A key need is to help people identify cultural thinking and traditional practices that drive the desire for many children.
Whilst some myths are perpetuated to suit cultural practices, many are through lack of knowledge. Some can be harmless, but sadly when it comes to issues around sex and pregnancy the simplest myth can lead to unwanted pregnancies, poor maternal health, and even maternal death. Such things include:
- Panadol prevents pregnancy
- Pregnant women shouldn’t eat chicken or eggs
- Having sex before marriage can help your back
- Antenatal check ups cause miscarriages
- Immunisation kills the eggs of young girls
Where do babies come from?
Understanding that a baby is made from both the father and mother can have life changing implications for a single mother.
It was during the lesson on a woman’s body and how fertilisation takes place that one woman discovered the truth that her baby was made from the female egg and the male sperm. These two components had to join together through the process of fertilisation for a baby, a new life to be created.
Previously this woman had believed that the baby had just been implanted in her by her husband when they had intercourse. She believed her daughter was entirely formed by her husband, and had nothing of her in her. When she understood that she had genetically contributed to her daughter, and in fact her daughter would not exist without that contribution it changed the way she viewed her child, and had the potential to change the connection they had.
For many young girls who have fallen pregnant through abuse, there is already a propensity for a lack of connection with that baby. Imagine then if you thought that baby was nothing of you but all of man who abused you. Is it any wonder that this can lead to so many abandoned babies.
The Knowledge Gap
There is a lack of access to easy to understand knowledge and skills on these sensitive subjects. Whilst the government is promoting the need for family planning, the gap is in not only the knowledge, but the skills in how to effectively talk about and apply this information. The majority of our workshop participants are non-medical, as we believe the greatest impact is had by as many as possible of the community leaders being able to talk about this.
Wise Choices for Life trains people how to talk about these issues, not only with their partner, but in a group training context as well. There are three aspects to the training to ensure that communities are fully equipped:
- Knowledge on Reproductive Health and Family Planning
- Training on Life Skills to empower men and women
- Foundation in how God made us and our Identity in Christ