Today I joined a training on family planning. It took place in Bofa Maweni village. In this session UDI worked together with Kesho, an organization which advances access to education and employment in Kenya.
Walter and Juliet from UDI taught the women about family planning methods. Although I knew that there is lacking a lot of knowledge concerning contraceptives it was still astonoshing to experience that this was really how it is and that there are so many myths and rumors on this topic rooted in the society. There are various factors bringing about these myths about using contraceptives. The male domination in relationships or marriages and also in the society is a strong factor. Therefore, it is really necessary to also include the males and the community in family planning education.
In the session the women were taught on different family planning methods. They got to know about how they function, advantages and disadvantages and how they are used. Also, they saw live demonstration, for example, on how to use condoms. It first raised shame among the participants which showed that it is a taboo topic they are not comfortable with.
In fact, using contraceptives in Kenya is not a matter of cost. All contraceptives are available for free for everyone. The biggest barrier is the knowledge and overcoming the rumours rooted in the community. Additionally, they have to get access to hospitals where they get the services.
Thus, visiting communities in the villages to educate them is a first important and necessary step to make the people aware about the importance on family planning, to stop the rumours and to help them in making decisions.