A project igniting women’s empowerment through reproductive health rights. Hivos has supported organizations such as Women Promotion Centre (WPC) to prevent unsafe abortion by providing access to sexual and reproductive health services in Kigoma Tanzania.
This project was commissioned by Hivos.org
Aulea Anthony is one of many women who took classes at WPC regarding family planning and contraception. After taking the classes and training she took it up to herself to go around schools in Kasulu village to educate girls and boys about safe sex, and the different types of contraceptive methods.
She says "Every year there would be cases of teen pregnancies in schools around my village (Kasulu). We would get about 3 - 4 girls getting pregnant and dropping out of school."
Aulea started educating secondary school girls about contraceptives and getting them all the information they needed since early January of this year, 2016. Aulea proudly says, "Since I started teaching, there hasn't been a single school pregnancy reported around my village to this date. I have been very successful in getting girls to use various contraceptive methods, but it hasn't been easy. Most of the girls have this misconception that if they use contraceptives they will get cancer and never give birth ever again".
Aluea uses her free time to educate more women like herself including secondary school teachers. She informs that "It's important to keep teaching girls and boys around the community and not wait for public health workers to visit us".
Benjamin Machono is a Community facilitator and Clinical Officer at Kasulu district hospital. Benjamin works closely with WPC regarding their teaching program. They organize meetings around villages neighbouring Kigoma to teach women and men about family planning, safe sex and unsafe abortions.
Here Benjamin is giving a talk on different types of contraceptives and safe sex. The teachings promotes family planning and ensures access to preferred contraceptive methods for women and couples, while supporting the health and development of communities. He also talks about the benefits of family planning to the local women in the community and encourages women to pursue additional education. This includes participating in public life, as well as paid employment in non-family organizations. Additionally, having smaller families allows parents to invest more in each child.
Benjamin further talks about the misconceptions and dark rumours surrounding the topic of contraceptives, encouraging the women to seek professional advice from local health centres and not fall into misguided understandings.
A portrait of Georgia Michael carrying her last-born. Georgia is one of the women that was rescued by Margret Baluta. She faced complications while giving birth at home.
Georgia says, "I was in so much pain and the bleeding wouldn't stop, Margret got there soon after I gave birth. She examined me and later put 3 Misoprostol pills under my tongue and told me not to swallow. The bleeding stopped shortly after".
Georgia has given birth to 4 children at home, and admits that her last one would have been fatal to her life or the baby’s, if it wasn't for Margret's help. Georgia is now receiving family planning advice from WPC and might be going in for an IUD insertion at the local clinic.
A thought provoking play, aimed to teach locals at Kigoma about family planning and the misconceptions surrounded by it. It's a play that's filled with emotion and humour. The actors re-enact scenarios that commonly occur in homes around village. In this case, the wife brought up the topic about contraceptives, and the husband reacts in a vile manner. Angry at his wife for considering such thing and worried that they will no longer have children. But after consultation from relatives and health care workers, the husband saw a great meaning and the importance of family planning.
The play is organized by WPC and is open to anyone around Kigoma.
"I want to live in a nation that recognizes and respects human rights and stands for gender equality, a nation that involves women in decision making".
Martha Jerom. Women's Promotion Centre (WPC) Coordinator and Secretary of Board.
"I wish that the community can have the right infomation about the use of contraceptives, and all members of society can recognize the dignity and worthiness of women and embrace the fact that sexual and reproductive health is a right to all women".
Ruth Kilezu. Assistant Officer in Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, WPC.