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Jan 10, 2020

Male Involvement

Men being sensitized on FP with a PHE approach
Men being sensitized on FP with a PHE approach

*not real name

“We used to experience good rains in this part of the country back in ‘90s and before. What has happened!?” laments Legusuranga* as he chatted with other men under a dry tree with little shade. “Food was in plenty and pasture for our animals was enough to run us up to the next season.”

Legusuranga hails from Lekuru village in Samburu county, an area that has been experiencing long dry periods over the last five plus years consecutively. Animals have been dying and people seem to be experiencing increasing hardship.

 Zipporah, CORP partner working alongside CHAT, has been sensitizing communities using the Population Health & Environment (PHE) approach with a focus on providing access to family planning services. During her visit in Lekuru village, she found the men in discussion. To bring out the aspect of men involvement in family planning, Zipporah was categorical in the way she approached the men collectively, with her understanding of the patriarchal culture she was brought up in, where men control all decisions made concerning the family.

The session with CORP Zipporah brewed into a hot discussion where the men eventually came to under that it’s through cutting down of trees and overstocking of livestock due to several reasons, one being to create space for the growing population that their land that once provided “milk and honey” was now a desert. They also got to understand that the man, as the head of family, was vital in leading the discussion about family planning they all nodded in agreement with this and commented that it is a noble idea to adopt.

“Thanks, so much our daughter, we will have to rethink our ways now. We need to conserve existing indigenous trees and plant more trees especially in areas where they can grow easily” replied one of the men. “Its quite unfortunate we have not come to understand this years ago”

“Its never too late to start” Zipporah quoted and helped them to plan how to start a conservation group for easy coordination of activities at the village level including the continued dissemination of information about family planning which combines a strong element of environmental conservation.  It was a starting point for this village.

“Today we are faced with a challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life-support system. We are called to assist the Earth to heal her wounds and, in the process, heal our own - indeed to embrace the whole of creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder. Recognizing that sustainable development, democracy and peace are indivisible is an idea whose time has come” Wangari Maathai

In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 3,781 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,507 clients receiving different FP methods of which 1020 chose the long-term methods of 3- and 5-years protection.  18,777 condoms were distributed.

CHAT Camel Mobile going into arid areas
CHAT Camel Mobile going into arid areas
Sensitization during backpack
Sensitization during backpack
Service provision during a CHAT motor mobile
Service provision during a CHAT motor mobile
Jan 10, 2020

A Comfort For The Needy

Women digging farms to provide food.
Women digging farms to provide food.

*not real name.

With her two babies being just a year apart Thirende* has little time on her hands to do anything other than to nurse them. Coming from the productive lands of Kionyo in Meru, her family’s main economic activity is farming. Since she does not work (she has put the family’s farm work behind her) her role has been taken up by the other members of the family.

“There is always a baby in this compound and now it’s my turn to have children especially since I am the youngest and newest wife to be married in to this homestead. In this area you find that the old men share their farm amongst their sons thus they all live in close vicinity. And for the most part the women work in the farms and contribute to their upkeep. It is stressing for me since I am unable to contribute to the work like the other women, and now I am being ridiculed and portrayed as lazy by my husband who often punishes me for this.”

“ If only I could have a break from having more children and have my babies grow up quickly so that I can be strong again and go back to working like the others”.  These were the thoughts Thirende had as she went for the baby’s clinic; and this is where she met Mercy who is a community own resource person partnering with CHAT to provide family planning services using a population health & environment (PHE) approach.

Thirende shared her thoughts with Mercy who told her there is no need to worry since there is always a solution to it all. Mercy told her of the different contraception methods and helped her wipe out all the myths she had heard from other people. Mercy thought it was a good idea to accompany her to tell the other ladies married in her homestead so that they could support each other as they presented the idea to their husbands, after all they are all brothers.

“We are just women trying to earn a honest living for our families as well as to please our in-laws who expect grandchildren from us as well.” Explained Thirende “If every woman in this area was on FP and had the control of when she was going to get pregnant it would help a lot since more of us will be able to work and help in generating some revenue for our families! We need to develop survival techniques in these tough times!”

Thirende agreed with Mercy who had taught her about the benefits of spacing the birth of her children and sensibly planning the numbers of babies to have – this would then promote the health of Thirende which in turn made for a productive individual.

 

‘The "environmental movement" is becoming an economic movement, is joining the social justice movement, is becoming a sustainability movement. It's leaving behind the "People's Needs” versus “Nature's Needs" conflict in favor of making the case for environmental health as the essential underpinning of prosperous and stable human civilization.’ Edward Norton

In the past three months, through your support CHAT was able to reach a total of 3,781 individuals with behavior change communication (bcc) information with 1,507 clients receiving different FP methods of which 1020 chose the long-term methods providing 3- or 5-years protection.

Women Queing for services at CHAT Mobile Clinic
Women Queing for services at CHAT Mobile Clinic
CHAT Mobile strategies
CHAT Mobile strategies
Oct 14, 2019

A Well Deserved Break

A CHAT Mobile clinic set up in rural areas
A CHAT Mobile clinic set up in rural areas

*Not their real names

As the team was providing services at Ngilati village, a woman, jovial but in some sort of a hurry,  said to the mobile clinic driver

‘I am so delighted to see this car, please come to Sananguri - there is a wedding tomorrow. We are in great need.’ Even before the driver could ask more, the woman had already started striding away. The driver shared with CHAT’s CORP partner, Pauline, who explained that in the next community, that’s where the wedding would be. The team continued providing their services then made preparations  to serve more clients at the wedding the following day.  

Early morning, they set camp right outside Sanaguri. Having gone ahead, CORP Pauline had already started sensitizing the community. She specifically started with the lady who had, the previous day, passed by the vehicle. Leyantai* had heard about the services offered by the yellow landrover she wanted to learn more and see if it was an option for her.

Leyantai is a third wife, having been married to a man who only had daughters. She knew she was doomed for since she too had the same predicament as her preceding co-wives, having to give birth until it’s a boy. She now had seven girls and no boy yet. She was tired and wanted a rest. She felt like she did not need any more children. Leyantai knew this was a safe place to access the much-needed help. Her husband was happy and making merry with his mates so telling him she needed a little break at this time was not going to be hard.

And indeed, when she shared with her husband after talking to CORP Pauline, so as to understand better, he agreed that she could rest from having a child for sometime but with the condition that she still had the obligation of giving him a son. Leyantei was the happiest woman at the wedding, even happier than the bride! She chose and received the a five-year protection implant. She knew that this would help her a lot for the next few years.

‘You have helped me a lot today. Ashe Oleng!’’ Leyantai said, and then she called all her friends and told them about family planning (fp) immediately she left the service tent.

‘This is a very smart woman. I wish we can have hundreds more like her in every community.’ Pauline commented as she went back to get some more women from the wedding to inform and be able to access services.

 

In the past three months, with support from our GG donors  cost shared with others -we have been able to reach 34,192 individuals (both men and women) with behavior change information ( BCC) about family planning – using  a Population Health & Environment (PHE)  approach and 8,511 chose and were provided with different methods of contraception.

“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

CHAT Nurse providing services to a client.
CHAT Nurse providing services to a client.
 
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