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Naga woman among winners of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation award

By EMN Updated: Sep 14, 2019 11:55 pm

Eastern Mirror Desk

Dimapur, Sep. 14: A Naga woman is one of the winners of this year’s ‘120 under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders’, an initiative of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sekulu Nyekha, a volunteer at International Youth Alliance on Family Planning, is among the three Indians selected for the award. She is the only one from Northeast India.

The ‘120 under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders’ recognises and highlights the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide. Over the course of this multi-year project, 120 young family planning champions will be chosen, 40 in each of the three project years.

Speaking to Eastern Mirror on Saturday, Nyekha said: “I will be using the grant and support through this award to launch a project I have been working on—a storytelling platform for people with disabilities.

“Understanding the importance of sexual and reproductive health, I will be documenting stories and data that project the sexual health realities of people with disabilities.  The contents will be condensed to be put on social media platform. I feel that representation of people with disabilities is very limited and often adulterated.”

According to the ‘120under40’ website, each project year, 40 winners are chosen by the public via online voting and a jury of experts and leaders in family planning. Nominees who receive at least 75 public votes pass to the jury scoring round, in which they are scored by a panel of experts in family planning according to the published evaluation criteria.

Finally, the project secretariat reviews the results and determines the winners, all of whom receive $1,000 from the Gates institute.

Nyekha was part of Hidden Pockets Collective for two years as a volunteer. “I have touched varied areas of work during the course including mapping health clinic and reviewing the same, creating photo stories, curating and designing campaigns, as a social media person, designing other creatives, initiating and hosting events, etc.

“All of these circled around the importance and risks of sexual and reproductive health. I was selected to the ICFP 2018 and attended the conference as a plenary speaker and writer (youth delegate), representing Hidden Pockets Collective. I was also invited by UN foundation as a global youth representative to briefing of US journalists at the same,” she told the website.

By EMN Updated: Sep 14, 2019 11:55:56 pm