BY EMMA STONEHOUSE
In collaboration with our partner network, Viva is giving women in Uganda a choice, in a society which often takes it away.
Pregnancy and early parenting is an exciting time, but also a time full of unknowns.
Our partner network in Uganda, CRANE, is working with women to inform and support women through their pregnancies, giving them access to information and the power to make choices.
CRANE’s Maternal Child and Health programme works in Kampala’s urban slum communities of Bwaise (below) and Namuwongo, where women continue to face a number of challenges.
Government healthcare facilities in these areas are limited and hard to access. As a result women rarely know what their healthcare options are or have the support they need.
Furthermore these women are faced with societal attitudes which rarely give them the power to be part of decisions relating to their care. Informing and supporting women empowers them to do just this.
CRANE provides training for a group of community Peer Educators. These are volunteers who enact community-led healthcare solutions to ensure that women in their community have access to the resources and provisions available to them.
The Peer Educators run Maternal Support Clubs. These meet once a month, and support around 150 women through their pregnancies, giving opportunities for discussion and advice.
This allows them to find out about the services available to them, and gain information in order to make an informed decision about the right options for them.
For one woman called Achan this has a large effect on the support and decisions she made for her third pregnancy.
Olivia, a peer educator in Namuwongo, told us, “After discussing the risks of giving birth from home, Achan talked to her husband for financial support. I am glad that on delivery she contacted me for moral support and a healthy baby was born from Kisugu Health Centre.”
The Peer Educators provide key care and advice to all women in the community. One teenage mother described the value and support that she found in the programme:
“I am grateful for the knowledge I get from the club. Coming to the maternal child club meetings has helped me learn about the importance of breast feeding and family planning. After the learning, I visited the health centre where I got even more advice.”
Empowering and supporting women to make informed decisions about themselves and their families, in a society and culture which often takes this ability away, ensures that they are aware of the healthcare support that they are entitled to, and also increasingly gives women power where they would not otherwise have it.
Please continue to pray for the work of CRANE and the Child and Maternal Health Programme:
- Pray for the women which this programme is walking alongside, that they would find guidance in their concerns and empowerment through their ability to make their own choices.
- Pray that more women know of and trust the programme, and benefit from the knowledge and support.
- Pray for the Peer Support workers, that they would continue to work with the passion and gifts that they have been given. Pray also for guidance in the more tricky situations, and for an increased presence of the Holy Spirit in their lives over that time.