Monday, July 9, 2018

Family "Planning" Means Family "Caring"

This thoughtful young woman, named Sita, lives alone with her husband and makes a living selling a snack called chatpate on the streets of Kathmandu. Pregnant for the first time, 18-year-old Sita is a participant in the ongoing women's group held by our volunteers. In this group, women learn valuable information about pregnancy, safe childbirth, nutrition, menstruation, and family planning. Equally valuable is the gentle openness of our volunteers, who create a safe atmosphere in which delicate questions and concerns can be raised by shy participants. Our Nepali Representative, Pinkey Malla, tells us, ""Women are happy from information about family planning...Many women hesitate to talk about that, but we create a friendly situation and many women sharing their experience, asking questions." 

"Family Planning" means making intentional, responsible choices about the size and spacing of children and protecting the health of the mother.  Training in family planning has made a radical difference in the fertility rates of Nepal, which have been gradually dropping in recent years.  According to the World Health Organization, the fertility rate in Nepal has dropped from  5.8 children per woman in the 1970s, to the current rate of 2.6 children per woman! As in every developing country, fertility rates are much higher for the lower economic classes, making women's groups like this one invaluable. Fewer children per family means improved health for women and greater ability for parents to feed, educate, and take CARE of each precious child. Family planning means family caring.

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