A simple training method to enable women to recognise the fertile days in her menstrual cycle.
Aim: Birth-spacing for 3 or more years. No unwanted pregnancies, no abortions.
Activities: The first step is careful communication with village elders and the female and male population. Do they really want the project? Are they interested to learn more about such sensitive issues like sexuality and pregnancy?
If the whole community agrees, our female trainers travel to the village for several days. The women's menstrual cycle is explained. Starting from what every woman knows (menstruation), information on the signs of fertility is given. Women try self-observation of cervical mucus the same evening and report their findings on the next training days.
A women's group in the North of Bénin (West-Africa) attends initial training.
As a visual aid local materials found everywhere in the Sahel-region of Africa are used: red stones (menstruation), dry sticks (unfertile days) and green leaves (fertile days).
Men are informed as well. During such meetings many questions on fertility and reproductive health are answered.
After the initial training, women are followed up for 3 months. So they become confident with self-observation and learn about variations in their cycle.
In each project-region (North-Bénin and The Gambia) every year 5 new trainers are instructed and 200 new women join the project.
Finances: the training and follow up of one woman costs approximately 100 Swiss Francs. We have a budget of 30'000 Francs a year per region.
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Religious and community leaders attend a diploma-ceremony for graduated female trainers in The Gambia.