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Celebrate Solutions: Video Series Combats Fistula Stigma

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

Obstetric fistula is preventable, treatable and far too common. Estimated to affect more than 2 million girls and woman globally, up to 90% of fistulas are treatable with surgery. Yet somewhere between diagnosis and recovery, women experience staggering stigma, and many are even shunned by members of their community. The Uganda Fistula Stories series is working to combat this by reminding fistula survivors that they are not alone. By hearing stories from other women who have undergone successful fistula repair surgery, women are given hope for a fistula-free future. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Sex Trafficking Survivors in the Philippines

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is a non-governmental organization that works to end human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls worldwide. It is the world’s first organization to fight human trafficking internationally. With funding received from Catapult,  developed an innovative camp for survivors of commercial sexual exploitation in Manila, Philippines to provide support, education, and trainings. The three-day program, which took place this past September, built the capacity of self-help groups and provided support to survivors through counseling aimed to equip survivors with knowledge about women’s rights, create a safe space to share their experiences, and provide trainings in leadership and organizing. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bringing Health Care to Street Youth in Peru

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

The following contains excerpts from INPPARES' Progress Report on Catapult

Successfully reaching vulnerable youth requires strong partnerships with clinics, youth organizations, and governments. It also entails empowering young people themselves to demand their rights. INPPARES is working closely the Cesar López Silva Health Clinic, a center with services tailored specifically to adolescents, to ensure they can meet the sexual and reproductive health needs of vulnerable youth in the Villa El Salvador District of Lima, Peru. The International Planned Parenthood Federation Western Hemisphere Region affiliate raised $32,500 through their project on Catapult to do just that. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Maasai Girls Through Education

By: Rati Bishnoi, Catapult

Located in the Trans Mara district of Kenya, the Kakenya Center for Excellence is a primary boarding school focused on serving the most vulnerable underprivileged Maasai girls. The academy provides girls a space for academic excellence, female empowerment, leadership, and community development. This summer—through a fundraising campaign on Catapult.org—the Kakenya Center for Excellence was able to raise funds to provide uniforms, foods, books and supplies, and personal items for 30 students and support a teacher's salary. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Pakistani Midwives Provide Postpartum Family Planning Services

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

A new initiative, led by Jhpiego and funded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, is providing counseling to women about postpartum family planning methods to prevent unwanted pregnancies and space births to improve the health of the mother and child. The program has trained 425 maternal health care providers of different skill levels across 21 facilities about postpartum family planning methods, including the postpartum intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD). It has also included input from district managers from the Government of Pakistan’s health and population departments and has taught them how to provide appropriate and supportive supervision to health facility staff. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: For Young Female Asylum Seekers, Hope for the Future

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Around the world, there are 15.4 million people who have fled from their country for fear of persecution or because they are fleeing a dangerous conflict zone. Of these, almost half are children. For many of these children arriving with no one watching over them, a new place means new dangers of being exploited or trafficked. In the United Kingdom, The Global Fund for Children is helping young female asylum-seekers to avoid this fate through a 12-week training program. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empowering Girls, Period

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

In Kenya, young women aged 15-24 are four times more likely to contract HIV then young men their age. Education has the power to turn these statistics around. Research by The Global Campaign for Education suggests that if children receive comprehensive primary education, around 700,000 cases of HIV in young adults could be prevented each year. Yet many young girls in Kenya have been forced to miss school while menstruating, often because they aren’t able to afford hygienic sanitary pads. Since 2008, Huru International has been working to change this. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Preparing Girls for Political Leadership in Kenya

By: Atieno Oduor, iGLOW

Girls Leading Our World Initiatives (iGLOW) is a grassroots Kenyan NGO dedicated to advancing the personal, professional and political leadership of young girls and women in Kenya. It is run by a group of dynamic young Kenyan women, and its mission is to broaden the horizon of possibilities for young women in underprivileged regions of Kenya and to advance the next generation of Kenyan leaders. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Social Franchising for Affordable, Quality Health Care

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

In Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous state, the maternal mortality rate of 359 out of every 100,000 live births is nearly double the rate for the entire country, 212 out of every 100,000 live births. This is largely due to economic disparities—the poor have limited access to skilled health care providers at a cost they can afford. The Merrygold Health Network (MGHN) has been  through a network of private health care providers using a social franchise model. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Decline in Intimate Partner Violence in Bangladesh

