By Judith Kasek – EM TV, AROB
Children by choice and not by chance, is the message Marie Stopes is giving to the people.
No matter how challenging it is for Marie Stopes, they will stop at nothing to get the message across to people, even in the most remote areas of the country.
With four clinics and twelve outreach centres, the opening of the Marie Stopes Outreach center in Arawa just shows how much family planning is needed in the country.
Country Director of Marie Stopes PNG, Tom Ellum said the mission and vision of the organisation is for families to have the choice to have children and to expand the use of family planning in the country.
The outreach team in Arawa will go out to all remote villages and communities to conduct awareness and provide family planning services to the people. The outreach will start in Central Bougainville.
Outreach Coordinator, Loretta Bele said that before family planning services are conducted, community based motivators are first identified; who are passionate about helping their people understand the importance of family planning. Meetings with village chiefs and community elders are conducted prior to the beginning of outreach services.
Community based motivator in Arawa, Sylvia Banas said family planning is really needed, so women have the choice to have children.
“By assisting Marie Stopes in conducting outreach and awareness, people can understand the need to plan wisely and decide when they want to have children and how many children to have.”
Marie Stopes officers were told to expect opposition from certain religious groups on some of the family planning methods, however that has not become an issue.
Many have come to understand the need for family planning and have willingly agreed for the outreach to be conducted in their communities.