Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Profound, Little Conversations

by Yesigomwe Kennedy 

Interns Jessi and Kennedy act out a skit at a family planning
outreach in Muira. Here they are demonstrating just one way
having many children can strain a family.
Sometimes, the most profound moments of a baseline survey are not the ones scripted and choreographed by the data collection tool, but the ones that happen in the little conversations. One day, as I set off with Langa to conduct baseline surveys, we met Hassan, a young man of 28 years from Muira village with seven children between 1 - 8 years. He said, “I don’t want my wife to use family planning because I still want more children.”

Like Hassan, many people mistake family planning to mean that a family simply stops having children. On the contrary, with family planning you can have the number of children you want and gives you the ability to provide for your family based on your specific available resources, ensuring that your child grows healthy, with all the necessities like food, good education, love, and medical care, just to mention a few. Child spacing also considers the health of the mother by spacing births far enough apart to allow a woman to heal properly.

Based on his comment, I recognized an opportunity for one-on-one education. I took Hassan to the side and had a little talk with him about family planning, briefly discussing its advantages and how child spacing supported the health of the mother and the family as a whole. By the end of our talk, he was very interested in learning more about family planning and intended to attend our sensitization the following week.

On another baseline survey day, Langa and I found a group of ladies belonging to a savings group
Team Muira from left to right: Kennedy, Alex, VHT, Jessi,
Langa, Keiko, and Emily
and sparked a discussion about family size with them. It was so amazing to see these ladies energetically discussing the advantages of family planning and sharing scenarios about smaller families compared to bigger families. They were grateful to us for starting this conversation and looked forward to attending the upcoming education sessions.

These little discussions with our neighbors in the village provide a platform for us to create deeper relationships and allow us to better convey how we care about their health. UVP’s approach is more about building relationships and health knowledge which creates a more profound impact and we are happy to be a part of it.

To learn more about team Muira and other interns in UVP's 2017 cohort, check out their bios or learn more about their work by liking us on Facebook.

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