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Stories

Latest stories from IPPF

Spotlight

A selection of stories from across the Federation

Humanitarian response team, Fiji.
Story

In pictures: Humanitarian photographers share their experiences of storytelling in the field

IPPF’s localized approach to humanitarian emergencies is led by our Member Associations' response teams and whenever possible, we deploy local photographers.
A humanitarian worker in India
story

| 17 August 2021

In pictures: World Humanitarian Day 2021

This World Humanitarian Day we reflect on the incredible work undertaken by our humanitarian response teams over the last 12 months. Last year, IPPF reached approximately 5.5 million people in humanitarian crises through our local Member Associations. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedicated and heroic healthcare teams providing vital sexual and reproductive healthcare in the most fragile humanitarian settings. COVID-19 response in Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Family Health Association (PNGFHA) PNGFHA responded to the COVID-19 outbreak in PNG, supported by the Australian government. With access to emergency healthcare facilities now extremely limited, PNGFHA health workers travel to hard-to-reach areas providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to the most marginalized communities.Clients like Vavine Kila receive a consultation at the PNGFHA mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email The humanitarian response teams taking healthcare into people's homes in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) On 10 May 2021, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing over 220 people (including women and children) and leaving over 75,000 displaced. At the time, an estimated 87,000 women in the Gaza Strip and nearby areas were pregnant. The PFPPA humanitarian response team visited families in their homes, with each household expected to have four to five women of reproductive age needing healthcare. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Offering holistic care to families in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) Children account for close to 50% of the population in Gaza. As part of the response, PFPPA youth volunteers entertained the children while their family members received life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support by the humanitarian response teams in privacy. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Ensuring ante- and post-natal care in the aftermath of an earthquake in West Sulawesi Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) On 15 January 2021, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi province in Indonesia leaving over 15,000 displaced, including many pregnant people and nursing mothers.As part of its response efforts, the IPPA set up mobile clinics near the shelters to provide vital ante- and post-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email A super cyclone and a pandemic Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) On 20 May 2020, severe Cyclone Amphan hit the Indian state of West Bengal, affecting millions of people in and around the state capital Kolkata. Emergency crises during the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies the impact of the disaster and puts a strain on health systems and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.FPAI responded by providing emergency sexual and reproductive healthcare to affected communities, particularly focusing on the most marginalized and vulnerable people including the LGBTI community, sex workers, pregnant women, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Providing healthcare to hardest hit communities after Cyclone Yasa The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) In mid-December 2020, a category 5 severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa hit the island of Fiji and neighbouring Lau group of Islands. IPPF’s Member Association, RFHAF, was supported by the Australian government to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare in the hardest hit communities, including counselling on STI risk reduction, first-line support for survivors of SGBV, and contraceptive and ante-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

A humanitarian worker in India
story

| 28 May 2022

In pictures: World Humanitarian Day 2021

This World Humanitarian Day we reflect on the incredible work undertaken by our humanitarian response teams over the last 12 months. Last year, IPPF reached approximately 5.5 million people in humanitarian crises through our local Member Associations. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedicated and heroic healthcare teams providing vital sexual and reproductive healthcare in the most fragile humanitarian settings. COVID-19 response in Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Family Health Association (PNGFHA) PNGFHA responded to the COVID-19 outbreak in PNG, supported by the Australian government. With access to emergency healthcare facilities now extremely limited, PNGFHA health workers travel to hard-to-reach areas providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to the most marginalized communities.Clients like Vavine Kila receive a consultation at the PNGFHA mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email The humanitarian response teams taking healthcare into people's homes in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) On 10 May 2021, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing over 220 people (including women and children) and leaving over 75,000 displaced. At the time, an estimated 87,000 women in the Gaza Strip and nearby areas were pregnant. The PFPPA humanitarian response team visited families in their homes, with each household expected to have four to five women of reproductive age needing healthcare. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Offering holistic care to families in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) Children account for close to 50% of the population in Gaza. As part of the response, PFPPA youth volunteers entertained the children while their family members received life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support by the humanitarian response teams in privacy. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Ensuring ante- and post-natal care in the aftermath of an earthquake in West Sulawesi Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) On 15 January 2021, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi province in Indonesia leaving over 15,000 displaced, including many pregnant people and nursing mothers.As part of its response efforts, the IPPA set up mobile clinics near the shelters to provide vital ante- and post-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email A super cyclone and a pandemic Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) On 20 May 2020, severe Cyclone Amphan hit the Indian state of West Bengal, affecting millions of people in and around the state capital Kolkata. Emergency crises during the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies the impact of the disaster and puts a strain on health systems and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.FPAI responded by providing emergency sexual and reproductive healthcare to affected communities, particularly focusing on the most marginalized and vulnerable people including the LGBTI community, sex workers, pregnant women, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Providing healthcare to hardest hit communities after Cyclone Yasa The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) In mid-December 2020, a category 5 severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa hit the island of Fiji and neighbouring Lau group of Islands. IPPF’s Member Association, RFHAF, was supported by the Australian government to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare in the hardest hit communities, including counselling on STI risk reduction, first-line support for survivors of SGBV, and contraceptive and ante-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

