News — May 19, 2017
JCI Nigeria: A Nippon Foundation Grantee Story of Impact
During the 2015 JCI World Congress in Kanazawa, Japan, nearly 120 JCI National Organizations endorsed the Nippon Foundation’s 2016 Global Appeal to End Stigma and Discrimination Against Peopled Affected by Leprosy. Beyond bringing awareness to JCI’s young active citizens, the appeal encourages projects to be conducted in countries where leprosy still exists in order to achieve measurable results of impact toward eliminating discrimination.
JCI Brazil, JCI India, JCI Indonesia and JCI Nigeria have taken this appeal seriously,
and with the support of the Nippon Foundation these organizations are creatively and passionately bringing awareness to this issue of stigmatization as well as changing the landscape of their countries.
In order to amplify their impact, JCI Nigeria launched a widespread media campaign across Nigeria using a variety of outlets to create awareness as well as share information about leprosy with the public. The campaign is working to sensitize Nigerians on leprosy, help individuals get the medical treatment they need, reintegrate those affected back into society and advance laws for equal opportunity and protection.
JCI Nigeria worked with Voxel Media and Ozmosis Services to produce several radio commercials, TV ads, billboards, social media promotions, press releases and news stories to mobilize their message. Press conferences were held with 12 media outlets, seven of which are national newspapers with over a million newspapers in daily circulation. This afforded them the opportunity to educate the public by leveraging the medias reach.
“Many Nigerians do not know that leprosy is a curable disease, and this has resulted in unnecessary stigmatization of victims. If the public understands the disease better, people affected by leprosy will feel free to seek treatment at most general hospitals where treatment is free instead of segregating themselves. As young people, we can educate our peers nationwide in order to establish a society that is compassionate toward people affected by leprosy,” said Mr. Olatunji Oyeyemi, 2016 JCI Nigeria President.
In the process of learning more about leprosy, JCI Nigeria has also added strategies to their project such as visiting leprosy villages to better understand the disease and how it affects people as well as building trust in the community. This has provided them with a much deeper understanding and compassion for the challenges faced by those affected and encouraged them to continue thinking creatively in order to secure additional resources and partnerships to address these issues.
The Nippon Foundation has provided JCI Organizations around the world with the opportunity to take leadership in empowering young active citizens to better understand the challenges of people affected by leprosy face and how to advocate for ending discrimination against them.