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. This is her final post about her experience as a Young Champion, and you can learn more about her, the other Young Champions, and the program here.
Everywhere is quiet. Men are working in the gardens the whole day and women are busy at home, raising children and cooking lunch, dinner, and a snack for the family. Last night, the first day of June, 2011, I arrived to this village in the west of Iran. Although my parents were born in this village, I don’t know much about it. Before becoming a Young Champion of Maternal Health, I didn’t have any idea of how joyful it is to come to a village and live among villagers.
I have been holding a lot of energy inside from my childhood — I’m now ready to bring change into my own life to improve it while helping others to do the same. I am very happy that I participated in this program because I was able to gain experience in Uganda under the wing of Jane Vella, Ashoka, Joyce Fertility Support Centre group, and the Maternal Health Task Force. To be honest, before this program, I had many things in my mind but it was not easy to bring them out of my mind! I didn’t know what my mission was. This ignorance made me feel sometimes hopeless and many times disappointed. The color of peace was about to be released from my mind!
For eight years as a midwife I was working in my own clinic, giving services and educating people who live in the cities. I completely forgot about people who are living in the villages!
After becoming a masters student of educational psychology, I became so fond of educational theories that I forgot to get out of the books and live in real-life situations.
Taking part in the Young Champions Program provided me with the opportunity to bring my head out of my books, look at all levels of the world — from the grassroots to the artistocracy — see the world from their perspective, and help them find the best way to answer their problems.
Now I am ready to bring about changes within the maternal health field with a lot of peace and hope!