Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning

by Karin Community Initiatives Uganda
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
Sensitizing 170 Gulu Women/men on Family Planning
teenage mother
teenage mother

Atim was lucky to have seen a midwife during her pregnancy. Many young teenage mothers in the community don’t.

“I felt very weak during my first trimester while I was pregnant, I hardly ate food, constantly sick and weak, but I did not know what to do. I had to go to the garden to weed my beans that I had planted with my husband,” she explained.  It never occurred to me that I could be in danger until one day I felt extremely weak and went to see the midwife,” she added. 

Atim was fortunate because she is under a voucher plus program that gives vulnerable expectant women subsidized maternity services. Under the program, she can attend four antenatal services, delivery and postnatal care, including family planning. Atim had been assessed by a local distributor who lives in the same village as her. When he realized that she was expecting a baby, he approached her and asked her a few questions. He encouraged her to start attending antenatal care at the Karin Medical Centre. Atim was very happy that this program exists.

“As soon as the midwife checked my blood pressure, she immediately said that I should be transferred to the nearest hospital. I was transferred to a hospital in an ambulance.” 

Atim does not want to talk much about this experience. It was very painful. The pregnancy ended in a miscarriage, but her own life was saved.  “I am still grateful for the emergency care I received, I am also still sad that I lost my child,” she said to the midwife.

 

Teenage pregnancy rates

While Atim’s story was tragic, it could have ended far worse. She was lucky to be seen by a midwife. Atim is also one of the many teenage girls that have dropped out of school due to early pregnancy.  

Uganda has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in the Sub Saharan Africa region with 24 percent being pregnant or having a child before the age of 18. Uganda Bureau of Statistics also reports 63% of women give birth before the age of 20; the highest rate in the world (2016). Uganda also has the highest total fertility rate in East Africa, 6.2%. 

 

Scaling down teenage pregnancy  

Many tragic stories exist.  Too many young teenager girls are being forced into early marriages for material benefits expected by the parents.  In other instances, pregnancies are caused by rape.

Atim was encouraged to start family planning. And she is optimistic that it will work out well. And is committed to using family planning so that she can get her education before she having a baby.

“This time I feel good. I feel confident, I know how to not get pregnant,” she said. “And the midwife tells me to come back in case I have any complications with the family planning I have chosen.”

 

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new year
new year

 

Dear friends,

 

Greetings and a Happy new year!

 

Over the last 16 years in stewarding the vision of Karin Community Initiative Uganda, 2017 became a year where many of our dreams and hopes for this organization were tangibly realized and consolidated.

 

One of those realizations– the increased number of women delivering their babies from the health facilities. Over 50 babies were delivered, the maternity unit stands as a visible record of achievements and a profound piece of KCIU’s mission, in addition to this we provided prenatal and postnatal care to 976 mothers outpatient care to 6350; 496 children completed their immunization, family planning services to 1521 couples; bed nets to over 6000 families, skills training to 53 children and 40 church leaders and teachers and trained many more women groups in the community. 

 

We credit this impact to several factors, the greatest of which is partners like you. Providing access to quality health care services, transforming lives and equipping them to accomplish their dreams is the foundation of KCIU’s mission. We exist to serve the community with quality health care services.

 

We not only saw the affirmation of our vision, but also the growth of our organizational capacity to advance our work in the areas we have been called to serve. Thank you for being part of of KCIU as we together, steward this vision. I would love to see us continue this service in this year too. 

 

I would like to add that with the great achievements we have made in the last year, our programs may not continue, our funding has greatly dwindled and humbly appeal to you for your support.

 

Please continue telling your friends and network about our work and how they can be part of this organization. I thank you for standing with us for through your generous support.

 

Thank you in advance for your contributions.  

 

kind regards

 

Hope Okeny

Executive Director

Karin Community Initiative Uganda

 

 

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Demonstrating family planning method
Demonstrating family planning method

In poor communities where families live off less than $1 a day, what are their priorities?

 

For many of them, their priorities would be food, shelter, water, and maybe education if there is still something left in the pot. And so, when it comes to decisions, items like contraceptives would be the last thing in their minds.  In the global health community, we call the challenges that impoverished families go through “economic barriers.” We may not like to hear this because they get in the way of our progress toward making contraception and family planning services available to more people, and hinder the prosperity and global health progress that come with that access.

 

But for millions of families living in poverty, what we call economic barriers is their typical daily realities and challenges.

 

Uganda has the world’s youngest population. Youth below the age of 30 make up over 78 percent of the population, while those under the age of 15 comprise more than half, according to the  State of Uganda’s Population Report 2012. Over the last decade, the country has reduced its fertility rate from 7.1 children per mother in 1991, to 5.8 per woman in 2014. Health Minister Dr Ruth Aceng told the Uganda parliament that the rate should drop to 4 children per mother in order for Uganda to have a productive population.

This totals to millions of young people who are full of dreams for their futures and working hard to make decisions that will serve them for a lifetime. And some of their decisions would be about the ability to access contraceptives.

