More Than "Just Birth Control"

Photo of provider with contraception in Mozambique by Julia Monaghan

I have worked for Pathfinder International for about three years. In those three years, when people have asked me “So what do you do for Pathfinder?” I have always responded with a little laugh and said, “A little bit of everything!” This has always felt like the easiest description—my work has ranged from coordinating Pathfinder’s participation at international health conferences to supporting the development of our technical publications, and lots of things in between.

This year, however, I had the incredible opportunity to move from Boston to Maputo, the capital of Mozambique, and work with Pathfinder’s team there for six months. While my job could have easily be summed up in much the same way as my work in Boston—a little bit of everything—my experience there changed my perspective on how my work contributes to Pathfinder’s mission. Pathfinder’s work in Mozambique touches on a broad range of sexual and reproductive health issues, including contraception, HIV and AIDS, and safe abortion and postabortion care, to name a few, and I was able to work alongside our country staff to support many of these projects.

In addition to being my first time living overseas for so long, this was also my first opportunity to actually see Pathfinder’s work being implemented, and to observe firsthand the impact that it has on the communities we serve. I have always been proud to work for Pathfinder and to support its mission, but my knowledge of our work has always come secondhand from other staff who shared stories of their visits to our projects.

I am so proud of the work that Pathfinder does and was so glad to have been able to see it like this.In June, I travelled with a colleague to Inhambane, a province just north of Maputo, to observe a mobile clinic providing services to a rural community. As a result of Pathfinder’s support, these clinics now provide contraception counseling and methods in addition to primary healthcare and child health services. That day, after explaining the available services to the crowd of women waiting for care, one of the nurses left the clinic—set up in the shade of an enormous tree—to meet with a group of community leaders and influential community members to discuss some of the health challenges being faced by the community and how they might be addressed. At the end of the meeting, the nurse pointed to my colleague and me, introduced us as visitors from Pathfinder, and explained that it was Pathfinder that had helped to bring contraception services to the mobile clinics. After our introduction, the meeting attendees stood, faced us, and boisterously began to clap and sing. My Portuguese at the time was very poor, but my colleague explained to me that they were singing about the benefits of contraception and how important it is to them. My first reaction was embarrassment for myself (I hate being the center of attention) and astonishment at the response of these men and women. “Calm down!” I wanted to say, “It’s just birth control!”

It is easy for me, as an American woman, to say that. It was easy for me, as a college student, to get a prescription for contraceptive pills, and then years later, an IUD. Doctors are generally accessible, knowledgeable, and affordable here. I have a pharmacy right around the corner. The co-pay wasn’t too high—even for my college budget. I didn’t even see contraception as a big deal at the time—there was never a question of whether or not I could get it. 

For those men and women who were standing around me in the community in Inhambane, their reality is different. It is never “just birth control.” When Pathfinder began work to ensure that contraception was made available in these mobile clinics, it was providing an opportunity that many women never thought they would get—to take control over if, when, and how often to bear children. Their joy at this opportunity could not be contained. My initial embarrassment evaporated—I am so proud of the work that Pathfinder does and was so glad to have been able to see it like this.  

I just got back home this month, and am still working on getting re-settled into my job and life here in Boston. I suspect, though, that the next time someone asks me what I do for Pathfinder, my answer will be a little different.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

