“I saw this challenge when children are having children and they're having a number of children at a very young age,” says 37-year-old Matiisetso Sefako, after emerging from the Lesotho Planned Parenthood Association (LPPA) tent in Mokhethoaneng village, an hour drive from the capital Maseru. “For them to be engaged in family planning, it would really help them.”
The mother of two lives just outside the village and says she’s become something of a community activist on the issue of early child marriage and the need for family planning. After she receives services, she lingers for an hour, speaking with young women and teenage girls who are looking over at the LPPA mobile clinic with interest.
She herself was a 19-year-old mother and has been using contraceptives for nearly 20 years. Then, it was harder to come by and she would often have to travel at her own cost. Now, she comes regularly when LPPA makes the monthly visit to her village. And she’s done quite a lot on this to advise people to try and convince them to come and access such services, she says.
“The only problem I encounter is that the biggest challenge within the village is that there is a high rate of teenage pregnancy. I try to convince them this tent will help.”
This is her fourth visit to the LPPA outreach to receive services herself. Her only wish? “That these services be here every day,” she says, explaining that there is a deeply-felt need in her community and her hope is that she can refer more young women to follow up and receive the same monthly services she benefits from.