 

There are many other factors that can affect access to contraceptives, which we should not ignore if we are ever to achieve any of the Sustainable Development Goals- including goal 3, which aims to ensure universal access to health care, including sexual an reproductive health services, by 2030. 

 

“The list is long, but here at the Karin Health Facilities in order to increase in family planning uptake we have to look at the bigger picture. We have engaged religious leaders and local leaders to disseminate information in the community.” “Religious leaders are respected and when they speak about contraceptives in church, schools and local community gatherings, the locals will listen to them,” says Nurse Scovia, who is a focal person in this program. “We have taken this service in the community, rather than just at the health facility, only.”, she continued.

 

“Its our aim to improve access and availability of family planning services and strengthening both facility and community based through provider training and demand generation.” Nurse Scovia said.

 

So, friends, we urge you to continue supporting the work we are doing, we are confident that with your continued support, and with the local partnerships in the community, we can remove the hurdles that stand between our young population and the healthy, prosperous futures they envision for themselves.

 

 

With a click on your mouse, please share our global giving page with your contacts and tell them why you decide to donate to us and why they should do the same.

 

Have you considered signing up for a monthly recurring donation today. 

 

Thank you for your support!

 

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steps
steps

 Gulu is endlessly intriguing; its history, its people, and its culture, all come together to create an optimal environment to practice public health. The effects of the recent civil war can still be felt in many aspects of daily life; individuals who suffered in different ways are now working furiously to heal and adapt to their new and hopeful home of Gulu. The culture, while swelling with beauty and optimism, has led to many negative consequences for females such as high rates of teenage pregnancy and marriage. It can be noted that Gulu is succeeding in many ways and it is anticipated that with the proper attention, local women’s health has the opportunity to positively transform and be a part of that innovation as well. 

By contrasting two girls visits to the Karin Medical Unyama clinic, it becomes evident that there is more than one definition of reality for girls in this region. By looking beyond the statistics and dissecting the topic through a more individualized lense, deeper insights and realizations may have the opportunity to arise and inspire.

“With a light step and dancing mind, the girl carries on toward the clinic. There had been discussion, diagrams, explanations, and finally a decision made. The decision to use family planning, the implant method to be precise, and to ultimately take a more active role in deciding her future. Approaching the clinic, she recalls and rehearses bits of what the nurse had told her to remember and found a small smirk playing on her lips. She grows more confident in her choice each time she passes a girl her same age walking slowly with an arched back or carrying a baby, which was often. She knew from the statistics that had been laid out in front of her during the consultation that in Uganda, approximately a quarter of girls aged 15 to 19 have had a baby or are pregnant. Many drop out as a result; secondary school enrollment rates are lower among girls than boys.

She didn’t have control over many things in her life and she was enjoying the strength and certainty that this decision allowed her. The door opened and she is welcomed with a warm smile as a child brushes past her leg and out into the sunshine. The smile remains as she nods along to the nurse’s voice, extending her left arm to examine the soft skin which was soon to show a mark as confirmation of her decision. Following the nurse down the hallway, she can still feel the sunlight streaming through the windows and hear the hushed voices singing to babies throughout the clinic. The nurse gently swings the door open and gestures toward her seat in the waiting area. 

She sinks into her seat, weary from the long walk combined with the weight of the baby on both her body and mind. Recently seventeen and being her first pregnancy, she is referred to as a, “prime gravide,” by the health care workers who confidently assess and settle her. Although she is already fully dilated, she is told to settle in for a long labor by the nurse who offers her a look of reassurance before turning back to adjust and ready her tools, just in case she’s wrong. With her mother in the side room to the left and her bassinet overflowing with baby blankets on her right, she braces as another contraction rolls through her and acts as a promise of more pain to come. Refusing to show any signs of weakness, even in this inherently emotional moment, she clings to her culture and clenches her jaw without letting a single tear pass through the barrier constructed meticulously by many generations. Her husband’s absence jumps out at her and she feels a pang of jealousy that he doesn’t have to share her pain. She immediately feels guilty, knowing she is lucky to have a husband waiting to welcome her and the baby home. Thinking of her husband brings a warmth and energy to her, even though they have only been married 8 months. She is a daughter from a family of eight and is acutely aware at this moment that she will be in this position many times over, just like her mother was, as her own family grows. Another few hours pass and her mind wanders. She notices her mother peer in the room and nods a smile in her direction. Pushing herself up in the bed and adjusting the scarf that’s been draped across her bulging belly, she fights to push aside a wave of panic as she hears a baby begin screaming in the next room. Being the second eldest of the six children, she is accustomed to caring for children and the responsibilities that come along with a baby but in this moment she is intensely aware that this will be her own child and she has no time left to prepare. Her life is changing and she tries to suppress the feeling that she is simply part of the crowd, rather than the director of the play. She lies back, closing her eyes, and wonders what lay ahead for her and her baby.”