YOUNG PEOPLE
story

| 10 August 2021

In Pictures: International Youth Day 2021

Last year, IPPF and our global Member Associations delivered a staggering 98.2 million sexual and reproductive health services to young people aged 25 and under – that’s approximately 45% of all services delivered. When young people are able to access and manage their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) with dignity and care, their chances of thriving in life increase, and as such we work with and for youth populations around the world in many ways. Take a look at some of the ways we have been involved with this and, more importantly, how young people themselves have been the driving force behind the fight for SRHR for all. Malawi Young volunteers connect their peers to information and contraceptive care Kondwani, a 22-year-old Youth Action Movement (YAM) volunteer, not only distributes condoms locally, she also challenges her peers to show her on a wooden model how to use them, because she knows that this can pose a problem for some people.Activities like this in hard-to-reach areas are one of many that the YAM delivers across Malawi. Trained and hosted by Youth Life Centres, which provide sexual and reproductive healthcare aimed at youth, volunteers like Kondwani meet up regularly and reach out to their peers in schools, universities, and on social media.Learn more about Kondwani Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Poland Defending human rights in the face of unrelenting attacks Nadia believes activism can change the world. Over the last few years in Poland, women’s reproductive choices have been stripped back at an alarming rate. The young activist wants to reverse this erosion of women’s rights by campaigning for better reproductive, labour and social rights across the country. Nadia is painfully aware that in Poland, where public discourse is dominated by men, the belief that “children and young women have no voice” still reigns.As a result of her activism, Nadia has become the target of visceral personal attacks online, unrelenting violent behaviour, sexism & discrimination – but she hasn't given up.Learn more about Nadia Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mali Using street dance to teach about consent, contraception and more Abdoulaye Camara is the best dancer in the neighbourhood, and he’s not afraid to show it. But Abdoulaye’s moves aren't just for fun – he's head of the dance troupe of the Youth Action Movement, belonging to the Association Malienne pour la Protection et la Promotion de la Famille, which uses dance and comedy sketches to talk about sex.“We distract them with dance and humour and then we transmit those important messages about sex without offending them,” explains Abdoulaye. Sexuality, STIs, consent, early/unintended pregnancy, contraception, and more – no topic is off the table for Abdoulaye and his troupe. Learn more about Abdoulaye Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Aruba Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school Access to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through their office, a delivery service, or in schools. For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student and the team, who are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.Learn more about FPA Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Indonesia Surviving an earthquake as a young mother during COVID-19 Shortly after becoming a mother at 18, Herlina’s home was struck by a powerful earthquake in January, forcing her and her baby Nur to flee. She had to deal with this terrifying situation alone, all during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.The Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) health volunteer team were able to support Herlina by providing sexual and reproductive healthcare services, specifically advising Herlina on postpartum care. The team also gave Herlina dignity kits, which included sanitary pads, underclothes, and soap to maintain proper hygiene, which is a common challenge in displaced communities.Learn more about Herlina Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kiribati Abe the ‘Youth Warrior’ “It’s time to be talking about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) early on, let’s not wait until young people get in trouble.” Abe's voice reveals the energy and passion of someone who is doing what they were destined to do.He is a proud member of the LGBTI community, as well as of his local church – two worlds he tries to bring together in order to spread important healthcare messages among other young people.Along with SRHR, Abe also cares deeply about tackling climate change: "In my role as a youth worker and activist, I tell people to fight climate change: to grow more mangroves and to clean up the beach. Because we love our Kiribati."Learn more about Abe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Tanzania Creating safe spaces for young people to get healthcare services without judgement 20-year-old Zahra Amri has been working with Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI) since she was 13. Starting out as a Youth Action Movement member, she then became a peer educator for young people and now works at UMATI’s Youth Center.“There are several issues that as youth we must talk about, no matter what,” says Zahra. “The community and parents have myths and misconceptions that youth should not be able to speak about sexual reproductive health. But this situation affects most adolescents who face many challenges in life.For Zahra, it’s imperative that young people are educated about how to identify and report gender-based violence (GBV), as well as learning all about menstruation (particularly for girls living in poverty), gender equality and more.Learn more about Zahra Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

