Studying medicine in Africa is what led doctors Joy Cooper and Nenna Nqazota to create Daughters of the Diaspora, a nonprofit that teaches self-esteem and reproductive health to adolescent young women throughout the African Diaspora. Here, we discuss why their mission is so important and what’s next for the organization’s amazing team.

Travel Noire: What are you all about? 

DoD: The program partners with students at local universities who tailor the Daughters of the Diaspora (DoD) curriculum for their culture and locale in order to teach adolescent girls how to make great decisions regarding their life and reproductive health.

Our design is centered on creating sustainable solutions for African women all around the world. DoD will educate and empower young women to make appropriate decisions concerning their reproductive health.

DoD: We use medical students to teach adolescent girls about sexual health and self-esteem throughout the African diaspora no matter if we’re here or in Africa. Both of us, while we were in undergrad, studied medicine abroad and learned how to become doctors with African women and we still feel indebted to them professionally and personally.  One thing we learned from the women we trained under is that no matter where you are in your career, you should give back to women here and on the continent.

TN: What’s the reaction you receive from the people that you serve?

DoD: In working in communities here and in Africa, people are just so happy to have us.

When you go back, it’s like “Wow you came all the way back to serve your people? Thank you.”

There’s a lot of medical tourism, but a lot of it doesn’t necessarily reflect you. You have white people who travel all over the world to serve, and not knocking what they do, but it’s different when they look like you.

TN: What’s next for you all?

DoD: We want to move our headquarters to Ghana. I feel like Ghana is the epicenter of black unity. I never felt a place where I felt so at home. We want to make it a place that feels like home and also the epicenter of Pan-Africanism.

DOD: Want to impact black women no matter where they are in the diaspora, especially if you look at a lot of the research projects being done in Africa. They’re done by white people looking at Africans and African-Americans.  We wanted to give back to our own population where medical students on the grind are learning to give back to their community.

You can find out more information on their website. 

Photo courtesy of Daughters of the Diaspora