help in the promotion of this new platform and improve the A.I capabilities of the Chatbot so that more young people across Kenya are able to access the information on this emotive topic of Sexual and Reproductive Health without fear of discrimination, stigmatization, and censorship.

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