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Stories Behind My Skin (SBMS)

SBSM uses technology and community circle to collect data and build up the case against bullying sufferers of Atopic Dermatitis.

Photo of Olabode Ekerin
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Please elaborate on your proposed solution to the challenge in no more than 300 words.

Having suffered from atopic dermatitis when I was younger and undergone treatment though still reoccurring till date, I have come to realize that it is not an easy journey. The emotional torture can be difficult to deal with more than the physical aspect of the condition. Bullying related to my atopic dermatitis is one of the many difficulties that I faced within my family, in church and even in school. In school, I was easily bullied or teased about my appearance by my classmates and teachers, other children refused to play with me and some called me names. As a young child, this really affected my self-esteem, lowered my confidence and also caused issues with socializing with my peers. My best friend became my dermatologist who makes me feel very comfortable and told me how handsome I was. All these had a negative impact on my childhood. My proposed solution “Stories Behind My Skin” uses technology and community circles to collect data and build up the case against bullying sufferers of Atopic dermatitis. We are building both online and offline conversation where we will document lived experience of people who have suffered from this condition which will be used to educate parent/teachers associations, workplaces, religious places and schools and equip them with tools to advocate against bullying sufferers and survivors of atopic dermatitis by being open and public about atopic dermatitis. We would be partnering with dermatologists at the Lagos State Teaching hospital

What is the name of your organization?

The WiseUp Initiative for Good Health and Community Development

Where are you and your organization based?

Lagos, Nigeria

Please provide a description of your organization.

The WiseUp Initiative for Good Health and Community Development is committed to increasing access to health information and services for all Nigerians through advocacy, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. We educate members of different communities in Nigeria on their health and also provide them access to some health services. We also offer referral services to Nigerians.

What is your name?

Olabode Ekerin

Tell us about your organization, or the organization you are partnering with: What inspired you to participate in this Challenge (300 words or less)?

The WiseUp Initiative for Good Health and Community Development is a registered non-governmental organization with registration number CAC/IT/N0 136624 committed to increasing access to health information and services for all Nigerians through advocacy, research, innovation and entrepreneurship. The organization is made up of volunteer health professionals which include medical doctors and specialists. We educate members of different communities in Nigeria on their health and provide them access to some health services. We also offer referal services to Nigerians. We were inspired to participate in this challenge knowing that skin conditions are not adequately paid attention too. Our Founder, Dr. Olabode Ekerin is a survivor of atopic dermatitis. He suffered from atopic dermatitis when he was younger and went through treatment. During the period he had this skin condition, he went through different forms of emotional abuse which includes bullying within his family, in church and even in school. In school, he was teased about his appearance by his classmates and teachers, other children refused to play with him and some called him names. As a young child, this really affected his self-esteem, lowered his confidence and also caused issues with socializing with his peers. His best friend became his dermatologist who made him feel very comfortable and told me how handsome he was. We want to see a world where no child is bullied because of his skin condition. All these have influenced our interest to participate in the challenge.

Building on your initial proposal in the Ideas Phase, please share additional information on your solution to the challenge in more detail (500 words or less).

With the high prevalence of AD globally of 245 million people, many young people and teenagers have misconceptions about AD hence stigmatize people living with AD. Our solution is a unique model that uses technology and community circle to collect data and build up a case against bullying sufferers of Atopic Dermatitis while also leveraging the power of storytelling for advocacy and education by creating open online and offline platforms where we will document lived experience of people who have suffered and are living with this condition while creating services for adequate treatment and effective care. This makes our solution the first in Nigeria. Our solution statement is built on the framework of 3 logical frameworks: EDUCATION ADVOCACY CONNECTIVITY These frameworks were influenced by my personal experience, our interaction with school students suffering from the conditions, patients suffering from the condition as well as dermatologists at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. We would create a website which will serve as story-telling platform where individuals who have once suffered from the condition or currently suffering from the condition share their experience including challenges they faced (bullying, stigma etc), the world they envision and also how they survived the social and psychological issues associated with the condition. This story-telling platform will create a collective community of people who have either survivors or currently suffering from the skin conditions where they can share ideas, discuss and even network in the safe space. These stories will also be shared on different social media platforms created specifically for our solution. We would also create an offline platform which will involve organizing outreaches schools, workplaces, parent/teachers association and religious places where we will educate them about atopic dermatitis. This will be done through the use of videos, posters and pamphlets. We will share videos of survivors and people currently suffering from atopic dermatitis where they share their stories. We would also be distributing pamphlets that contain 20 reported stories of individuals who are either survivors or currently suffering from atopic dermatitis. Educative posters on Atopic Dermatitis will be pasted at strategic locations during our outreaches. The objective of advocacy framework is to share information on AD by relating them to personal experiences of people living with AD which will serve as a tool to equip individuals to advocate against bullying sufferers. This aspect is geared towards further reduction of stigmatization, discrimination and all other psycho-social challenges faced by people living with AD. Another important element of our solution is the incorporation of an online platform where individuals who are living with different skin conditions including AD can connect and speak with a dermatologist and associated mental health specialists via a chat

