Women around the world want the power to choose how many children to have – and when. Evidence shows that where women are empowered, there’s a natural fall in birth rate. Yet many women – both in developed countries and in the Global South – lack the contraception, knowledge and freedom to take control of their fertility.
To help tackle this issue, Empower to Plan uses the power of crowdfunding to enable selected grassroots NGOs to deliver family planning projects on the ground. These projects empower women through healthcare and family planning, bringing additional economic and environmental benefits. Here are just a few of the organisations that you have helped to deliver practical and impactful action within their local communities.
Family Medical Point (FMP) is a grassroots healthcare provider that has served the marginalised fishing communities and slums of Abaita Ababiri, Uganda, since 2017. The not-for-profit organisation implements practical family planning interventions to increase access to contraception and sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH) services amongst women of reproductive age, and end the stigma and gender-based violence associated with the use of family planning services in these communities.
Your support ensured that 1,759 community-members and 725 young people were able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare safely. Community volunteers led door-to-door engagements and initiated conversations with men to normalise discussion of family planning and contraception. Meanwhile, FMP launched the #HerChoiceHerRight campaign, which reached 11,300 people through regular radio broadcasts on female empowerment and family planning. There has been a general increase in family planning uptake since the beginning of the campaign, demonstrating FMP's key role in transforming family planning access, gender equality and sexual and reproductive healthcare in Abaita Ababiri.
You Before Two is a small youth engagement and sex education charity, set up in 2019 by Population Matters' Expert Advisor, Dr Rebecca Foljambe. Before and during the global pandemic, she delivered workshops on healthy relationships, consent, contraception, and the consideration of the environment within family planning to 332 young people in some of the most deprived parts of Nottinghamshire, UK - where teenage pregnancy rates remain some of the highest in the country.
97% of the young people she worked with reported learning something new, and the success of the programme has taken it from strength to strength. Population Matters will continue to support You Before Two through its recent collaboration with Scottish grassroots youth charity, EPIC, which will take the bespoke sex education and population workshops to schools and youth groups in Scotland's Central Belt.
Jiwsi (sounds like 'juicy') is a project which began as part of the FPA, and is now run by the social enterprise Cwmni Addysg Rhyw (Sex Education Company). The team have been working in North Wales for 16 years with vulnerable young people and health care professionals.
Although Jiwsi was affected by the pandemic with its staff being placed on furlough, Jiwsi was able to use the funding received to organise a one-day contraceptive and sexual health course, including online sessions, to 12 professionals who will each work with up to 50 young survivors of sexual assault per year. Thanks to the generosity of Empower to Plan supporters, women and girls who have survived sexual violence will benefit from carefully tailored relationships and sex education. Jiwsi aims to ensure that vulnerable women and girls can gain the knowledge and encouragement they need to avoid unplanned pregnancies and take control of their futures.
Ghettoh Clean Youth Group is a community-based group that was set up to achieve good health and sanitation practises in Kibra, Kenya, while providing livelihood opportunities for young people who may otherwise resort to crime.
In 2019, Population Matters Director Robin Maynard and Florence Blondel, Campaigns and Project Officer, visited Kibra. Here they met members of the community who expressed their desire to have smaller families through accessing contraceptives, family planning services and education, as well as a clean environment free from congestion and poor sanitation. Through Empower to Plan support, they were able to provide crucial sanitary and hygiene services during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, while distributing over 6,000 condoms at handwashing stations in the slum. They also began family planning sessions in the local community to raise awareness about the importance of choosing smaller families.
KOMB GREEN Solutions is a people-centred group that was founded in 2017. Located in Korogocho A village, one of seven villages found in the great expanse of one of Kenya’s largest slums, its purpose is to transform the lives of local people through meaningful conservation work, as well as the delivery of family planning services.
The group had previously been successful in clearing solid waste out of Nairobi River and creating a safe and relaxing recreational park alongside it. At the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, the team reached out for emergency support. This crowdfunding project reached its target in record time and was instrumental in enabling KOMB GREEN to purchase protective and sanitary equipment for the community. This included gloves, overalls, the construction of public sinks for handwashing, alongside the distribution of condoms to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and unsafe abortions in the region.
Using peer-to-peer training, Dandelion Africa is making a vital difference in remote parts of rural Kenya. The support received from crowdfunding enabled Dandelion Africa to deliver its Boys for Change initiative. Through Boys for Change, Dandelion Africa educates young men and boys about the importance of empowering the women in their lives to plan their families.
Dandelion Africa were able to provide training for twenty young men in the Mogotio region of Kenya, including education about sexual and reproductive health, gender equality, FGM and family planning. Each of these young men will now go on to mentor three boys and they will all implement community action plans in their villages. Your support ensured that men and boys understand the importance of empowering the women in their communities to plan their families, and break the poverty cycle.
Empower to Plan uses crowdfunding to help grassroots NGOs deliver solutions to their communities. 100% of donations are used to help fund empowering projects. Find out more about the current projects being crowdfunded through Empower to Plan.
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