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Stephanie Haase

Stephanie Haase - 2019 Nominee
Position: PhD candidate
Organization: University of Cape Town
Current Location: Kenya, Africa
Master of Science from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
PhD in Public Health – University of Cape Town, expected 2020
Social Innovation Management – The Amani Institute, Nairobi
Awards Received:
  • Award:
    Love Matters Africa: Excellence in Health Communication
    Awarding Organization:
    AfriComNet
    Date Awarded:
    January 10, 2015
75 Public Votes Reached!
Stephanie has been doing work in advancing the SRHR of the most marginalised in Africa: people living with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, and, often overlooked, young people. I wholeheartedly recommend her. – Caroline Simumba, Consultant at Results for Development
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

The other day, someone asked me what it meant to be a millionaire. I stumbled through possible explanations, assets, currencies, and bank accounts.
My friend stopped me quickly. He smiled and said, 'no. It means that you have made a difference in the lives of 1 million people.'
I was stunned. Because what he said was beautiful, and, because I've been a millionaire many time over.
During my time as project coordinator at Love Matters Africa, where we reached young people with pleasure-based sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) information using digital media, we reached millions of young people every year.
And now, as a PhD candidate, I am aiming of positively impacting the lives of sexual and gender minorities throughout East Africa.
I am blessed to be a millionaire.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Family planning and SRHR information should be easily accessible, understandable, and usable for everyone. The sad reality, however, is that it often isn't. People are excluded from receiving this information; information that could improve their quality of life significantly.
There is a lot of shame attached to conversations around family planning, and I always wanted to play a role in changing that. Because only if we change our approaches will we be able to reach everyone.

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

I had the pleasure and opportunity to present the only LGBT-focussed research at the International Conference of Family Planning in Kigali in 2018.
I was able to discuss the process of drafting and testing new family planning and safe sex information for LGBT people which has since been published on the Love Matters Africa website. This content will potentially be translated into other language and will be availble via Love Matters to hundreds of thousands of young LGBT people around the world.

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? :

I will continue to advance the sexual and reproductive health and rights of marginalised populations. The grant money will be funding my PhD research, which is investigating factors that influence sexual health decision making and service utilisation in Kenyan queer women and trans men. Kenyan sexual and gender minority people, especially women and trans people, have been neglected in research in the past, and very little data is available on their needs and how those needs can be met.

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