Please share more information on the steps you’ll take to make sure the project is a success (500 words or less).

Stories Behind My Skin aims to: Unite millions of people living with Atopic Dermatitis (AD) through the art of story-telling. Create an online and offline community for people living with AD and survivors of AD to discuss and even network. Educate the public on treatment and management of skin disease and associated myths while providing resources on extensive education of skincare. Connect people living with AD to dermatologist, To achieve these we would 1. Create a website which will serve as our online platform where they share their stories of people living with AD and connect to dermatologist for medical advice 2. Recruit survivors to share their stories: We have already established a relationship with the dermatology unit at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. Together with the unit, we would recruit at least 40 survivors and sufferers of AD who will be willing to share their stories on our platform. 3. Recruit Dermatologist for the Platform: we have already established relationship with the dermatology unit in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital and 3 dermatologists from the institution are willing to volunteer on the platform. We will meet with the Nigeria Association of Dermatologist to recruit dermatologist 4. Printing of Pamphlets and posters: 2000 copies of Pamphlet and posters will be printed for educational purposes and distributed during our offline outreaches. 5. Organize AD awareness outreaches: We would organize outreaches to schools, religious places, work places and parent/teacher association to educate parent, teachers, students and other young people about AD and equipping them with tools to advocate against bullying sufferers. . 6. Organize monthly safe space meet-ups where young people meet to discuss dermatological conditions and their own personal experiences. 7. Recruit Project Ambassadors: We will recruit project ambassadors in different secondary schools in Lagos State. These ambassadors will be in-charge of promoting our platforms in secondary schools. These ambassadors are survivors of atopic dermatitis who will be willing to share their personal stories in their institutions. 8. Commemoration of World Skin Health Day with an awareness walk and a summit which will be tagged :Stories Behind My Skin Summit. This summit will bring together skincare experts and survivors of different skin condition where they will share their stories and solutions to different challenges faced. 9. Intense media and advocacy campaign on awareness on AD and other skin conditions done on all our social media platforms. 10. Collaborate with the Ministry of Health to get relevant data on AD to influence policy 11. Meet with key stakeholders and influencers in communities and schools Proposed Timeline is as follows June - August 2020: 1, 2, 3, 4,9 September – November 2020: 6, 7,9, December 2020 February 2021: 5,6, 8, 9 March – June 2021: 5,6, 10

How is your idea scalable (300 words or less)?

Our innovation utilizes technology and storytelling to educate school students, teachers, parents and other individuals, treat skin conditions of sufferers of AD and other skin conditions, advocate against the bullying of people living with AD and further enhance the acceptance of people living with AD while also providing a platform for accessibility to networks with other person who are either living or survivors of AD in different part of the world. Our technology is targeted at primary, secondary and tertiary school students and older individuals who have experienced the negative effects of the bullying and stigmatization associated with AD. Because we have leveraged the internet and its networking effects as well as utilized a replicating model of collaboration and partnerships our innovation is not only targeted at Nigeria but Africa. We will also utilize our project ambassadors to reach more young people in their respective locations. The direct impact of our solutions would be Increased awareness and understanding of AD by all individuals (students, teachers, parents and other individuals) Reduction in the incidence of bullying and stigmatization of people who have suffered from or living with AD Increased access of people living with AD to dermatologist for adequate care Within the first 12 months of this project, we should have reached out to 10,000 people living with AD all over Nigeria through our storytelling platform, 2000 people living with AD through our offline awareness outreaches and should have connected 500 people living with AD or any other skin condition to our dermatologists. Within the next 2 years, our solution would have impacted over 30,000 persons and should have launched in Ghana, and other African countries.

How would you know if your idea worked and how would you measure it (500 words or less)?

