This blog post was contributed by Faatimaa Ahmadi, one of the fifteen Young Champions of Maternal Health chosen by Ashoka and the Maternal Health Task Force at EngenderHealth. She will be blogging about her experience every month, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.
A seed needs the sunshine, water, and good soil to become a big plant, to produce fruits. A new idea is like a seed. It needs a good soil, which is the context of its growing. It also needs sunshine and water which are the thoughts, feedback, comments, and cooperation that comes from the environment. The growth of my idea “promoting women’s health literacy through dialogue-based education” has received these requirements very well!
Four months ago I was complaining that this context is not suitable for implementing my idea. But living in Uganda, Africa has made me more determined to move forward, although myresources don’t seem sufficient to reach my goals. Exactly like this Ugandan boy (seen in the photo) used all of his resources to create a toy similar to my son’s which we bought from the supermarket!
Working with the people of the village is also changing my worldview. In my last blog, I was wondering about how to educate people when they have very limited access to health services.But I have found out that health education is a part of human right. No one can deprive people from one right (health education) because the other right has been taken away from them (services). Rita agrees with my new learning point and testifies that “being educated on IVF (in vitro fertilization) and knowing about it was taken away from me because all the doctorsassumed I couldn’t afford the services”.
As an educator midwife, I will keep working towards my job to educate the people and raise their awareness on health issues no matter whether they have access to services or not. These 2 months, I tried to develop the most suitable, targeted learning materials for the people in the village. I visited the Ministry of Health of Uganda with the Joyce Fertility Support Center group to get some resources. It was obvious that the Ministry of Health of Uganda requires being much more resourceful on health educational materials. Fortunately my dear friend and fellow Young Champion, Hellen Kotlolo, and her spouse, Karl Technau, answered my needs perfectly (far better than the Ministry of Health!). I am very grateful for these two.
Developed learning materials have been edited and commented on by Hellen and Jane Vella. I really enjoy this communication for the development among 3 continents: Jane in the USA,Hellen in Asia, and us in Africa.
The mobilization of the learners in Mawundo village was started by Rita’s coordination. Next Saturday we will conduct the first educational session in the village. I am counting the days for this!
To end, I would like to say “Happy New Persian Year” to all Iranian people around the world. On Nowruz we, all Iranian people in Uganda, gathered and celebrated this historical day in the ambassador’s house.