*Y.C.* Educational empowerment on reproductive health

*Y.C.* Educational empowerment on reproductive health

Cameroon
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

Educational empowerment on reproductive health (working name) is an idea being born. The idea is to create a collaboration of people to improve reproductive health and maternal health in Cameroon. The collaboration is comprised of health professionals, volunteers to educate and employees to keep the program sustainable. Volunteers will be young people who can empower their peers by educating them on gender equality, reproductive health and contraception. Health officials will be responsible for disseminating information on reproductive health, contraceptives and abortions to other health professionals. Employees will manage the program and see to the information is recycled with new research discoveries and new information from international agencies. Employees will also recruit new health professionals and volunteers to keep the program going, recruitment will be in different locations every four months or so. The collaboration is based on creating a knowledge network that will eventually disseminate into the community. By creating knowledge, raising awareness and motivation the future will be that reproductive health will be integrated into the health care system fully and young people will be aware of reproductive health and how to steer clear from unwanted pregnancies.
It is my hope that a program of this size that start small and builds momentum will in the future reduce maternal mortality rate and improve maternal health.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The primary problem would be funding and getting the government involved. The recruiting process could be difficult if the government is not on board with the program. Like all good programs and projects it is based on the people involved, getting participants who are fully engaged in improving reproductive health is important.
About You
Section 1: About You
First Name

Ingibjorg

Last Name

Thorisdottir

Website
Organization
Country

, HF

Are you an individual between the ages of 18 and 35 who would like to apply for a nine month Young Champions Program mentored by an Ashoka Fellow?

Yes

Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name
Organization Phone
Organization Address
Organization Country

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Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Website URL
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

Unique is not the word for the idea. This is basic dissemination of information that can be useful in solving a serious problem. A network of people who share information is just like school and society but it is important to keep the information flow current and making everyone hear the message. I would say this is an old idea but creating a collaboration of participants will be useful in making the idea sustainable, emphasis on local involvement is also important to be culturally sensitive and to avoid the feeling of outsiders coming to tell people what to do and how to do it.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

The program has not been implemented nor fully developed therefore it is impossible to foresee the impact.

Actions

There are no actions being taken at this current moment.
Action steps would be as follows: First to create the educational material with the help of a focus group of experts. Second the material would be tested in regards to literacy and information delivered, this part is important to do with the help of locals to make the material culturally appropriate.
Third finding a employee to run the operation after the implementation, this would be a person motivated in bettering the community. Fourth recruiting and training volunteers and health professionals to start the education empowerment, this step could take some time depending on the availability and willingness of those who participate in disseminating the information. Fifth step would be educating young people about reproductive health and empowering them to take charge. Sixth step would be evaluation, it is important to keep the evaluation up at every step and have some form of baseline data to evaluate the impact on the community. A survey might be good to get data on current knowledge and then another survey after the implementation of the project. The evaluation is based on resources available.

Results

Immediate results would be an increase in knowledge on reproductive health among health professionals and young people. Possibly fewer unwanted pregnancies it depends on if oral contraceptives are easily attainable and/or other contraceptives.
Long term results would be a decrease in maternal mortality rate (impossible to tell by how much until after the program has been implemented), a general widespread knowledge of reproductive health within the communities targeted, awareness on gender equity, fewer unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

Year one: The collaboration of many different players to create culturally appropriate educational material on maternal health, both for the health professionals and the volunteers. Finance to create the material and finance to pay the employee who will be in charge of recruiting and organizing the training involved. Manpower to collect baseline information and information 3 to 6 months after the program implementation. This information will be analyzed by a person with a background in statistic or a student interested in maternal health. If there is government resistance to the project a liaison to deal with interactions between the government would be needed.
Year two: Information is updated (if needed), volunteers are recruited or retrained and the program implementation continues. The employee would seek to gain support from local NGO's to disseminate the information. An evaluation is preformed to see how much impact the program has had, and reevaluated based on information gathered.
Year three: Information is updated (if needed), new volunteers recruited or previous volunteers retrained. The local NGO's and the employee seek government support to make the program national or to gain governmental funding to further develop the program, this process is backed-up by statistical information on how much impact the program has had on the community/communities involved.
A key element in all of the years is getting people involved and by making this a reproductive health awareness revolution within a community, by getting everyone to listen and think.

What would prevent your project from being a success?

The communities involved would have to be engaged, first the health professionals and the volunteers and then the project needs to gain momentum in the form of community support. In order for information to be disseminated into the community the ground needs to be prepared. This project is thought out to be a bottom-up approach where the community and individual key players handle the development. If it is difficult or impossible to get people involved then the project aims will not work and will have to be rethought and a different strategical approach used.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

$1000 - 4000

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Idea phase

Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

If yes, provide organization name.
How long has this organization been operating?

Please select

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Does your organization have a non-monetary partnerships with government?

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

Approximately 150 words left (1200 characters).

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

Approximately 300 words left (2400 characters).

The Story
What was the defining moment that you led to this innovation?

The word social entrepreneur was new to me, so new that I started researching first what role social entrepreneurs serve in the world. I came across the Ashoka changemakers and saw the competition on ways to improve maternal health. I had no new ideas at the time to improve maternal health, which made me realize that I wanted to join a group of people who were each making their scratch marks on history through innovative solutions to old and new problems. I started researching ways to improve maternal health and this solution popped into my head, it has been done before ad relies on the local forces already in place. The idea is still in its very primary stages and it is difficult for me to imagine how maternal health is impacted by so many different forces coming from a country with a very low maternal mortality ratio. I thought if I as a person can do a little good in the world then together more people can do more good.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I have always wanted to help make the world a better place and I do believe that I can. My main focus in life is to grow a little everyday, and more some days and leaving a positive impact on my surroundings. That impact will happen through being innovative, compassionate, motivated and with the focus on doing a little good all the time.
I grew up in Iceland with my parents and two sisters in a loving, educational and caring environment. My sisters and I received all the best in life and were motivated everyday to do and learn, which makes me who I am today. Early child development was the core of our upbringing without our parents realizing the effects it has on persons in the long run. Development happens through motivation and love and that is what I want to give back to the world. The saying it takes a village to raise a child is very true, it takes the united efforts of many different people to teach children, adolescents and adults about different ideas, methods and ways to do and learn.

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Web Search (e.g., Google or Yahoo)

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company