YOUNG PEOPLE
story

| 28 May 2022

In Pictures: International Youth Day 2021

Last year, IPPF and our global Member Associations delivered a staggering 98.2 million sexual and reproductive health services to young people aged 25 and under – that’s approximately 45% of all services delivered. When young people are able to access and manage their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) with dignity and care, their chances of thriving in life increase, and as such we work with and for youth populations around the world in many ways. Take a look at some of the ways we have been involved with this and, more importantly, how young people themselves have been the driving force behind the fight for SRHR for all. Malawi Young volunteers connect their peers to information and contraceptive care Kondwani, a 22-year-old Youth Action Movement (YAM) volunteer, not only distributes condoms locally, she also challenges her peers to show her on a wooden model how to use them, because she knows that this can pose a problem for some people.Activities like this in hard-to-reach areas are one of many that the YAM delivers across Malawi. Trained and hosted by Youth Life Centres, which provide sexual and reproductive healthcare aimed at youth, volunteers like Kondwani meet up regularly and reach out to their peers in schools, universities, and on social media.Learn more about Kondwani Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Poland Defending human rights in the face of unrelenting attacks Nadia believes activism can change the world. Over the last few years in Poland, women’s reproductive choices have been stripped back at an alarming rate. The young activist wants to reverse this erosion of women’s rights by campaigning for better reproductive, labour and social rights across the country. Nadia is painfully aware that in Poland, where public discourse is dominated by men, the belief that “children and young women have no voice” still reigns.As a result of her activism, Nadia has become the target of visceral personal attacks online, unrelenting violent behaviour, sexism & discrimination – but she hasn't given up.Learn more about Nadia Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mali Using street dance to teach about consent, contraception and more Abdoulaye Camara is the best dancer in the neighbourhood, and he’s not afraid to show it. But Abdoulaye’s moves aren't just for fun – he's head of the dance troupe of the Youth Action Movement, belonging to the Association Malienne pour la Protection et la Promotion de la Famille, which uses dance and comedy sketches to talk about sex.“We distract them with dance and humour and then we transmit those important messages about sex without offending them,” explains Abdoulaye. Sexuality, STIs, consent, early/unintended pregnancy, contraception, and more – no topic is off the table for Abdoulaye and his troupe. Learn more about Abdoulaye Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Aruba Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school Access to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through their office, a delivery service, or in schools. For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student and the team, who are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.Learn more about FPA Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Indonesia Surviving an earthquake as a young mother during COVID-19 Shortly after becoming a mother at 18, Herlina’s home was struck by a powerful earthquake in January, forcing her and her baby Nur to flee. She had to deal with this terrifying situation alone, all during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.The Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) health volunteer team were able to support Herlina by providing sexual and reproductive healthcare services, specifically advising Herlina on postpartum care. The team also gave Herlina dignity kits, which included sanitary pads, underclothes, and soap to maintain proper hygiene, which is a common challenge in displaced communities.Learn more about Herlina Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kiribati Abe the ‘Youth Warrior’ “It’s time to be talking about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) early on, let’s not wait until young people get in trouble.” Abe's voice reveals the energy and passion of someone who is doing what they were destined to do.He is a proud member of the LGBTI community, as well as of his local church – two worlds he tries to bring together in order to spread important healthcare messages among other young people.Along with SRHR, Abe also cares deeply about tackling climate change: "In my role as a youth worker and activist, I tell people to fight climate change: to grow more mangroves and to clean up the beach. Because we love our Kiribati."Learn more about Abe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Tanzania Creating safe spaces for young people to get healthcare services without judgement 20-year-old Zahra Amri has been working with Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI) since she was 13. Starting out as a Youth Action Movement member, she then became a peer educator for young people and now works at UMATI’s Youth Center.“There are several issues that as youth we must talk about, no matter what,” says Zahra. “The community and parents have myths and misconceptions that youth should not be able to speak about sexual reproductive health. But this situation affects most adolescents who face many challenges in life.For Zahra, it’s imperative that young people are educated about how to identify and report gender-based violence (GBV), as well as learning all about menstruation (particularly for girls living in poverty), gender equality and more.Learn more about Zahra Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

aruba
story

| 26 May 2021

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education digitally to young people was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, FPA was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the team embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).   Responding to clients' needs digitally  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, says Evelyn Yarzagaray, FPA’s Executive Director.   Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.   “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counselling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE program, we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn.  The OPEN platform has been designed with a colourful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.   “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.  “I know it's all part of the growing up process”  Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of FPA for many years, but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.   “About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, explains Jeanira.  It was a family member who suggested the FPA video on social media about puberty that was in Jeanira’s native language.   “The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and it truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach”, says Jeanira.  11-year-old Xiqiën really enjoyed the video: “My favourite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process. I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different, and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”    

aruba
story

| 28 May 2022

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education digitally to young people was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, FPA was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the team embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).   Responding to clients' needs digitally  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, says Evelyn Yarzagaray, FPA’s Executive Director.   Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.   “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counselling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE program, we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn.  The OPEN platform has been designed with a colourful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.   “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.  “I know it's all part of the growing up process”  Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of FPA for many years, but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.   “About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, explains Jeanira.  It was a family member who suggested the FPA video on social media about puberty that was in Jeanira’s native language.   “The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and it truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach”, says Jeanira.  11-year-old Xiqiën really enjoyed the video: “My favourite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process. I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different, and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”    

Healthcare worker
story

| 26 May 2021

Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school

Accessibility to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through the office, delivery service, or in schools.   For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.   “One of my first experiences providing comprehensive sex education with FPA was at the EPB School, during my education as a social worker. Many years later I still very much enjoy this”, says Richenella, FPA’s Finance and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) support staff.  Building trust  FPA’s client is at the heart of its healthcare provision. The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student, as well as efficiency for the team being familiar with specific students and cases. They are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.  “The consultations are always fun; you get a change of scenery by stepping out of the office. Over the years you see so many faces and still somehow you manage to remember most of them. After just a few visits you can start to build a profile of most students; you can start to tell who the class clown is, the Mister Popular, the shy one, the loud one, and the one who just wants to take his time to avoid going back to class”, Richenella laughs.  Working in partnership with the school social worker   FPA places great value on the 14-year relationship they have with Adriana, the social worker at EPB San Nicolas School. Adriana is the person who has the most contact with the students, and the one most student’s turn to when they need help.   “Most of the time you get to have fun with the students, however every now and then you will come across a heartbreaking case. Since Aruba has so many different migrants, very often you will come across one person who is not insured at the moment, who needs products and can’t afford it – and you figure out a way to help”, Adriana says.  For registered youth under 21 years of age, the costs of the healthcare provision are covered by the national health insurance, however, some students fall outside of the system.  “For our second, third and fourth-year students, FPA has been collaborating with us to provide a monthly session where the students receive contraceptives and guidance on school grounds. Since around this age, most of our students are already sexually active, we try to help them stay safe in and out of school.”  “The love, patience, and dedication that FPA has shown our students over the years are outstanding. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis we had to stop the consultation hours, but thankfully we are now back at it, bigger and better. Due to the collaboration with FPA we were able to finish out our 2018-2019 school year with no new pregnancies, which was a first for our school. We hope to accomplish this again, now that we can continue our consultations, and keep our kids educated and in school for as long as we can so they can achieve the best possible future”, Adriana says.   

