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Reproductive health

•What are your challenges and barriers to creating change in your community?
Striving to change reproductive health habits is not easy, first I’m not a professional just someone trying to raise awareness and circulate information. Sexuality is not the easiest thing to talk about but it’s so important, especially when we look at the figure of HIV/AIDS.
The populations who really need all these information rarely have electricity or water, can barely read or write and live in very remote areas. This is the first challenge how to do I get information to the right target population?
I live in a multicultural background; there are more than 250 ethnic groups in Cameroon, this makes communication around social change a very big challenge. People have different values beliefs and systems but the PATRIARCHAL system is dominant, and this has created a sort of uniform believe that women are inferior to men in all things and are just good for making babies. It is rather shocking that in the 21st century there is such a strong stigma on women who can’t bear children (sometimes it not even proven that they can’t). Being a woman is my greatest challenge, because when I seek to just educate people ask me if I’m married, if I have children, what does my family think or I’m just asked to shut up that women know nothing.
•What are some of your present solutions to overcoming these challenges and barriers?
Patience and determination are part of my solution. I still do believe that a great journey starts with one step, I talk to people everywhere I can in the taxi, at the bus station, I start by opening a discussion on this or that sexual behaviour, and try to know how aware they are, the I can give them the information I want to share. Knowing that after a heated discussion they will tell someone on their way back who will tell someone and I never forget to give them the address of CAMNAFAW (it’s a local NGO which works on reproductive health issues) in that way I’m at least sure that someone might end up there to seek more information and professional counselling.
•How do you currently use, or see the possibility of using, PulseWire and other online communities to overcome these challenges?
I want to use Pulsewire to raise awareness on a particular behaviour which has been giving me much worries, but I’m still preparing my paper on that gathering data is far from easy!

Comments

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Welcome dear Sister

Hallo,
Seems we share the same topic and interests.I have been doing advocay for the last 12 years on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Health.I can aasure this path is not easy.In my country last year there was a big fight,about abortion.That it doesnt need to appear in the Constitution,and up to date,You mention that word people disappear.But we have remained consiistent to remind people that is a right to life,and only they can help prevent unsafe abortions.
Kindly check some of my recent posts and we can continue to share.
It is a well thought aarticle you have done.That is the soberness one needs when dealing with Reproductive Health.
Best

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Welcome dear Sister

Hallo,
Seems we share the same topic and interests.I have been doing advocay for the last 12 years on Sexual Rights and Reproductive Health.I can aasure this path is not easy.In my country last year there was a big fight,about abortion.That it doesnt need to appear in the Constitution,and up to date,You mention that word people disappear.But we have remained consiistent to remind people that is a right to life,and only they can help prevent unsafe abortions.
Kindly check some of my recent posts and we can continue to share.
It is a well thought aarticle you have done.That is the soberness one needs when dealing with Reproductive Health.
Best

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Laura B's picture

Hi

Hi thanks so much for your encouraging words, I won't fail to check your posts because I can see I have a lot to learn from you, this field is soooo sensitive, but there is still so much to be done that I just cant fold my arms. I hope to read you soon
Take are and stay Blessed
L.

Laura B's picture

Hi

Hi thanks so much for your encouraging words, I won't fail to check your posts because I can see I have a lot to learn from you, this field is soooo sensitive, but there is still so much to be done that I just cant fold my arms. I hope to read you soon
Take are and stay Blessed
L.

RosemaryC's picture

The power of conversation

Dear Laura:

I am so impressed by your determination to help change the conversation about reproductive health in your country, through a whole series of individual conversations with people. I found the website of CAMNAFAW and they look like a great resource to refer people to.

At the start of your article, you mention that you are not a professional in this field - but it certainly sounds like you are a 'professional' in the sense of knowing how to influence people - and that is sometimes a skill the professionals don't have. There are many wonderful examples in Africa of women taking on responsibility to help others with their health, without having professional training. The Huairou Commission, for example, works to make sure that the work done by women caregivers is acknowledged and that they are represented in policy forums - see http://www.huairou.org/aids
And mothers2mothers involves mentor mothers to work with new mothers - see http://www.m2m.org/media/mentor-mother-stories.html

As you say, every journey starts with a single step - and your steps are getting more powerful all the time, I suspect :)

Best wishes with your work and thanks so much for sharing your story.

Kind regards,
Rosemary

Laura B's picture

Re: The power of conversation

Dear Rosemary,
Thank yo so much for your encouragements and kind words, I never knew my little efforts (some people say I'm crazy) would find echo somewhere in someone. I visited the websites and I was touched by the mothers 2 mothers initiave, I pray that it one day starts in Cameroon too where the stigma on HIV mother is terrible.
Thanks for making my steps more pwerful if there anyway you may need my hel feel free anytime/.
Best
L.

Laura B's picture

Re: The power of conversation

Dear Rosemary,
Thank yo so much for your encouragements and kind words, I never knew my little efforts (some people say I'm crazy) would find echo somewhere in someone. I visited the websites and I was touched by the mothers 2 mothers initiave, I pray that it one day starts in Cameroon too where the stigma on HIV mother is terrible.
Thanks for making my steps more pwerful if there anyway you may need my hel feel free anytime/.
Best
L.

susa's picture

determination

Dear Laura,
Thank you for such a concise post. I applaud you for the clarity with which you describe the situation and what you aspire to do. I concur with Rosemary above that although you do not see yourself as a "professional" in the sense of a trained medical practitioner, clearly the way you are approaching such a difficult subject exhibits "professionalism" in the highest form. We do what we can with the skills we have, and I applaud you for your determination to make a difference. It seems from the posts above that World Pulse is already helping you find some people with whom to share ideas and form a community to advance your goals. Keep up the good work!
Fondly,
Susa

Laura B's picture

You make me blush!!

Dear Susa
You make me blush!! though Im brown :) seriously I'm touched by your compliments! I definitely find wonderful people everyday, such as you or Rosemary, on WP I hope I can better my skills and truly fmeet my goals.thanks for stopping by
Take Care
L.

Laura B's picture

You make me blush!!

Dear Susa
You make me blush!! though Im brown :) seriously I'm touched by your compliments! I definitely find wonderful people everyday, such as you or Rosemary, on WP I hope I can better my skills and truly fmeet my goals.thanks for stopping by
Take Care
L.

Frances Faulkner's picture

So right

Dear Laura --

I love your line that a great journey starts with one step. This is absolutely the right way to think and you are setting a wonderful example by going out and doing it. Patience and determination can outlive some of your obstacles and others will fall away as you gain experience. Your victories may seem small, but saving even one life because of your work is the biggest thing in the world.

Frances

Laura B's picture

Thanks

Dear Frances,
I reaaly pray that I have indeed one day saved aONE life through my actions because A life is soooo priceless! If I could I would give I have so people can learn and be safe, informing people is so difficult but I am confident that things will change.
L.

Laura B's picture

Thanks

Dear Frances,
I reaaly pray that I have indeed one day saved aONE life through my actions because A life is soooo priceless! If I could I would give I have so people can learn and be safe, informing people is so difficult but I am confident that things will change.
L.

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