Women Empowered: Impactful Innovation

By Amerti Lemma, Save the Children Ethiopia

“From Innovation to Impact: The Road Map for New Contraceptive Introduction,” presented by Saumya Ramarao from the Population Council, had me energized and excited about the future of women empowerment. It was the second day of the Third International Family Planning Conference held from November 12-15, 2013 here in Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. The presentation was on research findings about progesterone vaginal ring and assessing its acceptability when I could not help but think the connection that this innovation will have on women empowerment. Someone from a natural science background would probably marvel around the astonishing fact about the ring’s ability to last one year. On the other hand, more involved in the social sciences like myself; would be thrilled about what this could mean for women in my country. The fact that 89% or 9/10 of the women in the research were satisfied gave me high hopes of the ease to use the product and the continuation of use for an extended period of time, until women deemed it necessary to conceive.

Brighter Future

By Amerti Lemma, Save the Children Ethiopia

Having the desire to work and not having the means to do it is a frustrating situation for any young person who is inspired with an idea. I myself have a huge aspiration to start a foundation where the discourse of gender related issues are discussed openly and men become the advocates of gender equity. This is a huge dream that I know requires a lot of work and support. I also have the full support of my mother in developing the dream I have. Moreover, my mother who raised me as a single mother is a huge inspiration. She gives meaning to the notion of what a woman can do when she puts her mind to it and perseveres with what she believes.

Happy Faces in Addis Streets

By Thomas Lulseged, Save the Children Ethiopia

It was my first time participating in the Great Ethiopian Run and I was a little bit nervous about how the race and our campaign actions would turn out.

Save the Children Ethiopia developed key message around the need for the exclusive breastfeeding of newborn babies up to six months. This was based on findings of the 2010 Ethiopian Demographic Health Survey (EDHS, 2010), which showed that such excusive breastfeeding was not widely practiced in Ethiopia, with only 52% of new mothers doing so. As a result, the Ethiopian Health Sector Development Plan IV has set a target to increase this figure to 70% by 2015.

Improving Women’s Sanitary Pad Utilization

By Amerti Lemma, Save the Children Ethiopia

I usually get inspired when I stumble upon realities around me that I haven’t thought about in the past. In Maydaero, a faraway village in the northern Tigray region of Ethiopia, I had yet another one of these epiphanies.

I discovered reusable sanitary pads!

Now, I’ve heard of these washable miracles that can save money, are environmentally friendly and a better choice for healthier women compared to the alternative of regular disposable pads that we, city ladies, pick up from store shelves every month. What left me in awe is the fact that I found these amazing alternatives in a girls’ club at the Maydaero full cycle primary school.

The Race for Newborns: Hawassa Race

By Amerti Lemma, Save the Children Ethiopia

With the onset of the yearly EVERY ONE campaign Hawassa Race, the team at Save the Children main Ethiopia Country Office in Addis Ababa was getting very excited with the news that our colleagues from the Hawassa field office were reporting to us. For weeks prior, the office in Hawassa had been mobilizing the community for the big day of the running race. The day that the message of ‘saving the lives of newborns’ was going to be imprinted on people’s favorite shops, health centres and city streets; but most importantly on people’s minds with the focus being newborn health focused this year.