Healthcare worker
story

| 28 May 2022

Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school

Accessibility to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through the office, delivery service, or in schools.   For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.   “One of my first experiences providing comprehensive sex education with FPA was at the EPB School, during my education as a social worker. Many years later I still very much enjoy this”, says Richenella, FPA’s Finance and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) support staff.  Building trust  FPA’s client is at the heart of its healthcare provision. The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student, as well as efficiency for the team being familiar with specific students and cases. They are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.  “The consultations are always fun; you get a change of scenery by stepping out of the office. Over the years you see so many faces and still somehow you manage to remember most of them. After just a few visits you can start to build a profile of most students; you can start to tell who the class clown is, the Mister Popular, the shy one, the loud one, and the one who just wants to take his time to avoid going back to class”, Richenella laughs.  Working in partnership with the school social worker   FPA places great value on the 14-year relationship they have with Adriana, the social worker at EPB San Nicolas School. Adriana is the person who has the most contact with the students, and the one most student’s turn to when they need help.   “Most of the time you get to have fun with the students, however every now and then you will come across a heartbreaking case. Since Aruba has so many different migrants, very often you will come across one person who is not insured at the moment, who needs products and can’t afford it – and you figure out a way to help”, Adriana says.  For registered youth under 21 years of age, the costs of the healthcare provision are covered by the national health insurance, however, some students fall outside of the system.  “For our second, third and fourth-year students, FPA has been collaborating with us to provide a monthly session where the students receive contraceptives and guidance on school grounds. Since around this age, most of our students are already sexually active, we try to help them stay safe in and out of school.”  “The love, patience, and dedication that FPA has shown our students over the years are outstanding. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis we had to stop the consultation hours, but thankfully we are now back at it, bigger and better. Due to the collaboration with FPA we were able to finish out our 2018-2019 school year with no new pregnancies, which was a first for our school. We hope to accomplish this again, now that we can continue our consultations, and keep our kids educated and in school for as long as we can so they can achieve the best possible future”, Adriana says.   

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 13 May 2021

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 28 May 2022

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 13 May 2021

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 28 May 2022

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A humanitarian worker in India
story

| 17 August 2021

In pictures: World Humanitarian Day 2021

This World Humanitarian Day we reflect on the incredible work undertaken by our humanitarian response teams over the last 12 months. Last year, IPPF reached approximately 5.5 million people in humanitarian crises through our local Member Associations. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedicated and heroic healthcare teams providing vital sexual and reproductive healthcare in the most fragile humanitarian settings. COVID-19 response in Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Family Health Association (PNGFHA) PNGFHA responded to the COVID-19 outbreak in PNG, supported by the Australian government. With access to emergency healthcare facilities now extremely limited, PNGFHA health workers travel to hard-to-reach areas providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to the most marginalized communities.Clients like Vavine Kila receive a consultation at the PNGFHA mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email The humanitarian response teams taking healthcare into people's homes in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) On 10 May 2021, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing over 220 people (including women and children) and leaving over 75,000 displaced. At the time, an estimated 87,000 women in the Gaza Strip and nearby areas were pregnant. The PFPPA humanitarian response team visited families in their homes, with each household expected to have four to five women of reproductive age needing healthcare. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Offering holistic care to families in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) Children account for close to 50% of the population in Gaza. As part of the response, PFPPA youth volunteers entertained the children while their family members received life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support by the humanitarian response teams in privacy. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Ensuring ante- and post-natal care in the aftermath of an earthquake in West Sulawesi Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) On 15 January 2021, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi province in Indonesia leaving over 15,000 displaced, including many pregnant people and nursing mothers.As part of its response efforts, the IPPA set up mobile clinics near the shelters to provide vital ante- and post-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email A super cyclone and a pandemic Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) On 20 May 2020, severe Cyclone Amphan hit the Indian state of West Bengal, affecting millions of people in and around the state capital Kolkata. Emergency crises during the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies the impact of the disaster and puts a strain on health systems and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.FPAI responded by providing emergency sexual and reproductive healthcare to affected communities, particularly focusing on the most marginalized and vulnerable people including the LGBTI community, sex workers, pregnant women, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Providing healthcare to hardest hit communities after Cyclone Yasa The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) In mid-December 2020, a category 5 severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa hit the island of Fiji and neighbouring Lau group of Islands. IPPF’s Member Association, RFHAF, was supported by the Australian government to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare in the hardest hit communities, including counselling on STI risk reduction, first-line support for survivors of SGBV, and contraceptive and ante-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

