In June and July our " Family Planning Champions" – 19 local women committed to providing women in their communities with information and access to services on family planning and sexual and reproductive health – held their first ever community discussions.
While typically Champions seek out at-risk women between the ages of 15 to 29 in their own neighborhoods, often holding small informational sessions in kitchens and backyards, this summer they were contacted by the government’s Municipal Office for Women (OMM) to engage larger groups of women at pre-scheduled trainings on job opportunities in the region.
The first two discussions – ‘charlas’ in Spanish – took place with separate groups of 12 women. At each discussion different Champions talked about natural and artificial family planning techniques, as well as general tips on how to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy.
And right now, this work is more important than ever.
Over the next few months, as government institutions usually tasked with spreading information on women’s health near the end of their annual budgets, our Champions will become the only culturally-appropriate resource for women in these communities seeking advice and support.
It happens every year. Last October through November, the number of activities held and referrals made by Champions went up significantly, in large part because alternative sources of information had dried up and closed their doors.
We expect this year to be no different, and we’re incredibly proud of how our Champions are rising confidently to the task.
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