On World Population Day, Meet Three Families Taking Control Of Their Futures

Their determination will impress you.

225 million women — most of whom live in 69 of the world’s poorest countries — do not have access to safe and effective contraception. Modern contraception methods are key to family planning, which is proven to promote gender equality, reduce poverty, empower women, and boost the economy. Family planning can also prevent abortions and reduce risk of miscarriage, maternal death, and infant death.

July 11, 2017 is World Population Day, and across the globe, organizations and individuals are raising awareness of the importance of family planning. In honor of the day, meet Juana, Ever, Kinas, and Sheila and find out how family planning is improving their lives.

Juana and Ever: Guatemala

Juana and Ever are a young couple in Guatemala with two sons, a 2-year-old and a 4-month-old. They don’t have enough money to support more children, so they turned to a clinic run by WINGS to look into family planning options. Juana decided on a hormonal contraceptive implant that will last for up to four years.

“At times, I feel helpless with our economic situation because I have to take care of the kids and cannot go out and find a job, but this is a way I can take responsibility to help us both feel less stress,” said Juana.

Ever, a low-income laborer, agrees. Being a good father means being able to provide for his children, he says.

Juana and Ever are a great example of a couple who decided together that long-lasting contraception was their best option for a successful future. Their whole family went to the clinic together because Ever wanted to comfort Juana after the procedure.

Juana and Ever are excited about their future opportunities made possible by having fewer children.

WINGS is a nonprofit offering subsidized family planning options for people in rural Guatemala. Learn more.

Kinas: Samburu, Kenya

Kinas* is a 23-year-old divorced mother of seven children living in northern Kenya. Her children range in age from 13 to 5, and she even has 9-month-old twins. She met with a nurse from Communities Health Africa Trust (CHAT) to discuss family planning methods.

With plenty of children to take care of already, Kinas was looking for ways to secure her family’s future by avoiding unwanted pregnancies. While she was hoping for a permanent method, she chose an implant contraceptive that would last for five years because it was more affordable.

“This is not my first time to hear about family planning, in fact I chose to have a five-year implant a few years ago, after I had my fifth child. But I made the decision to have another child, however, after separating from my husband, and being left with now twins to care for on top of my other five children, I have decided not to have any more children. Now here is CHAT availing my community this powerful opportunity to be able to take control of my life — ohwaaah! Birth control is the only blessing that will save the world,” Kinas told the nurse helping her.

“I now understand that family planning is not only beneficial to humans, but also to the wildlife and environment — in our traditional Samburu culture, our great-grandparents used to conserve the wildlife — it was revered. It also brought tourists and this was a source of income for the community. They used specifically the elephant dung for lighting the first fire in a Manyatta (homestead). Therefore, it’s important to balance the population to protect the environment and hence, cherish the planet,” Kinas said.

Kinas chose the family planning method that was best for herself, her children, and her environment. Communities Health Africa Trust is a nonprofit combining free family planning services with ecological awareness education to nomadic communities in northern and central Kenya. Learn more.

*Note: Photo does not depict Kinas, but another CHAT constituent.

Sheila: Uttar Pradesh, India

Sheila and her husband, a vegetable merchant, have been married for three years and have a 3-year-old daughter named Radha. Before visiting Amrit Corner, a family planning clinic run by Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, she had been thinking about the financial struggles her small family was facing and wanted to learn about how to plan her future children.

“By stopping having more children, we as a couple would be able to give more attention to our daughter,” Sheila said. She learned about condoms, birth control pills, and long acting reversible contraceptive methods before making her decision. Sheila ultimately chose a five-year IUD.

“I am very happy it was done safely,” Sheila said after the procedure. “I didn’t feel any pain and I’m very happy with the services provided at Amrit Corner.”

Sheila is grateful for the ability to control her family’s future with an IUD. Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust is a nonprofit providing family planning counseling and maternal health services to women and couples in India. Learn more.

GlobalGiving is a crowdfunding community that connects donors and companies to locally-driven, grassroots nonprofits all over the world. To read more stories like these, head to GlobalGiving.org.

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