Overcoming myths and education in schools in Kenya
Family planning and education on female genital mutilation
The current situation in Kenya is depressing. The population has tripled since independence. Large families, polygamy, poor quality of schooling, lack of jobs, scarce resources, little women’s rights are the order of the day, ”writes our former project partner Make me Smile Kenya, who took over our 114 Rain Workers, who were trained together in 2017. That is the reason why we are active with several projects in Kenya.
In total, we have trained 334 people in Kenya since 2008: partly as real rain workers, partly for additional qualifications in their jobs!
We started our apprenticeships in Kenya in 2008 and have since then worked with a large number of local and international project partners:
CAFGEM Makkinon together with Tabu e.V. Dortmund: 3 Aktion Regen Info Days with 25 community social workers
German Doctor´s Nairobi: Training of 27 Rain Workers
Austrian Doctor´s Kajiado: Training of 10 Rain Workers
SOS Villages: Training of 25 Rain Workers and 35 SOS mothers
SOS-TTI Technical Training Institute Nairobi: Training of 4 teachers and 22 students
PANAIROBI Mathare Nairobi: Training of 7 Rain Workers (social workers in the slum)
Make a Change: Training of 3 Rain Workers (social workers in the slum)
DESECE Bungoma: Training of 40 Rain Workers
Parish DolDol Nukuyuni: Training of 14 Rain Rorkers
MIGORI Women and Widow Group: Training of 8 Rain Workers
MIGORI / MABERA community: 20 new Rain Workers will be trained in 2020
we are now assisting communities to try family planning as an option to solve their problems in life
OVERCOMing MYTHS TOGETHER
Our project partner DESECE has been active in West Kenya since 1993 in peace work, human rights, education and training, gender equality, health, organic farming, the environment and ecology. Our joint Rain Worker training courses, which we have been pursuing since 2015, have led to DESECE has a fixed core team of 40 Rain Workers, who have set the focus from this year, to provide detailed information about FGM to female genital mutilation. In addition, 10 new rain workers will be trained in 2019.
“We have the goal of reaching even more schools,” writes the DESECE coördinator, “because the problem of unprotected traffic among students is very high in our region. But we also have to intensify our work in the communities, because many people believe in old myths and have misconceptions about family planning methods. The condom in particular is still associated with prostitution. Others believe that if women take contraceptives, they will become weak and sick. ”
The range of our Rain Workers is enormous: in 2018 they held over 1,200 sessions and, with family planning, reproductive health and HIV/AIDS prevention, reached more than 26,000 people in villages, churches, various community groups and families. In addition, the rain workers went to schools and reached almost 6,000 schoolchildren and 700 students.
KNOWLEDGE MAKES SCHOOL!
In the slums of Nairobi, in the Mathare slum, many young women become pregnant before the age of 18 because they are not or only insufficiently informed. Often they terminate the pregnancy under dangerous conditions or they are expelled from school and face a future with no prospects. For this reason, we cooperated with PANAIROBI from 2014 to 2019, and in June 2018, together with the development aid club and our Rain Workers, we carried out the “Knowledge makes school” project, in which not only pupils receive educational lessons, but also train their teachers in family planning become.
3,000 pupils from ten schools were given age-appropriate information during the course, and 20 teachers were trained in family planning, HIV prevention and sexual health. Informed adolescents can make responsible decisions and avoid unwanted pregnancies and HIV infections.
“We have created a good platform, a protected space in which rain workers can open up the wrong ideas about family planning in a friendly and open manner,” wrote the coördinator of PANAIROBI in her report. “The teachers and students share their experiences and can learn from best practice examples. The Rain Workers also give practical demonstrations, for example how to use a condom correctly. ”
A SCHOOL IN THE MASSAI AREA AS A Pioneer
Most of the inhabitants of the Kajiado region, on the border with Tanzania, belong to the Masai and live as semi-nomads from cattle breeding. We have been cooperating with the Austrian Doctors since 2018 and have started to train 12 future rain workers from the Eroret primary school. The headmaster and his wife, a teacher, act as supervisors and support the trainees as much as possible.
Kenya is one of the countries where the rate of genitally mutilated girls and women is very high. FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) is particularly widespread among the Masai. Our Rain Workers will therefore draw the public’s attention to the health problems and consequences of the mutilation and try to make them rethink.
Even though the number of those who advocate infibulation — that is, the complete removal of the genitals with subsequent sewing on a pin-sized hole — is declining, clitoral circumcision is increasing. This circumcision, often interpreted as a “mild” form, is not a “more humane” one, because the pain for the girls and women is unimaginable. Because the clitoris is not — as is often assumed — simply a skin fold that has to be removed, but an organ! This is a central concern of our Rain Workers!
This empowerment has enabled many peoples to change their attitudes towards the negative perception to family planning