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

Bangladesh is witness to some of the highest rates of intimate partner violence (IPV) against women in the world. In the past several years, the Bangladeshi government, donors, non-governmental organizations, and community advocates have introduced a variety of interventions to promote gender equality, increase women’s empowerment, and reduce violence against women. These efforts have led to an expansion in girls’ access to primary and secondary education, an increase in Bangladeshi wives’ contributions to their family’s income, and reduced gender disparities. Now, research is also showing that these changes have had an impact on the incidence of IPV. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Bridging Sustainability and Family Planning for a Brighter Future

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

The East Africa Population, Health and Environment (PHE) network was founded on the belief that integrated issues require an integrated approach. Women are drivers of change, and their ability to choose if and when to have children has a profound effect on population growth and resilience to climate change. In Ethiopia, PHE is working to bring essential family planning and HIV services, along with materials for natural resource conservation and food source diversification. Now, family planning usage rates have skyrocketed and hundreds of households are using energy-saving stoves. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Guatemalan Girls Advocate for Change

By: Lindsay Menard-Freeman, Women Deliver

Girls are powerful agents for change. The global health community has proven time and time again that when girls are healthy, educated and safe, they can move mountains. The Adolescent Girls and Leadership Initiative (AGALI) has demonstrated that girl-centered leadership and advocacy programs work for girls, and for their families and communities. Leveraging these results, AGALI is launching Let Girls Lead, a new film and participatory media initiative that amplifies the power of girls to create their own solutions, tell their own stories, and lead social change around the world. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Securing Land Rights through Women’s Support Centers

By: Sanjoy Patnaik, Landesa

An innovative program created by the state government of Odisha and Landesa is helping thousands of women climb out of extreme poverty in Odisha, India. The solution comes in the form of Women’s Support Centers. This program relies on government (child and mother health workers) to identify single, landless rural women, such as widows and abandoned women to help them receive land, training, job cards and other important government services through the centers. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Stopping Violence in its Tracks

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Throughout the year, I receive emails from well-meaning friends and family with tips on how to avoid sexual assault and remove myself from life-threatening situations. I agree that safety is important, but I think that preventing gender-based violence in the first place is much more effective than trying to avoid it. In Massachusetts in the United States, domestic violence social workers have designed an assessment system that identifies abusers with homicidal tendencies and intervenes right away to prevent attacks before they happen. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Integration Improves HIV and Family Planning Efforts

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

In the largest evaluation of different methods of HIV and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) integration to-date, results have shown clear success, particularly in Africa. The five-year project, called The Integra Initiative, is managed by the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) in partnership with the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and the Population Council and supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Empower Young People, Improve Our World

By: Janna Oberdorf, Women Deliver; Originally posted on Huffington Post

Today, on International Youth Day 2013, there are more than 3 billion people under the age of 30—that's half of the world's population. While this number may seem overwhelming, we know that young people play an indispensable role in efforts to achieve international development goals. Each of these young women and men represents a solution—so today, we're celebrating 3 billion solutions that are just waiting to be harnessed. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions:  Empowering Women Living with Fistula

By: Alyssa Tartaglione, Catapult

EngenderHealth, a leading global women’s health organization, has a proven track record working to repair fistula, having supported the provision of more than 25,000 surgeries in the last decade. But their work goes far beyond just providing this vital surgery. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: How Women in Zambia are Fighting Gender Discrimination and HIV Stigma

By: Constance Ngenda, Key Correspondents

Violence and discrimination against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions, but in Zambia one woman is taking on the challenge to change her community. Jamillar Katambo from Lusaka was widowed when her husband died of an AIDS-related illness. When Jamillar found out her HIV positive status a few years ago, she and a friend started running an orphanage with the support of the Muslim community where she lives. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Clinical Skills Trainings in India

By: Sara Pellegrom, Women Deliver

With support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Jhpiego recently trained more than 170 nurses, paramedics, and other health providers on how to improve their quality of care provided to pregnant women, mothers and infants, and women experiencing complications in pregnancy and childbirth in India’s second-most-populate state, Maharashtra. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Black Girls Code Brings the Power of Technology to Girls Worldwide

By: Joanna Hoffman, Women Deliver

Kimberly Bryant started Black Girls Code (BGC) in 2011 as a way to help her then 12-year old daughter learn about computer programming. In an interview with siliconrepublic, Bryant said, “I was looking for opportunities for her to grow and find out what her own interests and passions were around technology.” In the years since, BGC has developed a comprehensive programming and technology curriculum for girls aged 7-17 who are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. BGC has trained nearly 2,000 girls, and recently opened an international chapter in South Africa. Read more...

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