To New Beginnings...

You know your office understands you when they give you the best farewell gift. Isn't she beautiful? 😍😍😍

So...yesterday (June 30, 2021) was my last day as the Digital Media Officer of the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs - CCP Family Planning Portfolio in Nigeria. It has been such a learning and growing 33 months for me.

I got to work with a team of exceptional women who continued to reinforce my beliefs that when women are an equal part of development, society is the better for it.

Some of my personal achievements include:

1. Growing the digital media platforms (@Getittogetherng on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Medium, YouTube and WhatsApp) to reach millions of people with family planning information and direction to services. It was an honor to contribute my bit to dispelling myths and misconceptions about family planning/child spacing and engaging with people to change their behavior.

2. Helping the Health Promotion Division of the Federal Ministry of Health grow their Facebook page from less than 200 to over 2000 followers.

3. Creating, managing and growing the social media pages of Association for the Advancement of Family Planning (AAFP), hosts of the Nigeria Family Planning Conference. Grew the Facebook page to over 7,500 followers.

4. Presenting a paper on the intersection of digital communication and demographic dividends at the Annual Population Lecture Series. This was especially important to me because I had to battle a chronic fear of public speaking that I had been dealing with for a couple of years to do this.

5. Having abstracts accepted into conferences, the biggest of which is the International SBCC Summit which was postponed but will now happen in December, 2021, in Morocco. It is a poster presentation but I am still very proud of it.

6. Building the capacity of personnel of the Federal and State Health Ministries, Departments and Agencies; National Orientation Agency; National Population Commission; and members of the media. The curriculum on Digital Media, Audience Profiling, Mobile Photography and Videography, and Analytics was designed and facilitated by me. Who would have thought! I was so fulfilled when I saw some officers using the lessons I shared to tell their stories from the field. Oooh! It was the best feeling ever!

There are so much more but these one are the biggest in my head. And all these happened in just 33 months! This has been the most fulfilling part of my career because my work tied directly to my life’s purpose. For my entire stay at CCP, I only applied for another job once and that was at the end of the project I was working on until we got an extension. I loved my job! And yes, there were days when it didn’t feel like it but overall, I loved my job.

And to imagine that I was doing this all while creating written, audio and visual content for Shades of Us and growing the platforms (blog, podcast, vlogs, and films) to great followership. Whoot whoot! I am proud of myself!

I am sharing this because I do not give myself enough credit. I am constantly doubting myself and worrying about how much impact I have given to the world. Taking assessment of my achievements reminds me that while a lot can still be done, I have not done shabbily.

For now though, I am taking a much needed break for the next one month. No one should look for me for any work related issue unless you are bringing in plenty money. 🤭🤭🤭 After that, we will make major announcements for Shades of Us. I will also then begin to apply for work and education that, again, ties directly to my life's purpose and the sustainable development goals I am most passionate about: no poverty; zero hunger, good health and wellbeing; quality education; gender equality; clean water and sanitation; reduced inequalities; climate change; peace justice and strong institutions; and partnership for the goals.

While this is an end, it is also a new beginning. So...cheers to new beginnings, Ramatu Ada Ochekliye! 💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾

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Ramatu Ada Ochekliye

Ramatu Ada Ochekliye is a freelance content creator. She has a blog called ‘Shades of Us’ (http://www.shadesofus.co.uk/)