Over the years, women have made vast achievements in areas such as social, economic, cultural and political equality. In recognition of these accomplishments, March 8 is the celebration of International Women’s Day. While it was first officially declared by the United Nations in 1975, commemoration of International Women’s Day actually stretches back over a century. Every year, the tradition continues as we come together and celebrate the vital role women play in communities both locally and globally.
With funding from Baker Health, on-the-ground support from the Anglican Diocese of Niassa in Mozambique, and a church reaching out to its community, beliefs and attitudes about nutrition are changing in the community of Chapitas. This slow and critical work is done person by person, with community members learning, applying, and then sharing nutritional advice that is making a real difference in the lives of children and families there. Here is the story of one of those changed minds changing the minds of others.
World Renew Kenya and its partner, Anglican Development Services (ADS), first came to Malindi, Kenya in response to flood disaster. Then came two food assistance programs, the first supported by Foods Resource Bank and the most recent one in partnership with the Canadian Food Grains Bank, in response to prolonged drought.
Two years ago nine Rshi women from the Phialor cluster of villages wanted to help pregnant women in their villages. With the support of World Renew and their local partner in Laos, these women were trained as Traditional Birth Attendants. In addition to information about actual care for expectant mothers, the training was designed to overcome language and literacy barriers using creative, practical methods like videos, role playing, and picture lesson books.
In rural Cambodia, Kunthea Ros and her family often had diarrhea. The condition traveled from one member of her family to another in an unending cycle. Diarrhea reduced her son’s ability to attend school and to study. The 35-year-old mother spent many hours caring for her family, and took out loans to pay for medical care. In her home Kunthea had just one water jar. The same water scoop was used for bathing, washing clothes, cooking, and drinking by family members and their animals. The water was untreated. Like many other people in the village of Boenung Kratieh, Prey Veng province, Kunthea did not realize that her family’s unsafe water practices were contributing to their poor health.
Growing up in a low-income community in Senegal or Nigeria can too often mean a higher rate of early marriage, early pregnancy, or transmission of HIV or another sexually transmitted infection (STI). Sexual coercion and abuse are also common for young women, and the majority of young people aren’t educated on the use and benefits of contraception. Health and sexuality are not topics of discussion among youth and their parents, and financial worries often take precedence over health and well-being, particularly for young women.