A humanitarian worker in India
story

| 28 May 2022

In pictures: World Humanitarian Day 2021

This World Humanitarian Day we reflect on the incredible work undertaken by our humanitarian response teams over the last 12 months. Last year, IPPF reached approximately 5.5 million people in humanitarian crises through our local Member Associations. This achievement would not have been possible without the dedicated and heroic healthcare teams providing vital sexual and reproductive healthcare in the most fragile humanitarian settings. COVID-19 response in Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea Family Health Association (PNGFHA) PNGFHA responded to the COVID-19 outbreak in PNG, supported by the Australian government. With access to emergency healthcare facilities now extremely limited, PNGFHA health workers travel to hard-to-reach areas providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to the most marginalized communities.Clients like Vavine Kila receive a consultation at the PNGFHA mobile clinic. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email The humanitarian response teams taking healthcare into people's homes in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) On 10 May 2021, Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing over 220 people (including women and children) and leaving over 75,000 displaced. At the time, an estimated 87,000 women in the Gaza Strip and nearby areas were pregnant. The PFPPA humanitarian response team visited families in their homes, with each household expected to have four to five women of reproductive age needing healthcare. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Offering holistic care to families in Gaza Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) Children account for close to 50% of the population in Gaza. As part of the response, PFPPA youth volunteers entertained the children while their family members received life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare and psychosocial support by the humanitarian response teams in privacy. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Ensuring ante- and post-natal care in the aftermath of an earthquake in West Sulawesi Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) On 15 January 2021, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake struck the West Sulawesi province in Indonesia leaving over 15,000 displaced, including many pregnant people and nursing mothers.As part of its response efforts, the IPPA set up mobile clinics near the shelters to provide vital ante- and post-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email A super cyclone and a pandemic Family Planning Association of India (FPAI) On 20 May 2020, severe Cyclone Amphan hit the Indian state of West Bengal, affecting millions of people in and around the state capital Kolkata. Emergency crises during the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies the impact of the disaster and puts a strain on health systems and access to sexual and reproductive healthcare.FPAI responded by providing emergency sexual and reproductive healthcare to affected communities, particularly focusing on the most marginalized and vulnerable people including the LGBTI community, sex workers, pregnant women, and survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Providing healthcare to hardest hit communities after Cyclone Yasa The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) In mid-December 2020, a category 5 severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa hit the island of Fiji and neighbouring Lau group of Islands. IPPF’s Member Association, RFHAF, was supported by the Australian government to provide life-saving sexual and reproductive healthcare in the hardest hit communities, including counselling on STI risk reduction, first-line support for survivors of SGBV, and contraceptive and ante-natal care. Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

YOUNG PEOPLE
story

| 10 August 2021

In Pictures: International Youth Day 2021

Last year, IPPF and our global Member Associations delivered a staggering 98.2 million sexual and reproductive health services to young people aged 25 and under – that’s approximately 45% of all services delivered. When young people are able to access and manage their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) with dignity and care, their chances of thriving in life increase, and as such we work with and for youth populations around the world in many ways. Take a look at some of the ways we have been involved with this and, more importantly, how young people themselves have been the driving force behind the fight for SRHR for all. Malawi Young volunteers connect their peers to information and contraceptive care Kondwani, a 22-year-old Youth Action Movement (YAM) volunteer, not only distributes condoms locally, she also challenges her peers to show her on a wooden model how to use them, because she knows that this can pose a problem for some people.Activities like this in hard-to-reach areas are one of many that the YAM delivers across Malawi. Trained and hosted by Youth Life Centres, which provide sexual and reproductive healthcare aimed at youth, volunteers like Kondwani meet up regularly and reach out to their peers in schools, universities, and on social media.Learn more about Kondwani Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Poland Defending human rights in the face of unrelenting attacks Nadia believes activism can change the world. Over the last few years in Poland, women’s reproductive choices have been stripped back at an alarming rate. The young activist wants to reverse this erosion of women’s rights by campaigning for better reproductive, labour and social rights across the country. Nadia is painfully aware that in Poland, where public discourse is dominated by men, the belief that “children and young women have no voice” still reigns.As a result of her activism, Nadia has become the target of visceral personal attacks online, unrelenting violent behaviour, sexism & discrimination – but she hasn't given up.Learn more about Nadia Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mali Using street dance to teach about consent, contraception and more Abdoulaye Camara is the best dancer in the neighbourhood, and he’s not afraid to show it. But Abdoulaye’s moves aren't just for fun – he's head of the dance troupe of the Youth Action Movement, belonging to the Association Malienne pour la Protection et la Promotion de la Famille, which uses dance and comedy sketches to talk about sex.“We distract them with dance and humour and then we transmit those important messages about sex without offending them,” explains Abdoulaye. Sexuality, STIs, consent, early/unintended pregnancy, contraception, and more – no topic is off the table for Abdoulaye and his troupe. Learn more about Abdoulaye Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Aruba Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school Access to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through their office, a delivery service, or in schools. For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student and the team, who are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.Learn more about FPA Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Indonesia Surviving an earthquake as a young mother during COVID-19 Shortly after becoming a mother at 18, Herlina’s home was struck by a powerful earthquake in January, forcing her and her baby Nur to flee. She had to deal with this terrifying situation alone, all during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.The Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) health volunteer team were able to support Herlina by providing sexual and reproductive healthcare services, specifically advising Herlina on postpartum care. The team also gave Herlina dignity kits, which included sanitary pads, underclothes, and soap to maintain proper hygiene, which is a common challenge in displaced communities.Learn more about Herlina Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kiribati Abe the ‘Youth Warrior’ “It’s time to be talking about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) early on, let’s not wait until young people get in trouble.” Abe's voice reveals the energy and passion of someone who is doing what they were destined to do.He is a proud member of the LGBTI community, as well as of his local church – two worlds he tries to bring together in order to spread important healthcare messages among other young people.Along with SRHR, Abe also cares deeply about tackling climate change: "In my role as a youth worker and activist, I tell people to fight climate change: to grow more mangroves and to clean up the beach. Because we love our Kiribati."Learn more about Abe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Tanzania Creating safe spaces for young people to get healthcare services without judgement 20-year-old Zahra Amri has been working with Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI) since she was 13. Starting out as a Youth Action Movement member, she then became a peer educator for young people and now works at UMATI’s Youth Center.“There are several issues that as youth we must talk about, no matter what,” says Zahra. “The community and parents have myths and misconceptions that youth should not be able to speak about sexual reproductive health. But this situation affects most adolescents who face many challenges in life.For Zahra, it’s imperative that young people are educated about how to identify and report gender-based violence (GBV), as well as learning all about menstruation (particularly for girls living in poverty), gender equality and more.Learn more about Zahra Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

