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Apprentice Spotlight: Marcus Eke Okwu

Meet Marcus Eke Okwu, a Change Makers apprentice from Lagos, Nigeria. Marcus participated as a youth representative in our 2013 Learning Lab in Zanzibar, Tanzania. Moved by the personal transformation he experienced during his week-long learning lab, Marcus made a commitment to bring rights-based social change approaches back to his community and to the youth of Nigeria.

A 2014 college graduate, Marcus is back in Lagos working in the IT sector and is currently developing an Android app for young Nigerians around issues related to sexual and reproductive health and rights. Always looking at the big picture, Marcus is using a human rights-based approach to developing and pre-testing his app by involving his peers in identifying content and editing suggestions, thus ensuring that this vital SRHR app is made by and for young people. Never one to be content with doing the minimum, Marcus is also connecting to youth advocates in Nepal, who will work with him to beta test the Nigerian version the SRHR app, to identify what aspects apply to the Nepal context, and what content needs to be edited or added to be more locally relevant to South Asian youth.

Marcus is also currently doing his national service (post graduation) in Lagos on HIV/AIDS prevention programming amongst Lagos youth. Over the last 9 months, he has trained and is mentoring over 85 Lagos teenagers on HIV/AIDS prevention and care. He is using his knowledge around rights-based SBCC to engage his young partners in documenting their work together using a combination of most significant change stories (MSCS), video testimonials, and community dialogue methods. The dynamic documentation vision that Marcus has set out for his national service work is setting new standards of excellence in the Nigeria National Service sector and his in-country advisors have expressed amazement at his innovative, rights-based ideas around the documentation of his work.

If you are a young person wishing to participate in the beta testing of Marcus’ SRHR app, or an organization willing to help pre-test at the field level, please check out his new health app for young people - Healthwise! You can download it here: Healthwise - Android Apps on Google Play.

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