As expected, I encountered a few bumps along the way reaching out to my target universities. Some of the directors of the student health centers expressed that there may not be enough time to get the necessary approval by World Contraceptive Day on September 26th. Adding to this was the time which would be required to receive IRB approval in order to collect data on the program. While I expected that time would be tight, I did not anticipate the delay between reaching out to the universities and their responses – placing my application for approval and IRB behind schedule.
At the suggestion of a director of student health at one of my target universities, I shifted my project to smaller colleges. This actually was a benefit to my project as it allowed me to bring the educational material to setting with less established student health programs and hence to students with less access to contraceptive information. I am changing my focus to smaller colleges within the metropolitan area, ensuring that their students will get quality educational materials about contraception while also bringing awareness to the available options in the U.S. that better suits their lifestyle.
National Women’s Law Center has been keeping in contact and sent me wonderful materials that will be distributed during the on-campus events to promote WCD and the CoverHer campaign. We are very excited to collaborate in bringing awareness to millennials in their undergraduate academic careers knowledge about their options when it comes to contraception methods. Providing resources to assist them in choosing the method that is best for them is our top priority. The one-hour webinar to train my volunteers/interns on SRHR and the CoverHer campaign will be set-up once the IRB process is completed at the colleges.
I had also put out a job posting via NYU, seeking a Photo-Journalism major to assist me in producing and compiling the photostory project.
This student will utilize the videography equipment I purchased to create a high quality video that can shared by various organizations within the U.S., as well as internationally, to promote the voices of millennials and their experience with SRHR as undergraduate students.
Lastly, as mentioned in my previous blog, I had created an Instagram account - @WCD_US. I have been posting photos as well as tweeting on my twitter handle, @SnehaKalayil, to gain support and bring awareness to this worthy cause. I am gaining new followers everyday on both platforms and I am looking forward to enhance my social media efforts once the photostory production is complete.
Overall, the planning and execution phases have been a challenge when it comes to balancing work and personal life, as well as overcoming the unexpected and expected hurdles. The only way to combat these challenges is to continuously push forward and challenge myself to do better in order to make this project a reality.
About World Contraception Day:
In support of World Contraception Day and Women Deliver’s Young Leaders Program, Women Deliver and Bayer will work in partnership on a three-year World Contraception Day (WCD) Ambassadors Project. The project equips young people with the skills they need to collect and share digital stories about young people’s SRHR and access to contraception in their home countries. The project includes a storytelling and digital media training, a seed grant, and advocacy opportunities for the Ambassadors to showcase their work at the international level.