What actions are you taking to promote and protect the health and rights of women and young people worldwide?
Challenges faced by young women are enormous and critical. I have come to see that these issues can actually be dealt with if young women have a little bit of education on their rights and what maternal mortality means.
Having worked with Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA) in Nigeria for the past two years to coordinate HIV/AIDS and sexuality programs for young people through local community sensitization and enlightenment campaigns and fora, counseling, and testing. One of the main focuses has been to educate youths on sexuality and reproductive health and related issues. Various fieldwork experiences have created opportunities for learning and working with various local, national, and international organisations including United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Nigeria, Global Youth Coalition on HIV/AIDS (GYCA), Ministry of Health, State and Local Action Committees on Health.
What is your vision of lasting change for yourself and for the world's young people?
I believe in the possibility for change, now that we have the means of sharing what works easily like the internet. Solutions can be replicated in other regions. Youth are a great force for change. Therefore, they have to begin to think and act the ‘positive change’. While developed regions have passed some hurdles, the developing regions still have to manage to get there. But then, we all share critical issues that require everyone’s attention and contribution to solve them.
If you could tell world leaders one thing, what would it be?
If we are to build the global community successfully, then, young people have to be incorporated in the solutions to the world’s problems –poverty, illiteracy, HIV/AIDS, maternal mortality, climate change and so on. World leaders have set up frameworks –like the MDGs, Kyoto protocol, Gleneagles agenda- as strategies for solutions, but it seems that solutions may not come until gaps are bridged by building sustainable and indiscriminate partnerships between government, corporations, businesses and local people around the world.
Mostly, we need world leaders to show political will so as to move on to achieving sustainable solution.