No two realities are the same. No two people share the same understanding of struggle and no two people know the same definition of happiness. These two things are learned and lived and formed based on individual experience. Similarly, there is not a single correct or right way for a woman to live. Each woman is entitled to her own choices, which she will hopefully have the freedom to make based on what leads her closer to her idea of happiness. For some, this may mean marrying and having many children, focusing on family above a career. For others, they may dream of a more modern lifestyle which doesn’t involve children in their near future or at all. No woman is wrong for what they want and they should all be free to live out their own definition of their best life.

Both of the girl’s stories described above reflect common situations here in Gulu. What they don’t show, is all of the external and internal factors that influenced their opposing decisions and the resulting consequences. These factors are woven into their daily lives and don't reveal themselves as more than a crude comment from a male teacher or seemingly harmless comment from a mother encouraging a relationship. Girls in Uganda are consistently exposed to early marriages and pregnancies, things like friends dropping out of school to have a baby not being seen as tragic or even unusual. This type of setting normalizes the idea of early marriage and pregnancy in a way that is detrimental to the work of health care workers fighting this issue. A new normal needs to be established. There needs to be an increased emphasis placed on the preciousness and value of these girls childhood’s. 

The emergence and increasing popularity of family planning in Uganda is one of the main initiatives and ways to give women more choice and the deserved control over a very intimate aspect of their lives. There are many barriers to overcome in the efforts to achieve equitable and favorable conditions for women at all stages of their decisions, whatever it may be. To support girls by educating and informing them about family planning options provides them with the ability to empower themselves and each other. Let them walk lighter and live better through their own actions. Give them a voice by giving them a choice. 

Friends, for them to have a choice, we urge you to use your mouse to click more.

GG Rewards Bonus Day will be from 9am EDT to 11:59pm EDT on Wednesday, July 12th! On this day Superstar organizations will be at 40%, while the $110,000 in matching funds remain. All day long there will be a 100% match on new recurring donations and, at the end of Bonus Day, the projects with the most funds raised and the most donors secured will each receive a $1,000 bonus prize.

Friends we urge you to consider signing up for a monthly recurring donation today. 

 

Thank you for your support!

 

 

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Celina
Celina

Meddling in other people's lives, whether it's your family, friends or colleagues is something many of us are probably tempted to do at one point or another. 

You may or may not be someone who wants to — or feels you should — get involved in someone else's business. Some people want to get involved and others really don't. In fact, at times, becoming involved can cause a lot of resentment and it may push the person to make the wrong decision out of spite.

But at the Karin Medical Centres, we think that meddling in right way to achieve good for the families makes sense. We work along with the leaders in the communities to pass messages that affect the lives of other people. These leaders who include religious leaders, local leaders, elders or even faith based organizations (FBOs) are trusted and have a great and sustained influence on the values and behaviors regarding the health of the people. The communities trust them to advice on health issues like the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.

“If it was not because of the support from my pastor I would not be alive today,” Celina explained with a dry smile. Celina’s trouble began when she met and married a young man in her village. Before long she was pregnant with their first child. However, in her first trimester, Celina started bleeding and began experiencing severe pains in her abdomen. Not knowing what to do, and where to go, she visited the nearest clinic in her village. However, by the time she arrived at the clinic, she had bled so much and subsequently she lost the baby. 

With little advice about her health, within five months Celina, was pregnant again. However, this time her church leader asked her to start attending antenatal classes, where she was advised and given treatment.  When time came for her delivery, she was ably attended to and she delivered a baby girl, whom she named Celi. 

Unfortunately, for Celina her relationship with her husband did not stay long, before long he moved out and left her and the baby for another woman. This hurt her so much that she stopped taking care of her and her baby. She was so sick one day and she visited the clinic.  It was at the clinic that she heard from the nurses about family planning,

Celina is now using family planning. “I want Celi to grow up healthy and strong. When I recall the decisions I made, I know I was not prepared physically and mentally when I first became pregnant,” she said. 

“I think it is important to space your pregnancy and plan your family to ensure that the child and mother survive and grows well,” she added.

Celina is also now learning how to make baskets from a group of women she met during the antenatal classes that she attended. She plans to use this skill to start a business. She hopes to open up her own shop someday. “I am now more optimistic about my future,” she proudly states. 

At the clinics we encourage women and couples to plan the number, spacing, and timing of their children, it benefits the individuals, families, and communities. We work with the leaders to teach on health behaviour, at marriage, family structure, gender roles and preventative health practices like strategies couples could use to achieve preferred family size. They have the power to significantly increase the demand for and use of health services. 

During the week of April 3rd to 7th, GlobalGiving will be matching donations up to $50 at 50% while the $50,000 in matching funds remain. At the end of the week, there will be $3,000 in bonus prizes for the top five fundraising projects. There will also be a 200% match for new recurring donations started during this week!

Support us to reach women like Celina who are not victims, women are agents of change, women are drivers of progress, women are peace makers- all they need is a chance.

Thank you for your support

 

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Organization Information

Karin Community Initiatives Uganda

Location: Gulu - Uganda
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Hope Okeny
Gulu, Gulu Uganda

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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