YOUNG PEOPLE
story

| 28 May 2022

In Pictures: International Youth Day 2021

Last year, IPPF and our global Member Associations delivered a staggering 98.2 million sexual and reproductive health services to young people aged 25 and under – that’s approximately 45% of all services delivered. When young people are able to access and manage their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) with dignity and care, their chances of thriving in life increase, and as such we work with and for youth populations around the world in many ways. Take a look at some of the ways we have been involved with this and, more importantly, how young people themselves have been the driving force behind the fight for SRHR for all. Malawi Young volunteers connect their peers to information and contraceptive care Kondwani, a 22-year-old Youth Action Movement (YAM) volunteer, not only distributes condoms locally, she also challenges her peers to show her on a wooden model how to use them, because she knows that this can pose a problem for some people.Activities like this in hard-to-reach areas are one of many that the YAM delivers across Malawi. Trained and hosted by Youth Life Centres, which provide sexual and reproductive healthcare aimed at youth, volunteers like Kondwani meet up regularly and reach out to their peers in schools, universities, and on social media.Learn more about Kondwani Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Poland Defending human rights in the face of unrelenting attacks Nadia believes activism can change the world. Over the last few years in Poland, women’s reproductive choices have been stripped back at an alarming rate. The young activist wants to reverse this erosion of women’s rights by campaigning for better reproductive, labour and social rights across the country. Nadia is painfully aware that in Poland, where public discourse is dominated by men, the belief that “children and young women have no voice” still reigns.As a result of her activism, Nadia has become the target of visceral personal attacks online, unrelenting violent behaviour, sexism & discrimination – but she hasn't given up.Learn more about Nadia Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Mali Using street dance to teach about consent, contraception and more Abdoulaye Camara is the best dancer in the neighbourhood, and he’s not afraid to show it. But Abdoulaye’s moves aren't just for fun – he's head of the dance troupe of the Youth Action Movement, belonging to the Association Malienne pour la Protection et la Promotion de la Famille, which uses dance and comedy sketches to talk about sex.“We distract them with dance and humour and then we transmit those important messages about sex without offending them,” explains Abdoulaye. Sexuality, STIs, consent, early/unintended pregnancy, contraception, and more – no topic is off the table for Abdoulaye and his troupe. Learn more about Abdoulaye Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Aruba Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school Access to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through their office, a delivery service, or in schools. For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student and the team, who are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.Learn more about FPA Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Indonesia Surviving an earthquake as a young mother during COVID-19 Shortly after becoming a mother at 18, Herlina’s home was struck by a powerful earthquake in January, forcing her and her baby Nur to flee. She had to deal with this terrifying situation alone, all during the COVID-19 pandemic as well.The Indonesia Planned Parenthood Association (IPPA) health volunteer team were able to support Herlina by providing sexual and reproductive healthcare services, specifically advising Herlina on postpartum care. The team also gave Herlina dignity kits, which included sanitary pads, underclothes, and soap to maintain proper hygiene, which is a common challenge in displaced communities.Learn more about Herlina Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Kiribati Abe the ‘Youth Warrior’ “It’s time to be talking about sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) early on, let’s not wait until young people get in trouble.” Abe's voice reveals the energy and passion of someone who is doing what they were destined to do.He is a proud member of the LGBTI community, as well as of his local church – two worlds he tries to bring together in order to spread important healthcare messages among other young people.Along with SRHR, Abe also cares deeply about tackling climate change: "In my role as a youth worker and activist, I tell people to fight climate change: to grow more mangroves and to clean up the beach. Because we love our Kiribati."Learn more about Abe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email Tanzania Creating safe spaces for young people to get healthcare services without judgement 20-year-old Zahra Amri has been working with Chama cha Uzazi na Malezi Bora Tanzania (UMATI) since she was 13. Starting out as a Youth Action Movement member, she then became a peer educator for young people and now works at UMATI’s Youth Center.“There are several issues that as youth we must talk about, no matter what,” says Zahra. “The community and parents have myths and misconceptions that youth should not be able to speak about sexual reproductive health. But this situation affects most adolescents who face many challenges in life.For Zahra, it’s imperative that young people are educated about how to identify and report gender-based violence (GBV), as well as learning all about menstruation (particularly for girls living in poverty), gender equality and more.Learn more about Zahra Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share via WhatsApp Share via Email

aruba
story

| 26 May 2021

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education digitally to young people was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, FPA was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the team embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).   Responding to clients' needs digitally  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, says Evelyn Yarzagaray, FPA’s Executive Director.   Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.   “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counselling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE program, we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn.  The OPEN platform has been designed with a colourful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.   “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.  “I know it's all part of the growing up process”  Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of FPA for many years, but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.   “About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, explains Jeanira.  It was a family member who suggested the FPA video on social media about puberty that was in Jeanira’s native language.   “The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and it truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach”, says Jeanira.  11-year-old Xiqiën really enjoyed the video: “My favourite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process. I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different, and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”    

