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We Care: training Family Welfare Assistants in Bangladesh
As partner in the ‘We Care’ project in Bangladesh, our SRHR team has helped develop an interactive training curriculum to equip Family Welfare Assistants with the knowledge, skills and motivation to provide inclusive sexual and reproductive health services for vulnerable populations.
This week we are piloting the new curriculum among 20 Family Welfare Assistants (FWAs) in Khulna, with involvement of the National Institute of Population Research and Training (NIPORT), DGFP, MDF, Niketan, Rutgers expertisecentrum seksualiteit and RedOrange.
Making SRHR more inclusive
Historically, marginalised communities and vulnerable people have been left out of discussions on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). This interactive curriculum hopes to address this. It contains several case studies, role-play scenarios, and other activities focused on the specific SRHR needs of people with disabilities, young people, and indigenous peoples. It also provides approaches to improve SRHR information and service provision to these groups by the FWAs.
The FWAs find the curriculum “very much unique, interesting and suitable for their job”. They feel that the interactive teaching approach provides them with the opportunity to learn many new skills as well as to learn from each other. Several FWAs already pledged to work harder to reach out to people with disabilities as well as indigenous peoples, whom they until now mostly excluded from their services.
“I learned that people with disability also have sexual desires and needs just as any other person. We need to be friendly with them and reach out to people with disabilities. So far we have exclude them from our services as we did not know this”.Kamali Halder, who has been working as an FWA since 2018
The curriculum will be integrated into the basic and refresher training for the FWA, through which thousands of FWAs will be trained.
We’ve also developed a similar curriculum for supervisors of union level health cadres, for which we held a pilot session. You can read an interview with one of the participants of the session, Dr Kaniz, below. This curriculum, like the FWA curriculum will be used by NIPORT to train thousands of supervisors.
We Care is supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and coordinated through the Nuffic Orange Knowledge Programme.