Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week 4 highlights

The training in week 4 is more about the home and the family. Participants learn about hygiene in the home as well as personal hygiene. A reflection on their very own community, Kofiloko, showed that their community really need a good cleanup. The location of Kofiloko as situated on a hillside makes the task of cleaning up seem impossible to the women, however, this is the first step into such an activity. Hygiene makes the single mothers realise that communities need to be clean as well, and not just the individual homes and the people living in it.

Participants also learn about nutrition and how important it is in the diet of children, and the whole family. The Ministry of health facilitated this training session and are equipped with their nutrition kits. They also emphasized on the importance of breastfeeding. In the Solomon Islands, breastfeeding a baby is very common, however, mothers need to eat nutritious food as well. Feeding of children with sweets is also a very common practice. This session is an eye opener for many of these mothers as they realise how nutritious the local island food is. They also enjoyed the games and activities on nutrition.

Many mothers for the first time learnt that they are their children's first teacher. Learning is taken for granted as to be done in the classroom and many mothers just don't have the time to teach their children as they are busy everyday. This was revealed by the participants, saying, they feel sorry for their children, but cannot give their children time as well.

These sessions on child growth and development and the rights of children were quite emotional and sensitive as it touches the hearts of these single mothers. Many of them wished to be literate after this session to be able to read their childrens homework.  It was obvious that they wanted to be better mothers for their children now that they are equipped with the knowledge that their children also have their rights in life.

In the afternoons, the mothers learn how to make a basic macrame handbag. These mothers enjoy weaving and doing practical things.

More photos of week 3 training

The outcome of a discussion on teenage pregnancy and how it can affect the father.

Star fruit, a tropical fruit found in the Solomon Islands which is very healthy. There are two types: sweet and sour. Here, the sour star fruit is prepared for making star fruit cordial.

Two single mothers with the trainer for making banana chips and star fruit cordial. Here they posed with a bowl of star fruits, all excited to learn how to make star fruit cordial.

Bananas peeled and ready to be made into banana chips. This is one of the best varieties of local banana for chips.

Cooked banana chips, yellow and crispy, ready to be packaged.

Two mothers peeling banana chips into a wok. The mother in black is one of the youngest teenage single mothers in the group.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kofiloko single mothers learn Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

The Sistas Savve training has ended already. The single mothers from Kofiloko have indeed learned a lot of issues that can affect their lives as women and mothers and also issues that can help them overcome challenges in life as single parents in a rural - urban setting. This is an update on what they have done in the third week of training.

The single mothers learned topics which include sexually transmitted infections and HIV, safer sex, teenage pregnancy, unwanted pregnancy and unplanned pregnancy. They also learned about family planning, preconception care and healthy pregnancies. Solomon Islands Planned Parenthood Association (SIPPA), one of the partners in the Sistas Savve project, is the only NGO that has a sexual reproductive health (SRH) clinic in the country and the head of clinic delivered the training for all the topics on sexual reproductive health and rights.

Most of the topics are new to the participants and it has been a journey of excitement for them as they went through each one, discovering new ideas and in the process learning more about themselves. Many of these single mothers have limited education, and have never had the chance before to learn about sexual reproductive health and rights.

There have been a lot of giggles as sexual reproductive health is a very sensitive issue in our society. However, a big thumbs up for the facilitator for delivering such sensitive issues with understanding and humor. 

One participant stated that now she knows how to "not have babies". Another one said it is the first time for her to know about the menstrual cycle. All the participants said that SRH is one of the most interesting topic they have learned.

After learning about SRH in the morning part, the girls learned how to make banana chips, and cordial from the fresh fruits which we have. And the banana chips they made are yummy and crispy. This skill can help them earn money if they want to make and sell banana chips.

Sistas Savve is interested in knowing other recipes for cordials which use tropical fruits.

Participants discussing contraceptive methods with the head of clinic nurse