Shelley McCoy | Fall 2006 | Kaduna, Nigeria
For the year, GIIP fellow Shelley McCoy has worked with the Reproductive Rights Network (RRN) of Santa Cruz County and International Health Programs (IHP). Shelley is a third year at UC Santa Cruz working towards a Bachelor degree in Biology and a minor in Sociology. Her aspirations to go to medical school and become a practitioner has fueled her interested in public health and her dedication to the reproductive rights campaign.
Through her work on various projects with local chapters of the organizations, Shelley established strong ties between GIIP and the reproductive rights campaign. Over this past summer, she extended her passion to Nigeria where she successfully completed a GIIP internship working with organizations addressing current issues facing women and children.
Her three-month internship in Nigeria consisted of two main projects: In the first project, she provided computer-training sessions to the small non-profit, non-governmental organization Girl Child Concerns (GCC). GCC is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of children, particularly young girls, through improved educational opportunities. Primarily, she was responsible for training the program director in basic computer skills. This included an introduction to computers and lessons on Microsoft applications such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, as well as a few lessons on Internet Explorer to increase their efficiency in web browsing.
In the second part of her internship she developed future partnership opportunities in Nigeria for GIIP interns by meeting up with many of GIIP’s existing organizational and civil society partners to discuss future endeavors. In the course of about one month, Shelley arranged meetings with organizations such as the Red Cross, Abantu, Advocacy Nigeria, CITAD (Centre for Information Technology and Development), and FOMWAN (Federation of Muslim Women Assoc. Nigeria). Thanks to all of Shelley’s tireless work attending numerous meetings and conferences, the GIIP network in Nigeria has expanded in many directions . This will allow for more GIIP interns to carry out their own internships in Nigeria in the years to come.
Shelley was sad to leave the friends she had made there, but says that she is very glad to have had the opportunity to do it. “I feel much more empowered to further my passion for women’s concerns. The experiences I shared with people in Nigeria has given me a renewed sense of social responsibility