CFK May 2019 e-news

May 2019




Caring for Kiriwina Health & Hygiene Committee formed to combat growing waste issue.

Hygiene is a critical issue on Kiriwina affecting all the inhabitants most importantly pregnant women and children. The maintenance of hygiene both environmental and personal is integral to health and the lack of clean water and facilities on Kiriwina is critical. To help address this issue we have formed the CFK Health & Hygiene Committee. There are 16 members (7 women and 7 men with one male and one female co-ordinator) all based on Kiriwina. The committee meets monthly to collate data and allocate points to the cleanest village. At the end of the year there will be a celebration and the awarding of prizes for the best kept village.

“This program instills team work and pride within the community. There have been improvements in lifestyle and it has created a sense of ownership of healthy living and clean community,” explains Toks Bwaina (In-country CFK manager)

As there are no dedicated toilet facilities we are researching the installation of compostable toilets and more water pumps for each village. Part of the VBA training includes emphasising the importance of infection control through hand washing and the utilisation of clean equipment during a birth. This information is supported by the provision of single use birth kits to the Kiriwinan VBA’s.  

In addition to the distribution of Birth Kits CFK is trialing a new strategy in the supply of washable menstrual pads and underpants to women on Kiriwina. UNICEF says that adolescent girls in school suffer the most when they are menstruating.  Many schools report absenteeism among adolescent girls due to a lack of private changing rooms and no access to soap, water and sanitary pads. Some stay away from school for a few days. This hampers girls’ learning as they miss classes and they re-attend with reduced self-esteem and dignity. 

In response to the new initiative Ruth Boaz, our co-head VBA reports that…

“The women say the reusable pads have been used and they are very helpful as they wash them to be used again and again. The underpants given to women have also been very useful.” Learn more

Help save the lives of the women and children on Kiriwina

We are so excited to announce that our next VBA training session with our beautiful midwives Shea Caplice and Jacqui Andrews is planned to leave Sydney mid  September 2019. We will spend three days of intensive training for 30 experienced VBA’s allowing 3 to 4 VBA’s from each circuit to attend, followed by two days with the larger group of 210 VBA’s allowing the trainees to become the trainers. Thanks Shea and Jacqui for being such extraordinary human beings. Love yah!

The Kiriwina VBA’s formed an association to mobilise all VBA’s on Kiriwina to share ideas and work as a team to deliver support and assistance to the pregnant mothers, women and girls in many areas especially in teen age pregnancy. It is the first association of its type on the Island combining women from all villages working towards the same goal. The association also addresses many other issues affecting women and girls. They had their first meeting in March at Kaibola Kaibola Village.

Their second meeting was held at Okupukopu Village, Luba Circuit on 2 May 2019. As the women walk to the venues for meetings CFK has assisted some with the cost of transport to allow women from more distant circuits to attend these meetings.

We would like to send a big shout out to the Australian Government for supporting CFK efforts. This support has enabled us to think bigger and act on expanding our projects to really make a difference to the lives of the Kiriwinan people and they sincerely thank the DFAT FriendShips Grant team for that!

“The VBA’s asked me to convey their appreciation and thank you to all CFK officers and supporters for their support and assistance. CFK is the only means of support the VBA’s are receiving now. CFK support is making a progressive impact in helping the VBA’s assist pregnant mothers deliver successfully. The VBA’s report that they are doing a good job helping women deliver at their respective villages and that this is the only help they receive.”  Toks Bwaina

Thank you so much to the Australian Government! 

The Village Birth Attendant Training Project is supported by the Australian Government and implemented by Caring for Kiriwina.

Thanks again to all our donors for your ongoing support!

Caring For Kiriwina
Please help the women & children of Kiriwina

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