NGO Trains National Level Media Practitioners On Family Planning Advocacy

 

National level media Practitioners at the training

A frontier Family Planning Advocacy Organization“Pathfinder International”, penultimate week, organized a 3-day Orientation Workshop for National Level Media Media Practitioners in Lafia, Nasarawa State capital, on Advance Family Planning (AFP) Media Advocacy between 20th – 22nd October 2021.

The Program Coordinator Hajiya Hauwa Usman when asked why their organization is solely focusing on journalists, said;

‘’we are focusing on journalists because there are important stake holders in pushing the agenda for us and spotlighting issues that are important to the masses and as well decision makers and that is why we are focusing on journalists in this three-day training so that they can understand what family planning is all about and what advanced family planning needs to achieve to also help us to achieve that”.

Speaking shortly after the training, the facilitator, Mr. Bayo Ewuola who also doubles as Media and Communication Officer for Pathfinder International explained that why his Organization deemed it necessary to convene National Level Media Practitioners because journalists are seen as AFP champions who can change the narratives about family planning.

“Pathfinder international is implementing a new project called advanced family planning. This training Is convened to create more visibility for this new project

“Our focus first in this project is to make the state government create budget for family planning, and also to ensure that these funds are released on time as well as create an enabling environment through the implementation of the existing policy in the state.

“Working with the media will help create the needed visibility and also well investigated stories where we can talk about family planning issues and that is why we convened the national level media practitioners from Abuja as part of our sustainability plan to try to build their capacity on digital communication. We believe that journalism is now beyond the main stream with different audience

“with major presence online. That was what necessitated this training to help them learn different tools that will help them reach more audience, and also help us create the needed visibility for the advanced family planning advocacy campaign”.Mr Bayo said

On the challenges affecting family planning in Nigeria, he further explained, that the challenges they realized is that government especially at the state levels are not investing enough on family planning. He however highlighted that his Organisation’s work at the Sub-National level, have seen more state governments budgeting for family planning every year especially states like Gombe state, Kaduna state and other states in Nigeria.

“There is gap in policy and also in budgeting. So, what pathfinder international is doing is to ensure that these gaps are filled.

“We need the government to prioritize family planning since it is a cost-effective initiative and we need government to increase support through funding and political commitment in both the state and national level.

“We also found out that there are a lot of policies at the Sub-National level which are not operational in most of the states. therefore, Pathfinder International through the advance family project are working with the states through the provision of technical and financial support to ensure that these policies are reviewed, domesticated and implemented in the state.

“So, I believe that government can still do more in prioritizing family planning in their budget".Mr Bayo concluded.

The 3-day training which was part of the sustainability plan for the Advance Family Planning Media Advocacy Project (AFP), targeted and trained National Level Journalists from the mainstream and online media on how to create digital media content, mobile journalism, photography and videography among others to enable them ensure a stronger connection with their online audience and in turn increase advocacy for AFP in Nigeria.