My motivation as a social worker is to see this my desire translated into positive action that will engender new ways of thinking in the socio-economic and political landscape of Nigeria. I currently work as the Monitoring and Evaluation Officer for ADDS' Community Care in Nigeria project. This project, sponsored by Christian Aid seeks to improve the quality of life of about 12, 500 OVC in Akoko Edo Local Government Area, the oldest and largest LGA of Nigeria. The daily challenges faced by the young people in our communities is compounded by the near zero-level knowledge of HIV in these rural communities. This is the change I want to influence as a social worker.
I have consistently through my work seek to raise awareness of this current situation in the rural areas of Nigeria and advocate for more resource to be allocated to more effective, efficient and evidence-based and proven method of HIV prevention and impact mitigation.
Among the things I have done, I have promoted the SAVE (Safer Practices, Available Medication, Voluntary Counseling and Testing and Empowerment) approach as a better method for stigma-free HIV/AIDS programming. I am addressing the issue of stigma and discrimination through grassroots awareness creation, and advocacy. I also promote other evidence-based methods such as barrier methods, safe blood, Faithfulness, abstinence, etc, . Human Rights based approach to HIV programming is a cornerstone policy in the interventions I carry out.
Since 2004 when I was introduced to HIV intervention work on a GHAIN sponsored OVC project in a rural community in Edo State, there has been no turning back. I was initially engaged as a secretary for Medical Centre. This hospital then had a support group of people living with HIV where I was also a volunteer. This period was one that opened my eyes to the problem of HIV/AIDS and the variety of challenges faced by positive living people of which the major two were stigma and poverty.
I was also trained as a palliative care provider under the GHAIN palliative care program that catered to the minor medical needs of positive living persons. During my period in Oriaifo Medical Centre, I was also trained as M&E Officer under the World Bank HAF fund and I acted as the Data Assistant and IT Support Officer.
I also received a training on Expanded and Comprehensive Response to HIV organized by NEPWHAN, Nigeria in 2007, I was also trained on Baseline Survey and Analysis.
At a time I was elected as the Coordinator of the Oriaifo Support Group a role which included organizing trainings, facilitating meetings, attending to the needs of members, exchange visit and managing the finances of the group.
I also formed the youth group “Youth and Teenagers Enlightenment Network” a youth-led, youth-serving NGO whose objective is to give age-appropriate and right information concerning HIV/AIDS to the youth.
Currently, as an M&E Officer for ADDS, I have been trained on Monitoring and Evaluation, mobilization and management Savings and Loans Association, Strategic planning, SAVE approach to HIV programming, Human Rights Based Approach to Programming, Resource Mobilisation, Reduction of Stigma and Discrimination, Life Skills TOT training, Psychosocial Support for OVC and I have built my capacity on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights through self-study. I am currently doing a study on research methodologies and advocacy.
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