In September we began a women’s health teaching series with a group of vulnerable women from Banda slum. This series was born out of their desire for education and was designed to holistically answer their questions about health. One of our team members, who is a trained nurse, compiled the information into an informative, discussion based curriculum.
In the first week, the women attended class excited to learn what ‘musawo’, or doctor, had to teach them. The lessons began with the basics of reproductive health and their learning was accompanied by lots of laughter and lively discussion. The later weeks covered the topics of fertility, self-esteem and body image, the truths of HIV/AIDS and stigma, sexually transmitted diseases, and gender-based violence – not for the faint-hearted!
Self-esteem and body image were real, stand-out lessons. After an initial shyness the women began to open up to each other and our team. They took time to appreciate the beauty they saw in each another and it was amazing to see them begin to realise the beauty that they possess individually. As each woman understood the truth of their value they gained a new perspective, which will enable them to make healthier decisions in the future.
As the weeks progressed so did the weight of the subjects we covered. For these women the curriculum is not just theory but an everyday reality. As a group they were able to discuss, question and finally understand these issues in a way that will positively impact their lives and futures. This series, while designed to educate on relevant issues, was also intended to empower vulnerable women. It is our goal that these women would learn to know themselves, to understand the choices they have regarding their bodies, and to grow in self-esteem so that they can be equipped to choose what is best for themselves and their families. It is such an honour to be able to invest something into the lives of these amazing women.
Please pray that we would continue to see these vulnerable women empowered and that they, in turn would pass that knowledge and freedom to those around them.