Our benchmark will be Within the first 1 year of this project, we should have reached out to 10,000 people living with AD all over Nigeria through our storytelling platform, 200 people living with AD through our offline awareness outreaches and should have connected 500 people living with AD or any other skin condition to our dermatologists. OUR GOAL will be to Increase awareness and understanding of AD of all individuals (students, teachers, parents and other individuals) Reduce the incidence of bullying and stigmatization of people who have suffered from or living with AD Increase acceptance by caregivers, teachers and other individuals of people living with AD. Increase access of people living with AD to dermatologist for adequate care We will analyze the following data as key performance indicators including: Number of active users on our online platform Number of individuals we connect to our dermatologists Feedback responses from engagements of the website. Impact stories from story-telling 6-12 months after launch. Number of people we have reached through our offline advocacy campaign and outreaches Social media engagements (likes, shares, views, comments) Pre and post surveys from offline projects We predict barriers of success to be Acceptability of our collective solution. Heterogeneity Lack of credible data Although we have the first-movers advantage in Nigeria, we still predict that acceptability to the new technology of linking to skincare professionals and dermatologists would be a relatively new uncharted system in the country and might be a hindrance. The technology and offline outreaches and advocacy campaigns involves encouraging people to utilize the online platforms hence bypassing their long-held cultural beliefs and traditional ideologies. To work around this we would map key stakeholders in the communities and institutions and form strategic partnerships with them. We would also invest in some champions in communities and schools we call AMBASSADORS and maintain regular communications with them. We intend to scale to other countries in Africa starting with Ghana within 2 years hence we anticipate the heterogeneity within and across countries which includes significant diversity in histories, language, culture and social development which means that there is no single story. We believe it might slow down scaling process and might be expensive to replicate. Our plan in bypassing this would be to tweak and significantly alter each story told making them audience-specific should the need be. It would not be expensive because we would work with AMBASSADORS to spearhead change in a cost-effective manner. We would bypass by; 1. Since our unique model utilizes technology and community circle to collect data and build up a case against bullying sufferers of Atopic Dermatitis through the story-telling platform and reaching millions of people, we can create our own data and measure impact.

During the Ideas Phase, you estimated how much your project will cost. Please update if this estimate has changed?

  • $7,000 - 9,999

Please share more information on how the grant funding will be used to bring your idea to life. Please provide an itemized budget. (500 words or less)

The following items will be needed towards making this solution a success: Development of a website which will serve as our online platform where we share stories of AD survivors and sufferers where they connect and learn and share ideas while also connecting them to our dermatologist. This website would be tested and aimed to be user-friendly and show simplicity while accessing the platform. This will cost us $2000 Videos of 15 different survivors which showcases real-life scenarios of how AD is discriminated in the society, the dangers of bullying and would aim to promote acceptability will be shot, edited and produced. This videos will be used as an educative and advocacy tool during our offline school and community outreaches to Parent/Teacher Association, churches, and workplaces. They will also be shared on the social media platforms of the project. We hope that the videos will equip young people with knowledge on AD and inspire other young people in the community to become change agents in their respective communities as well as be more empathetic and compassionate towards people living with AD. We intend to share the video via online sources to also raise funds for similar programs. We would share through social media, crowd-funding platform and utilize 2nd party publicity. The cost shotting, editing and production of the videos is $1300 2000 Pamphlets, 1000 posters and 5000 promotional stickers will be produced. The pamphlets which is an educational and advocacy material will contain stories of survivors of AD, their experiences with discriminated and stigmatization in the society, and how they overcame the challenges.2000 pamphlets will cost us $1500. Posters are part of the educative and publicity materials that play a significant role in our offline advocacy. Posters will be pasted at strategic locations during our school and community outreaches. The cost of posters is $500. Stickers will serve as promotional materials. The stickers will be used to promote our online and offline platforms. It will cost us $500 . All these total at $2500 Branded materials which include Tshirts, bags and stationaries will be produced and given to out project ambassadors. This would help to ensure adequate promotion of our project in their different schools and communities. This will cost us $1000 Project Mangaement: The project management of the solution would involve all processes from the project design, the project implementation and the Monitoring & Evaluation of the project. The project management funds would include all expenses designed to cater for the planning, communications, logistics and stipends given to the part-time project managers. This will cost us $3000. All these gives us a total of $9800

If available, share prototypes, images, sketches of how you created your idea, including a timeline of how your idea will roll out (optional).

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Spam
Photo of Stacy Godfrey
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Hi Olabode,

Thank you for sharing your story and idea and also why this is an important topic for you.

Many thanks,
Stacy

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