TCI-U Challenge Strengthens Capacity in Abia State, Nigeria, to Implement AYSRH Interventions
The Challenge Initiative (TCI) has introduced in Abia State, Nigeria, the “TCI University (TCI-U) Challenge,” an innovative strategy aimed at increasing traffic to TCI-U, an online platform for strengthening local capacity to scale up evidence-based, high-impact family planning and adolescent and youth sexual and reproductive health (AYSRH) interventions.
Agwu Florence Kalu – the Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health (AYRH) Officer in the Bende local government area (LGA) of Abia State, Nigeria – became one of the winners of the TCI-U Challenge, completing over 20 high-impact intervention assessments. The Abia State Advocacy Core Group (ACG) even decorated her as a TCI-U Ambassador to recognize her professional development achievements and serve as a role model, helping others enroll and complete assessments on the TCI-U.
Florence shared what TCI-U has meant to her:
After I was appointed Adolescent and Youth Reproductive Health Officer, I just did not understand my role and responsibilities. I did not know what to do exactly with this new appointment. We had a series of meetings at the state level, but the situation did not get better. It was not easy to admit this at that time because of the risk of being capped incompetent. In one of the capacity building sessions by TCI, we were introduced to the TCI University by the TCI State Program Coordinator. He encouraged all the TWG [technical working group] members to register and even offered TA [technical assistance] on registration. Many of us did not take this seriously, especially the fact that the university was totally free.
When I heard of the TCI University Challenge on our WhatsApp platform, something in me told me this is the motivation I need to make my work easy and successful. I took time to go through the AYSRH toolkit [on TCI-U] and did all the assessment there. At the end, with minimal technical support from TCI, I now know what to do as an AYRH Officer in my LGA. The knowledge I have gained from TCI and indeed TCI University has made my work very successful.”
Florence now conducts outreaches to schools and other places where young people are gathered, to talk to them about their reproductive health and rights.
TCI has also supported Abia State to resuscitate the state’s AYSRH governance body, the AYRH Technical Working Group, which is comprised of AYRH Officers from all 17 LGAs and state counterparts from the Abia State Primary Health Care Development Agency. Through technical assistance coaching provided by TCI, young people and representatives from youth-serving civil society organizations have also become key members of the TWG, providing them a voice in the design and monitoring of interventions intended to reach and serve youth.
Through TCI coaching and capacity strengthening support, the capacity of the AYRH Officers and the TWG has been enhanced.