Afrikable - Cooperación para el desarrollo en Africa

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Tuesday, 07 March 2017
Published in PROMOTION

International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate that in the face of inequality and injustice we are not alone. Many women and men have decided to act in favor of women’s rights and our empowerment as agents of change and social progress.

All over the world, women have to face economic and employment inequality, violence inside and outside the home, lack of access to education, to health services, etc. International Women’s Day should be used to denounce and make visible such inequalities and situations of social injustice, to not silence us, to seek compromises and commit ourselves to our future, ultimately, to take action.

I wanted to focus my commitment on March 8th, 2017 on one case of inequality and injustice that I’m especially concerned about, which is, access to women’s reproductive and maternal health. Access to health is a human right but women and girls, mainly in developing regions, have to face situations of helplessness caused by economic dependence, discrimination, lack of social support, lack of education, lack of power over their own sexual and reproductive lives, lack of resources for better care and inaccessibility to health care services. According to data from the UN only half the women in developing countries receive the medical care they need and many women suffer and die every year from complications during pregnancy and childbirth (the maternal mortality rate in these countries is 14 times higher than in developed regions).

We need to take action because maternal morbidity and mortality is a danger that could be avoided by providing developing regions with the resources needed to provide information, education and easy access to quality health care. By supporting and promoting measures such as the new Afrikable’s project Maternity Home, with our commitment, we can achieve this..

Happy International Women’s Day to all!

 

Author: Lidia Jimeno | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Saturday, 18 February 2017
Published in PROMOTION

Those were the options I chose to continue collaborating with Afrikable from Spain and to help launch the Maternity Home. A Center for Reproductive and Maternal Health, through which Afrikable empowers women from health, standing up for women’s sexual and reproductive rights and promoting their health, which are key to achieving gender equality and women empowerment.

Erika Bergara

When I arrived in Lamu last August and met Afrikable, I knew right away that I had made the right decision. I was right in choosing a Volunteer Holiday that became the best experience of my life.

A holiday full of color, smiles, surprises every day, brave women who are beautiful inside and out, and children who instill happiness with just a smile. I lived there with 11 colleagues and the best coordinators. When the time to leave came, I couldn’t help but say those words that are heard at the end of every month at Afrikable: "I don’t want to leave".

Upon arrival in Spain, I began to think of ways in which I could continue to collaborate with Afrikable. I wanted to do my bit to help bring the new project forward: Maternity Home.

Mercadillo Bilbao Erika

Then I had the idea to organize a charity market. It was a great experience that I recommend to everyone. .

I loved being able to remember and share everything I experienced during August with everyone who came by to buy the handmade items that women at Afrikable made.

 

Iniciativas Huchas

In addition, I talked to 4 friendly businesses: Kukumiku (a candy store in Algorta, Getxo), Bar Amalur in Legutiano, 15.000 Hops (a bar in Barakaldo) and Kaki Frutadenda (a fruit shop in Romo, Getxo) and asked them if I could install money boxes in their establishments along with a brief explanation of the project Maternity Home in order to raise some money. It has been a success! It was as easy as installing four money boxes.

I can only say asante sana (thank you very much) to everyone who has made this possible, thanks to everyone who has helped me and has collaborated in one way or another, and thanks to Kukumiku, Bar Amalur, 15,000 Hops, and Kaki Frutadenda for their great contribution.

 

#EmpoderaLaVida   Collaborate! 

 

Author: Erika Bergara | Translator: Sonia Moscardó

Saturday, 05 September 2015
Published in PROMOTION

If talking about balancing family life and work is still a challenge left to conquer in many countries of the so-called First World, in the developing countries this balance becomes a real utopia, especially in the most rural surroundings with the biggest poverty rates. And that is because the sexism that is installed in the different areas of daily life in those societies is the main obstacle that the rights and freedom of women have to overcome, together with the absence of a legal and institutional framework that encourages and promotes a balance between family responsibilities and the carrying out of any work activity with certain measures, like maternity and breastfeeding leave, reduction of working hours, unpaid leave for taking care of youngsters and family members, and working hours flexibility.

Here, in Lamu, the place of women is usually limited to the house, meaning taking care of the house, of the kids and the family, and also the development of some activities oriented to getting an income to the household (picking up and selling firewood or vegetables, fruits and other products in small stalls).

But, what happens when maternity comes? The answer is simple: women still carry out their work as usual, but now they do it with a very small baby hanging from their backs. And that is because they do not have any other chance, they do not have the possibility to stop working and care for the baby without an effect in their household economy. So both options have consequences that are very far from what we understand as balance between family life and work: on one hand, stopping work to care for the newborn means affecting his life and the lives of the other members of the family, because the reduction of income translates into, among other things, a diminishing on the quality of feeding, with all the risks this implies in terms of malnutrition and other sicknesses related with the poor quality of food and water. On the other hand, carrying out the work, in most cases outdoors, with a baby hanging from their backs is not even close to the optimal situation for the recovery of the mother and the upbringing and caring of the son.

Maternidad Esha

 Esha with little Mahmoud

 

From Afrikable, where women’s empowering is the main goal and the unifying thread of our interventions, the balance between family life and work is a necessity and a priority to take care of. So, women work in a flexible environment regarding the care of their smaller children, because they attend their workplaces with their babies, who are taken care of during the whole work day by a woman who is in charge of this task. In this way, women can work knowing that their kids are taken care of and having them very close in case they need to attend to them themselves, which includes breastfeeding.

This flexibility also translates into the possibility to have their salaries unaffected if they have to stay at home because they’re not fine to go to work, if they have to take care of their children or relatives or go with them to the doctor’s, or if they have to attend any school or community meeting: the same applies if they need to leave the workplace for this reasons.

In respect of maternity itself, mother’s recovery after labour and the adequate care for newborns in their first months are a priority, that is why maternity leave is a right granted to every woman working for Afrikable. In this way, they can choose to extend the maternity leave period for 3 or 4 months, receiving 12,000 or 9,000 shillings each month respectively during this period. With this, the rights of both the mother and the newborn are granted, and also it is ensured that the domestic economy is not affected by lack of income, with all the risks this may imply.

In the past weeks, two Afrikable workers, Esha and Maimouna, have become mothers and both already enjoy maternity leave. They and the other women that have already enjoyed it are delighted with it because they can take care of their children and enjoy them in the first months of their lives at the same time that they get a salary, which allows them to see that their domestic economy will not be affected merely because of the fact that they became mothers, thus avoiding any kind of harm or discrimination because of their gender.

Those measures mean a step ahead towards women’s empowering and the exercise of their rights, as balance of family life and work is a more than achievable goal for this women in an environment that is full of hindrances to do it.

Authors: Marta Heredia and Lidia Jimeno | Translator: Rocío Catalano

ABOUT AFRIKABLE

Afrikable is a Spanish charitable organisation, registered in the National Register of Associations under number 1/1/594088 and in the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID)'s Register of Non-Governmental Organisations under number 2033.

 

In Kenya our association is called Afrika Able Organization and is registered with Kenya's NGO Coordination Board under number 10976.

WHERE ARE WE

  • Lamu, Kenia.
    Madrid, Spain
  • +34 605 722 162