The Wise Choices for Life journey.

Wise Choices for Life began in response to one of the root causes of poverty in developing countries: excessively high fertility rates which leads to maternal mortality rates that are extremely high.

With too many children for parents or guardians to provide and care for and an infrastructure that can’t keep up with the population growth, communities remain trapped in the inter-generational poverty cycle.

– John & Marg Docking begin in Uganda at Nile Vocational Institute (NVI) as interns with African Enterprise.

– While teaching life skills they notice that little is taught about reproductive health and there are many unplanned pregnancies.

– Because of large families, no amount of trade skills or employment can lift Ugandans from the systemic poverty.

– In consultation with key community leaders, an illustrated manual is written and NVI starts to educate their students in reproductive health.

– Once back in Australia Marg forms a NFP organisation and begins to write a training curriculum.

– Marg makes several trips back to Uganda to train and partner with other local organisations to maximise the impact of this unique program

– Training is sought after by JENGA CDO in Mbale.

– Training is crystallised into 3 modules with assessments and graduation certificates.

– More groups trained to be accredited WCFL Trainers..

– Training expands to other Learning Clusters in Uganda and then Ethiopia.

– Regional co-ordinators are appointed to follow up with Trainers.

– Joyce Kidulu appointed to oversee a committee to follow up and monitor the training.

– Committee develops relationships with key stakeholders such as Ministry of Education, the local indigenous churches (COU) and Uganda Christian University.

– Training is condensed into a 1-week intensive, live-in conference showcasing accredited Trainers’ skills.

– Community work undertaken in prisons and schools and the local slum (alcoholics)

– Work in communities, churches, prison, and schools continues to grow and the team is committed to train regularly in these institutions.

– University students trained in Module 1.

– Ugandan Board of governance formed, and NGO status achieved, marking the start of Uganda’s ‘independence’ from Australia.

– Ugandan team prepare travel to Rwanda to run Train the Trainer course.

– Professional midwifery seminars planned in Australia.

– CCIH approach Marg Docking to host a workshop and speak at their July conference in Washington

-Covid-19 pandemic changes the world and:

  • The trip to Rwanda is postponed
  • The CCIH Conference is postpone
  • We explore opportunities to pivot our service offering
  • Midwifery Study Days are transitioned to online Webinars
  • Radio broadcasts begin in Mbale. Our training is heard by millions of listeners who may never have made it to a face-to-face session

-Funding is urgently sought for transitioning face-to-face training to virtual platforms

-Marg Docking is diagnosed with endometrial cancer and retires in August 2020