My project is currently moving along nicely. After the launch of the WCD Ambassador Program in July, I was contacted by the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) to partner with their college campus initiative which provides services via http://www.coverher.org. We are very excited to collaborate, leveraging each other’s projects in the hopes of bringing awareness about contraceptive options to undergraduate women. Together, we aim to ensure that these millennials know their options when it comes to contraception methods and have the resources they need to choose the method that is best for them. To this end, NWLC will be providing print and digital materials that will be utilized at the university booths during the week of WCD. They will also set up an hour long webinar to train my volunteers/interns on SRHR and the CoverHer campaign.
Since my project launched, I have put out a call for two interns who will assist with on campus events during the week of WCD as well as with producing and compiling the photo-story project. The equipment needed to produce the photo-story has been ordered and it arrived this past week! I am hoping to create a high quality video that can be shared by various organizations within the US to promote the voices of millennials and their experience with SRHR as undergraduate students. I have also created an Instagram account - @WCD_US. I hope that using this social media platform will allow the photos and stories this project collects to be shared widely.
With the Affordable Care Act, most contraceptives can be accessed at little or no cost to the individual if they have health insurance. This means that cost in no longer a barrier to young people seeking contraceptives in the US! The issue is that not many millennials in the US are aware of the various methods and options that are available to them to prevent an unplanned pregnancy. They rely on one or two common methods (i.e. male condoms and “the pill”). They are not educated on the other methods that are statistically more effective at preventing unplanned pregnancies. I hope that this project will help to remedy that.
Overall, the initial planning and execution phase has been a challenge when it comes to balancing work and personal life along with this evolving project. I continue to feel inspired by the goal of having a “world where all pregnancies are wanted.” It motivates me to ensure that this project will increase awareness among millennials in the U.S. about their contraceptive options and, through doing so, help to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies.
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.