MMM and AJAD changing communities and lives in UNESCO funded initiative

20.05.19

Great things are not done by impulse but by a series of small things brought together” - Vincent Van Gogh

Songon, a suburb of Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, is composed of many villages made of basic concrete houses and in which live a great number of families. Most of the mothers are illiterate and bring up their children whilst meeting basic community needs such as water chores – the well is 10 km away – and collecting and selling firewood in the markets.

Jean Bolly Kouassi, brought up by his mother just like his other many siblings, is a man who has always admired the determination of women, and mothers in particular.

This is what led him to create an association called Aide à la Jeunesse Africaine Défavorisée (AJAD) (help to the underprivileged African Youth), to provide young people with perspective, relying on the main force of community action: mothers.

His first struggle was to fight against early pregnancies, after he had had to care for a 12-year-old girl who arrived pregnant in one of the villages. He then decided to address high-risk behavioral patterns stemming from the lack of information on reproductive health and to improve the pregnancy monitoring of very young mothers who are further faced with the impossibility of attending school.

Jean Bolly also committed to reducing the high child mortality rate, due to insufficient baby care.

MMM decided to help by appealing to UNESCO funds that enabled the organization in 2017 to host two conferences and two mother training seminars with a gynecologist, a midwife and a pediatrician.

Six hundred people, a majority of whom were mothers and young girls and boys, attended these conferences, one on educating on reproductive health and the prevention of early pregnancies, the other on educating on childhood development and protection.

Six mothers were specially trained as health and protection monitors for young pregnant girls.

And lastly, a total of forty-four mothers, two per village, were trained to deal with the health and protection of children and tasked with training other mothers in their neighborhood.

The results:

– a 30% drop in early pregnancies,
– a 40% increase in prenatal visits,
– a decrease of 15% in child mortality.

Young boys are learning to respect young girls; young girls now make the effort of going to the doctor despite long distances or ask advice from the trained mothers. Communities look after the children to allow young mothers to go to school.

Thanks to these results, the State of Ivory Coast has engaged and is supporting AJAD MMM. It asked and received financial UNESCO support to extend this initiative to other areas. The implementation of this new project is entrusted to AJAD MMM and will take place in 2019 with the help of the Education Ministry, in order to allow teachers and students to participate.

This experience shows that supporting the mobilization of mothers and rallying fathers and decision makers to their cause, mentalities can change and living conditions of a whole community can be improved – And this could apply anywhere in the world.

Gabrielle de Melleville, MMM Representative to UNESCO, with Bolly Kouassi, President and Founder AJAD and Her Excellency Mrs. Denise Houphouet Boigny

 

Most read articles

Mothers march with a pen #MMMAfghanMothers

20.11.19

London, LSE - MMM launches Afghan Mothers campaign on 13 November at the London School of Economics

Lire plus

Seminar on the role of families in the circular economy – 14 May 2019 EESC Brussels

15.04.19

Make Mothers Matter is organising in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee a seminar on “the Role of Families in achieving the Circular Economy” on the occasion of

Lire plus

Work-Life-Balance: Eu Parliament voted the new Directive

05.04.19

The EU Directive on Work-Life Balance for parents and family carers gained a very large majority, in the European Parliament on the 4th of April 2019 (490 votes in favor,

Lire plus

Making social protection work for and with mothers

28.02.19

UN New York , 63rd Commission on the Status of Women - MMM Statement highlights that the 2 main pillars of social protection, health and income security, are particularly relevant

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Mothers march with a pen #MMMAfghanMothers

20.11.19

London, LSE - MMM launches Afghan Mothers campaign on 13 November at the London School of Economics

Read more

MMM responds to European consultation on validation of skills

26.11.19

Make Mothers Matter responded on 13 November 2019 to the Public Consultation organised by the European Commission on the validation of non-formal and informal learning.

Read more

Systemic change a must for ending Obstetric Violence

25.11.19

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women - MMM issues a statement reiterating the urgency bringing an end to the mistreatment and violence mothers suffer in pregnancy and childbirth.

Read more

Mothers, key agents of change

17.11.19

UNESCO - On the occasion of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO in Paris, Gabrielle de Milleville, our representative to UNESCO, delivered a powerful message on behalf of MMM and all mothers. Before the Membe

Read more

Beyond Maternity Protection: Mothers need more than just leave policies

11.11.19

UN Geneva - MMM took part in an event organized on 8 November by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Maternity Protection: "A Century of maternity protection:

Read more

Supporting mothers and families essential for Early Childhood Development and Peace

05.11.19

UN Geneva, Geneva Peace Week - MMM had the privilege to represent the Early Childhood Peace Consortium at an event organized by Arigatou International on "Rethinking Peace theory and practice: enhancing peacebu

Read more