Being and Becoming Advocates: SRHR Inclusion Project (B.B.A) 1.0

The Initiative For Gender Equality and Sexual Reproductive Health (IGE-SRH) has successfully concluded the “Being and Becoming Advocates: SRHR Inclusion Project,” a transformative four-month initiative supported by HIVOS (Welead). The project targeted young LBQTI rightsholders in Nigeria’s South-South zone, with the aim of empowering them to champion their own sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR).

The project featured an array of impactful activities including a four-day advocacy workshop in Akwa Ibom, follow-up consultations, stakeholder advocacy visits, and capacity strengthening sessions. These initiatives were specifically designed to enhance the participants’ advocacy skills, deepen their SRHR knowledge, and strengthen their ability to engage with policy makers and influencers effectively.

The workshops provided 30 young LBQTI rightsholders with in-depth training on national SRHR instruments, message development, understanding sexual violence, and navigating their SOGIESC rights. This training was complemented by virtual consultations that offered a platform for participants to share experiences and challenges, fostering a supportive community of advocates.

IGE-SRH also organized advocacy visits to key stakeholders in the region, such as the Nigerian Police Force, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), and the Akwa Ibom State Agency for the Control of Aids (AKSACA). These visits were crucial in engaging authorities directly on the pressing SRHR issues affecting young LBQTI individuals.

A significant aspect of the project was building the operational capacity of the IGE-SRH team, with specific training sessions focused on monitoring and evaluation and financial management to enhance the effectiveness of the project implementation.

The project notably succeeded in enhancing the capacity and knowledge of all participants, with a reported 80% increase in their ability to make informed decisions about their sexual and reproductive health—a testament to the project’s comprehensive approach and effective execution.

From the lessons learned, IGE-SRH recognizes the importance of ongoing community engagement, flexibility in project management, and the power of collaborative efforts with other organizations to amplify impact. These insights will guide future initiatives to ensure they are as impactful and sustainable as possible.

Overall, the “Being and Becoming Advocates: SRHR Inclusion Project” has not only met its objectives but has also laid a strong foundation for continuous advocacy and empowerment of LBQTI communities in the South-South zone of Nigeria, reinforcing IGE-SRH’s commitment to promoting inclusive health and rights education.