aruba
story

| 28 May 2022

COVID-19 inspires new approach to reaching young people during lockdown

Provision of sexual and reproductive healthcare for all, regardless of age, is at the core of Famia Planea Aruba’s (FPA) work. Over the years FPA has developed different information packages specifically aimed at reaching and supporting young people, families, and educators.   The inspiration for delivering comprehensive sexuality education digitally to young people was propelled by the COVID-19 lockdown. Like other frontline healthcare providers, FPA was faced with unforeseen challenges about how to continue reaching their communities. Undeterred, the team embraced the challenge to create, develop, and launch FPA’s first Online Puberty Educational News Program (OPEN).   Responding to clients' needs digitally  “In the last few years, FPA’s in-school Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) program was growing rapidly, and then all of a sudden we hit a wall; our Island was in complete lockdown and all schools were closed. At first, we were very sad, since we were fully booked for the upcoming few months, and would lose the opportunity to reach thousands of young people”, says Evelyn Yarzagaray, FPA’s Executive Director.   Typically, during April and May FPA usually focuses on students between the ages of 11 and 13 and supporting with the transition from elementary school to secondary school. At this age young people are starting to experience changes to their bodies and hormones.   “We were all of a sudden bombarded with parents who started requesting one-on-one counselling sessions for their kids, but due to safety regulations this was not an easy option. That was when we started looking for a way to reach both parent and child in the safety of their own homes. By converting materials used during our in-person CSE program, we developed an educational video that can be viewed by both parent and child”, says Evelyn.  The OPEN platform has been designed with a colourful background, emojis, and animation to appeal to its target audience. Users can access valuable information through the FAQ section, international news, and video content such as an interview with a Family Physician.   “The filming and editing were the longest and most difficult part of the entire process, but once it was launched, we immediately saw that is was completely worth it, reaching over 42,000 people on social media”, Evelyn says.  “I know it's all part of the growing up process”  Jeanira, 37, is a doctor’s assistant and has two young children aged two and 12. She has been a member of FPA for many years, but only recently learned that FPA provides healthcare for all ages and stages of life – particularly young people.   “About a year ago I had begun researching the best way and time to start talking to my daughter about her upcoming body changes, sexuality, and puberty in general”, explains Jeanira.  It was a family member who suggested the FPA video on social media about puberty that was in Jeanira’s native language.   “The video is fun, educational, featured local professionals and related to my daughter’s age. I love the fact that I could introduce the video to her and let her watch it in her own comfort zone. At the end, it did stimulate conversations and questions for a few days after and it truly made it easier for us to talk about some of the topics that can sometimes be a little hard to approach”, says Jeanira.  11-year-old Xiqiën really enjoyed the video: “My favourite part was to be able to recognize some changes that I am going through right now. There are some changes that I would like to skip but I know it’s all part of the growing up process. I’m so thankful that FPA had the idea to make such a fun video for us to learn from. There was some stuff that I already knew, but I also learned some new things. I did ask my mom a lot of questions after the video, mostly because they said that everyone is different, and I really wanted to know how my mom is different from me. I don’t feel quite as worried to talk to my mom about these things anymore, I know that she will try to help.”    

Healthcare worker
story

| 26 May 2021

Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school

Accessibility to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through the office, delivery service, or in schools.   For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.   “One of my first experiences providing comprehensive sex education with FPA was at the EPB School, during my education as a social worker. Many years later I still very much enjoy this”, says Richenella, FPA’s Finance and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) support staff.  Building trust  FPA’s client is at the heart of its healthcare provision. The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student, as well as efficiency for the team being familiar with specific students and cases. They are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.  “The consultations are always fun; you get a change of scenery by stepping out of the office. Over the years you see so many faces and still somehow you manage to remember most of them. After just a few visits you can start to build a profile of most students; you can start to tell who the class clown is, the Mister Popular, the shy one, the loud one, and the one who just wants to take his time to avoid going back to class”, Richenella laughs.  Working in partnership with the school social worker   FPA places great value on the 14-year relationship they have with Adriana, the social worker at EPB San Nicolas School. Adriana is the person who has the most contact with the students, and the one most student’s turn to when they need help.   “Most of the time you get to have fun with the students, however every now and then you will come across a heartbreaking case. Since Aruba has so many different migrants, very often you will come across one person who is not insured at the moment, who needs products and can’t afford it – and you figure out a way to help”, Adriana says.  For registered youth under 21 years of age, the costs of the healthcare provision are covered by the national health insurance, however, some students fall outside of the system.  “For our second, third and fourth-year students, FPA has been collaborating with us to provide a monthly session where the students receive contraceptives and guidance on school grounds. Since around this age, most of our students are already sexually active, we try to help them stay safe in and out of school.”  “The love, patience, and dedication that FPA has shown our students over the years are outstanding. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis we had to stop the consultation hours, but thankfully we are now back at it, bigger and better. Due to the collaboration with FPA we were able to finish out our 2018-2019 school year with no new pregnancies, which was a first for our school. We hope to accomplish this again, now that we can continue our consultations, and keep our kids educated and in school for as long as we can so they can achieve the best possible future”, Adriana says.   

