In sub-Saharan countries, families traditionally have many children, despite the financial hardship that supporting multiple children can bring. The main reason for this is the lack of access to counselling around family planning and access to modern contraceptives. Unintended pregnancy can cause suffering for both the mother and the child when it is born into an already difficult socio-economic environment. In the absence of proper prevention, many mothers still die because of unsafe abortions. With less than 20% of women in sub-Saharan Africa using modern contraceptives, the need to expand access to and education around the topic of family planning is urgent.
First and foremost, we believe that every life has equal value and this principle guides all of our work. It is why we have a strong focus on clean water, agriculture, and nutrition education.
As SOFDI has built up trust in the communities we serve, we find ourselves well positioned to begin addressing this issue by including family planning service in our work.
Our goal is to assist women in making informed decisions over their lives.
We have started off this project by establishing a working relationship with the 4 Sub-County Coordinators of Reproductive Health in Emuhaya, Lwanda, Sabatia and Khwisero, where health workers facilitate sessions on family planning during all of our trainings. This includes reaching the facilitators and members of our existing Mother, Infant and Young Child Health Project. We have already received positive feedback from mothers, as they had not been reached by the family planning facilitators before. Equally the Ministry of Health appreciates our role in connecting them with local men and women through our many activities.
We are determined to give this project the importance it deserves and reach out to many more young community members in due time.