UWI Mona students selected for global youth leadership programme
University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona campus, students Kizanne James and Necesia McNab have made the final list of 200 young leaders from 94 countries to be a part of a three-year global advocacy fellowship led by Women Deliver.
Women Deliver is an international advocacy organisation that works towards the health, rights and well-being of women and girls globally. The group also brings together diverse voices and interests to drive progress in maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights.
James and McNab have been integral in promoting the welfare of women and girls in their country and will be a part of the Latin America and Caribbean group that will focus on HIV/AIDS.
"It's really an honour to be selected to represent my country and the Caribbean on a whole," said James, a Trinidadian final-year medical student. "Women's health is my passion and this three-year fellowship not only provides the avenue for training and exposure, but it also guides my work, allowing me to create more effective programmes to help our people."
McNab, who is pursuing a master's in social work, added: "It is truly a blessing to be selected to represent my country in the area of sexual, reproductive and health rights. My passion lies in advancing the welfare of women and girls. This three-year fellowship will give me the opportunity to apply for seed grant funding towards implementing a programme that will benefit women and girls. This is the beginning of my dream towards programme development and establishing my non-governmental organisation."
wealth of experience
A former recipient of the UWI Mona Certificate of Excellence in Leadership, James has a wealth of experience having had leadership and volunteering roles in numerous organisations at the church, school and community level for more than 15 years.
Currently, James is the vice-president of the Jamaica Medical Students' Association, and is responsible for supervising outreach programmes in health, human rights, medical education, medical research, policy and advocacy.
She is also the founder of Caribbean Youth for Philanthropy, a network of youth leaders from various Caribbean Islands which she hopes can be a future platform for training new youth leaders in the territory.
Upon completion of her degree, she wants to pursue a career in family medicine and public health, with an emphasis in global women's health.
McNab has a wealth of experience empowering inner-city youth in Trench Town to achieve self-efficacy through different planned interventions. She is also a HIV counsellor and tester, who has worked with commercial sex workers in Kingston, St Catherine, and May Pen. She is currently a resident adviser at the Mary Seacole Hall and coordinator of the Ubuntu Programme, 'I am because you are', where she introduced volunteerism to the second-year students.
The second-year students contribute to civic responsibility by working with girls from Homestead Place of Safety, women from Women Resource and Outreach Centre, students from Papine High School, and their fellow students living with disability at the Office of Special Students and Development. Necesia McNab, a social worker who takes pride in making a difference in people's lives, believes that, if you do not positively impact someone's life, you defeat the purpose of life itself.
As part of the fellowship, both women received full scholarships to attend the Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in May 2016.
They also will be trained in capacity building, sexual and reproductive health and rights issues, advocacy, communication, proposal writing, project management, monitoring and evaluation.
They are also afforded opportunities for high-level networking, career development, and the possibility of grant seed funding for community projects in their country.