Such a very useful article. Very interesting to read this article.I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article. home warranty reviews american home shield reviews american residential warranty Appliance Repair
Aditech November 21, 2014
they were singing about the benefits of contraception and how important it is to them. My first reaction was embarrassment for mysel www.skyphonenumber.co
Name November 20, 2014
Burberry Outlet, http://www.burberry-factory.com/
The North Face Clearance, http://www.thenorthface.so/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.official-coachoutlet.com/
Barbour Jackets Outlet, http://www.barbour-factory.com/
Abercrombie And Fitch Clothes, http://www.abercrombiee.com/
Burberry Outlet Online, http://www.burberryoutlet2014.com/
Prada Outlet Online, http://www.shophandbagsonline.com/
Burberry Clothes Outlet, http://www.clothes-mall.com/
Cheap Gucci Clothes, http://www.guccibags.us.com/
Marc Jacobs Outlet, http://www.marcjacobsonsale.com/
Cheap MCM Backpack, http://www.mcmworldwide.ca/
Gucci Bags Outlet, http://www.guccishoes-uk.com/
Kate Spade Outlet Online, http://www.kate-spades.com/
Louis Vuitton Outlet Online, http://www.louisvuittonas.com/
Louis Vuitton Outlet, http://www.lv-guccishoesfactory.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://www.michaelkors.so/
Michael Kors Outlet, http://www.michaelkorsonlineusa.com/
Michael Kors Black Friday, http://www.michael-korsusa.net/
Moncler Outlet, http://www.moncler-clearance.com/
North Face Outlet, http://www.north-faceoutlets.net/
North Face Jackets Clearance, http://www.northsclearance.com/
Cheap Oakley Sunglaases, http://www.oakleyssunglassoutlet.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://www.official-mkoutlet.com/
Prada Outlet Online, http://www.official-pradaoutlet.com/
Polo Outlet Store Online, http://www.polo-outlets.com/
Polo Outlet Online, http://www.ralph-laurens.com/
Ralph Lanren UK, http://www.ralphlaurentshirts.com/
Longchamp Outlet Online, http://www.longchampsoutlet.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://coach.mischristmas.com/
Barbour Jackets Black Friday, http://www.barbour-jacketsoutlet.com/
Monster Beats Outlet, http://www.beatsbydreoutlet.net/
Polo Outlet, http://www.ralphslauren.co.uk/
Uggs Boots Sale, http://www.warmbootssale.com/
Woolrich Jackets Outlet, http://www.woolrich-clearance.com/
Nike Air Max Shoes, http://www.nike-jordanshoes.com/
Monster Beats Outlet Online, http://www.monsterbeatsbydres.net/
Cheap Canada Goose Jackets, http://www.canada-gooser.com/
Coach Factory, http://www.bestcustomsonline.com/
Coach Black Friday 2014, http://www.coach-blackfriday2014.com/
coachfactory.com/shop, http://www.coachccoachoutlet.com/
Coach Bags Store, http://www.coach-clearance.com/
Coach Factory Outlet, http://www.coach-factories.net/
Coach Factory Store, http://www.coach-factorysoutlet.com/
Coach Outlet, http://www.coachlosangeles.com/
Tommy Hilfiger Outlet Online, http://www.tommyhilfiger.in.net/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.coachoutletstates.com/
Cheap Coach Purses, http://www.coach-pursesoutlets.com/
Hermes Bags Outlet, http://www.hermes-outletonline.com/
Black Friday, http://www.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Factory Outlet Online, http://www.mischristmas.com/
Moncler Jackets Outlet, http://www.moncler-jacketsoutletonline.com/
Coach Purses Store Online, http://www.newoutletonlinemall.com/
Ralph Lauren Polo, http://www.ralphlaurenepolo.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://www.zxcoachoutlet.com/

Michael Kors Factory, http://michaelkorsoutlet.mischristmas.com/
MCM Outlet Online, http://mcmbackpack.mischristmas.com/
Beats by Dre Outlet, http://monsterbeats.mischristmas.com/
North Jackets Outlet Online, http://northfaceoutlet.mischristmas.com/
Michael Kors Outlet Online, http://mk.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlet Online, http://coachoutlet.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Factory Outlet, http://coachfactory.misblackfriday.com/
Ugg Boots Sale, http://uggaustralia.misblackfriday.com/
Cheap Coach Purses, http://coachpurses.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlet Online USA, http://coachusa.misblackfriday.com/
Coach Outlete, http://coach.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Black Friday, http://michaelkorss.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Outlet, http://michaelkors.misblackfriday.com/
Nike Air Max, http://airmax.misblackfriday.com/
Michael Kors Sale, http://michael-kors.misblackfriday.com/ bloomingdales coupons, http://www.shophandbagsonline.com/ Louis Vuitton Outlet Online Hermes Outlet Online Prada Outlet Chanel Outlet Online gucci backpack Burberry Outlet Celine Outlet Balenciaga Outlet Christian Dior Outlet Online Chloe Outlet Online Bvlgari Outlet Online Bally Outlet coachfactory.com Michael Kors Outlet Online MCM Backpack Outlet Online Fendi Outlet Online mulberry Outlet Marc Jacobs Outlet Miu Miu Outlet Online Ysl Outlet Online Tory Burch Outlet Online Givenchy Outlet Online Ferragamo Outlet Online Lancel Outlet Online Loewe Bags Outlet Online Tods Outlet Online Paul Smith Outlet Online Dolce Gabbana Outlet Online Alexander Wang Outlet Online Bottega Veneta Outlet Online



