Monday, October 17

Advocay Unit Intern, Education as a Vaccine Against Aids (EVA)

Grant Recipient: Oluwayimika Taiwo-Peters ‘12

Major: Neuroscience and Behavior

Organization: Education as a Vaccine Against Aids (EVA)

Location: Abuja, Nigeria

This summer, I’m working as the Advocacy Intern at a youth-led Nigerian based NGO called Education as a Vaccine (EVA). EVA’s mission is to build an innovative and sustainable mechanism for an improved quality of the life of vulnerable children and young people in Nigeria. As the advocacy intern, I work with the Advocacy Coordinator and the Youth Advocated Group (YAG) on sexual and reproductive health (SRH) issues, such as unwanted pregnancy, post-abortion and sexually transmitted infections/diseases that affect young people in Nigeria. My tasks include updating the YAG’s profile, composing a National Health Bill review from a young person’s perspective, organizing an International Youth Day sensitization program for the YAG with members and staff of newly-instated relevant Nigeria’s National Assembly committees, meeting with like-minded groups like the Civil Society Organizations and the government on SRH issues, amongst other activities.

During my internship, I have also been exposed to projects in rural communities that focus on improving the sexual and reproductive health of vulnerable women and young people. This has given me the opportunity to see the connection between my in-office advocacy work and practical community development at the grassroots’ level.

I love my internship, mostly because it provides a window for me to have a glimpse of my desired career and although it is an information overload. I’m sure that at the end of my internship in 8 weeks, I’ll be fully equipped with sufficient information that I need to know about advocacy work in a developing country like Nigeria. After Wesleyan, I plan to pursue a Masters degree in Public Health and work in the non-profit health sector in Nigeria.