Healthcare worker
story

| 28 May 2022

Providing information and contraceptive care to young people in school

Accessibility to information and contraceptives has always been a priority for Famia Planea Aruba (FPA) – whether through the office, delivery service, or in schools.   For over 15 years FPA has worked in partnership with one of the largest secondary schools on the island. The FPA team visits the school every month to provide guidance, counselling, and contraceptive care to students, and to help ensure they stay in school to complete their education.   “One of my first experiences providing comprehensive sex education with FPA was at the EPB School, during my education as a social worker. Many years later I still very much enjoy this”, says Richenella, FPA’s Finance and Information, Education and Communication (IEC) support staff.  Building trust  FPA’s client is at the heart of its healthcare provision. The FPA team works with students to build trust and ensure they feel safe to talk openly. This helps to provide a sense of consistency for the student, as well as efficiency for the team being familiar with specific students and cases. They are better able to notice if something changes, and if a student needs a referral to a medical doctor or other organization for additional treatment.  “The consultations are always fun; you get a change of scenery by stepping out of the office. Over the years you see so many faces and still somehow you manage to remember most of them. After just a few visits you can start to build a profile of most students; you can start to tell who the class clown is, the Mister Popular, the shy one, the loud one, and the one who just wants to take his time to avoid going back to class”, Richenella laughs.  Working in partnership with the school social worker   FPA places great value on the 14-year relationship they have with Adriana, the social worker at EPB San Nicolas School. Adriana is the person who has the most contact with the students, and the one most student’s turn to when they need help.   “Most of the time you get to have fun with the students, however every now and then you will come across a heartbreaking case. Since Aruba has so many different migrants, very often you will come across one person who is not insured at the moment, who needs products and can’t afford it – and you figure out a way to help”, Adriana says.  For registered youth under 21 years of age, the costs of the healthcare provision are covered by the national health insurance, however, some students fall outside of the system.  “For our second, third and fourth-year students, FPA has been collaborating with us to provide a monthly session where the students receive contraceptives and guidance on school grounds. Since around this age, most of our students are already sexually active, we try to help them stay safe in and out of school.”  “The love, patience, and dedication that FPA has shown our students over the years are outstanding. At the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis we had to stop the consultation hours, but thankfully we are now back at it, bigger and better. Due to the collaboration with FPA we were able to finish out our 2018-2019 school year with no new pregnancies, which was a first for our school. We hope to accomplish this again, now that we can continue our consultations, and keep our kids educated and in school for as long as we can so they can achieve the best possible future”, Adriana says.   

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 13 May 2021

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 28 May 2022

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 13 May 2021

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups

A photo of Dr Ratni - she is smiling in front of a clinic
story

| 28 May 2022

Dr Ratni: a day in the life of an emergency response volunteer

Dr Ratni Palullungan is a fearless doctor, mother, and selfless volunteer providing sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups in fragile humanitarian settings.  Currently she is deployed with the Indonesian Planned Parenthood Association’s (IPPA/PKBI) response team in Majene District, West Sulawesi, following a magnitude 6.2 earthquake which occurred in January 2021.   In an open diary, Dr Ratni shares what a day in the life looks like for a volunteer doctor providing care to those affected by the earthquake.   5.30 – 8.30am I get up quite early and have my quiet time (prayer), then I gather my dirty laundry. Currently, I live with other volunteer teams in a place called PKBI Post in Majene, and there is a cooking schedule for everyone. After prayers, chores and breakfast, I get my daughter ready for the day as she accompanies me to work temporarily. After that, the team and I prepare medical equipment and medicine for the day's humanitarian mission. 8.30 – 11am Today the first location is Maliaya Village Health Centre, in Malunda District, Majene. Here, I attend to and examine 25 pregnant women. The pregnant women, on average, get married at a fairly young age. There are definitely risks to their reproductive health. There is a 43-year-old mother who is currently pregnant with her 11th child. To limit health risks, we advise her on the various safe family planning options.   There is also a 38-year-old woman who is eight months pregnant. However, the size of her belly is very small for a woman in her third trimester. In fact, I initially thought that she was only four or five months pregnant. After I examined her, it turns out that she is categorized as a ‘malnourished’ pregnant woman. It is very unfortunate because she admitted that she eats food without paying attention to her nutrition intake. In fact, she tends to eat instant noodles. So I advised her to drink milk, eat only nutritious foods, and always taker her vitamins.  11am – 2pm After visiting Maliaya Village, I travelled to Kabiraan Village. This village was severely affected by the earthquake. Here, I walk around the evacuation camp, most of which is still occupied by displaced people in this post-earthquake period. Even under the evacuation tent, I continue to conduct health examinations for pregnant women.  Due to the large number of cases of young marriages in Kabiiran Village, the team and I decide to conduct counselling sessions for the teenagers here. I advise the teenagers to get to know the risks that might occur to their reproductive health if they marry too young.  2 – 4pm The health volunteer team and I are finally able to take the time for lunch. We have our lunch near the beach, and get to enjoy local seafood as our menu. Enjoying the seafood while looking at the beautiful sea view is a precious time. I certainly won't forget this moment. 4 – 6pm We continue our journey to East Lombong Village. We have many elderly patients here. Yet interestingly, during one of the patients’ examination, there is one mother who wants to get the contraceptive implant. For me, this is quite a shock, given that we rarely find women in this village who want to do family planning. The mother admitted that she did not know much about the family planning program and has many children. She is grateful that the PKBI volunteer team and I came to their shelter camp for the health examination. 6pm The team and I decide to return to the PKBI Post. Today’s journey is quite tiring but there is a sense of pride and emotion for having carried out a humanitarian mission for teenage girls, mothers, the elderly and even toddlers who still stay in the shelter camp. 7 – 8pm At the PKBI Post, after cleaning and tidying up the medical equipment again for the next day’s program, I  prepare dinner for the team and assist my child with her studies. I am so grateful for each and every day that I am involved in this program. I feel encouraged to continue to provide sexual and reproductive healthcare to marginalized groups