Bimana

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Day  5… still no luggage…My apologies for missing a few days, our electricity has been a sketchy at best and consequently Internet (and lights) have not been functioning. I am working at a clinic in the village of Byamana. This week I am teaching women on subjects of reproductive health and family planning. The country of Rwanda tries very hard to help the poor women from villages like Bimana, they have very good insurance through the state and the government will pay for almost any type of birth control.  Unfortunately there are very few education programs to accompany their healthcare. Today I met with a group of primary school teachers who are supposed to be teaching about reproductive health and family planning, but were never taught themselves. We went over very basic anatomy and hygiene and will be leaving many resources with them. We also partnered with the local clinic to get a better understanding of the types of issues women are facing. Rwanda is seeing several of the same issues the United States faced decades ago. Rwandan teenagers, like teens world wide, have sex; but because the culture here is one that does not permit relationships outside of marriage, unmarried women are unwilling or unable to access birth control. Even though the government will provide pills, injections, implant, or IUD for free, some women who want it still are left unprotected. Consequently there are high rates of teenage pregnancy and STDs. Something shocking one of the teachers told me this afternoon was that several girls who want to go to school but can not afford the school fees are having sex with older men who claim they will pay for school and supplies. Apparently some men will actually pay and others will not. How devastated and humiliated those young girls must be. I do not know if this is a nation wide problem or only an issue in this village, but I do intend to find out.

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About globalmargaret

I am a Mid-Western college graduate who signed a contract on a whim last April. The contract took me to Nome, Alaska where I presently live and work. I love nature, hiking, good food, music, ukulele, knitting, sewing, anything creative, and just being still

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