BKFA with  generous funding from Fullife Foundation and with implementing partner, APDA are supporting a three year community development project in Dullassa, Afar region of Ethiopia. This project seeks to improve reproductive, maternal and newborn health for mothers and girls, to increase health seeking behaviours for maternal and newborn health and to strengthen the capacity of community health teams.

As part of this  project, we will introduce a number of Women Extension Workers (WEWs) who will each be provided with comprehensive training and employment and will be equipped to undertake their scope of work in their communities. WEWs will receive 45 day training programs and be provided with essential items such as a field kit containing a back pack, solar torch, cooking pot, nailbrush and lentils.  Additionally, local women will be employed to assembly clean birthing kits (or delivery sets) to be used by project trained traditional birth attendants.

Fatuma is a Woman Extension Worker.

She has six children – all boys. She has been a WEW for about eight years. Her only education has been a basic literacy course run by APDA. Prior to becoming a WEW she was ‘in the dark’ and ‘didn’t know anything’ and ‘did not have the capacity for learning or awareness’.

Now she can not only learn but also teach.  She puts a big emphasis on education for her six boys – to be ethical, religious, loyal and to ‘not rape women’. She sees herself as ‘different’ and as having ‘knowledge across many issues’ which has given her the capacity to more broadly educate her children and community. She hopes to increase knowledge and undertake more training.

As part of this project, Fatuma will benefit from a number of planned initiatives and will be able to support her community more greatly.