75 Public Votes Reached!
VINCENT OGAYA - 2017 Nominee
Position: Media and Communications Officer
Current Location: Kenya, Africa
BSc. Information Sciences (Media option) from Moi University
Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Media and Information Literacy
My nominee projects family planning as a development issue that requires resources just like any other investment initiative, but which offer immense returns. He does this through the media, community outreaches and engagement with policy makers. – Nominator
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

I have been involved in a program that seeks to ensure access by young people to quality affordable long acting and reversible contraception in southwestern Kenya. Working with government TWGs, communities and opinion leaders has enabled counties in this region recognize the need to invest in FP as reflected on their budgets. I have reached the youth with FP information through community forums and various media, making referrals where possible. I've also worked with county governments of Migori and Homabay in developing their costed family planning strategic plans that are crucial in implementing family planning programs in addition to being tools for resource mobilization. 3 radio stations are currently airing weekly programs on family planning. 6 journalists are committed FP champions.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

A cousin's wife aborted her twelfth pregnancy and he almost killed her. It turned out they had discussed the issue of contraception and he had been adamant about it. Moreover, the wife couldn't meet the FP costs. I also came across cases where mothers took the initiative of guiding their daughters to clinics for FP services but they would be turned away due to stigma in public health facilities. The worst was when I met a twenty three year old grandmother. I was touched. I had to be a champion.

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

Leading a team of youth advocates, youth peer providers and CHVs as FP champions in reaching out to communities, religious leaders, opinion leaders, government agencies and elected officials to support family planning initiatives through policy and budgetary interventions. I've also built the capacity of media advocates to reach out to other young people as well as policy makers with contraceptive information through various media such as radio, newspapers, blogs and other forms of social media.

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 document and publish success stories in various media of young people and men's involvement in family planning. That there are dividends to this initiatives. I will also track, analyse and publish the budgetary allocation to FP by Kenyan counties and their impact on the communities especially on reduced maternal deaths and young people's access to various forms of contraception. I believe these will motivate governments to pay more attention to family planning as a development issue.

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