Ensuring Safe Birthing and the Health of Achuar Families and Children
The Jungle Mamas Program is designed to eliminate all preventable deaths in childbirth of mothers and babies, and to improve community health by focusing on the education of women, family planning education, and improving environmental health.
We view empowerment of Achuar women as the unifying element to ensure success on all joint projects, and to build the capacity to become self-sustaining. Therefore, we build the opportunity to nurture women’s leadership into all of our projects.
“We used to think we HAD to go into the jungle alone to birth our babies. Now, thanks to Jungle Mamas we know there’s a better, safer way.”
ACHUAR PARTICIPANT TRAINED AS BIRTH ATTENDANT
- Three workshops were held in 2011 in ten communities, two in Associations new to Jungle Mamas. Trainings included 57 age-and gender-diverse participants who were highly engaged with our newly developed curriculum and teaching booklet. Workshops were increasingly led by the most experienced team of Birth Attendants from two original communities.
- Through the workshops we identified many new people who want additional training to become skilled Birthing Attendants and peer teachers.
- The NAE leadership gave the “green light” we had been waiting for to expand Jungle Mamas to as many Achuar communities as possible from 2012.This was a testimony to the acceptance and trust the Program has earned.
- Our Achuar team worked with community members to present a funding proposal to the Municipal Government to pay for a solar-powered clean water system for one community after partnering with a local NGO to test water quality. The first of these systems has been installed and is successfully providing clean, filtered water to the community. This is a huge “win” for Achuar empowerment and contribution to maternal, infant, and community health and wellbeing.
- At the request of Achuar communities, we installed eight compostable toilets to improve sanitation and reduce ground & water pollution, thus improving health.
- Over 60 Safe Birthing Kits have been given out in 2011, and trained Birth Attendants have supported every recipient receiving a Kit to have a safe birth.
As a direct result of our work, gender issues, family planning education, and the recognition of women’s health as key to community health were met with a new openness and great enthusiasm. We expanded into new areas of the territory and laid the groundwork for the best year ever in 2012!