Kailey November 19, 2014
Toko online kami menjual baju import dari korea dengan harga yang murah, silahkan kunjungi website kami di Baju Online Murah. Grosir pakaian dari Jakarta menjual beraneka jenis pakaian model terbaru klik infonya di sini. Toko Online kami menjual dompet dan tas dengan model terbaru dengan harga yang murah, baik itu tas branded maupun lokal, kualitas barangnya terjamin. Seperti tas punggung jansport, dengan banyak pilihan model dan warna, lihat di sini. Kami juga menjual aneka tas wanita branded dengan model yang elegan, cantik, dengan harga terjangkau, namun kualitas baik, silahkan lihat koleksi selengkapnya. Lihat juga koleksi dompet untuk anak dengan beraneka macam motif dan gambar yang lucu. Lihat -lihat juga toko tas online ini, yamg menjual tas dan dompet wanita dan pria model terbaru. Apabila wajah anda bermasalah, sering berjerawat, simak info perawatan wajah berjerawat, yang bisa anda praktekan sendiri di rumah. Baca juga info dan tips cara pengobatan jerawat secara alami yang dapat membantu anda dalam menghilangkan jerawat. Selain itu ada juga cara menangani bekas jerawat secara alami maupun medis, baca selengkapnya di sini. Sudah mendengar tentang Alat kecantikan nano Spray? Alat kecantikan kulit ini dapat mengatasi berbagai permasalahan kulit. Konon katanya alat ini memliki khasiatnya yang sama dengan treatment oksigen. Grosir baju muslim online menjual gamis dan tunik wanita. Kami juga menyediakan model jilbab terbaru seperti jilbab instan/ bergo dan pashmina yang syar'i namun tetap modis, silahkan lihat koleksinya dengan meng-klik link ini. Toko tas online di Jakarta menyediakan aneka tas keren dan modis. Tas punggung branded dengan model terbaru, silahkan klik link koleksi tas terbaru. Kami juga menjual tote bag aneka motif dan karakter yang lucu dan cantik dengan harga murah, terbuat dari bahan kanvas yang tebal, kualitasnya bagus. Silahkan lihat koleksi tote bag kami klik link ini. Cek juga dompet branded terbaru kami. Cara mengobati jerawat hingga tuntas yaitu dengan menangani jerawatnya terlebih dahulu sampai jerawat tak lagi nampak di wajah anda, silahkan simak caranya, setelah itu lakukan tindakan untuk bekas jerawatnya, dengan cara di blog ini. Alternatif perawatan kulit lainnya yaitu terapi wajah dengan oksigen. Cara ini sudah umum dilakukan, namun tentu saja biasanya tidak murah. Bagi anda yang tertarik metode perawatan ini, nano spray MCI dapat menjadi solusi. Cara kerja nano spray yang mengubah partikel air yang besar menjadi berukuran nano memudahkan oksigen meresap ke dalam pori-pori wajah, simak selengkapnya.
Kikan November 19, 2014
Weight Loss That Works Guilt-Free Desserts™: Your Guide to Better Baking, Featuring 50 All-Natural, Fail-Proof, Gluten Free & Low-Glycemic Desserts! Guilt free desserts recipe bookJust imagine biting into a luxuriously rich, sweet chocolate cake that (serving for serving) provides more fiber than whole grain cereal, more protein than chicken, less sugar than an apple and fewer calories than a serving of yogurt. Or how would you like to promote lean, sexy muscle growth… as you snack on a Lemon-Ricotta Soufflé (with 10 grams protein and only 1 gram of sugar!) Well, now you can… Inside Guilt-Free Desserts,you will find 50 of the most sumptuous dessert recipes that won’t pack on the pounds or spike your blood sugar! You’ll learn how to make everything from spicy Gingerbread Cookies to moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes… classic Chocolate Soufflé… Cherry Almond Tarts… and even Crème Brûlée. You’ll also find all the traditional favorites like Pumpkin Pie with Pecan Crust, Fall-Spiced Custard. Please click here site http://deb4fcnhqvxr3n8elzujtasf2e.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=PHXDAN ...
web November 19, 2014
Magic Money Making System I honestly thought I was invincible... how naïve I was in hinesight. I worked long gruelling hours... partied hard and still found time to get married and have two kids! I was on top of the world... Then the Stock Market Crashed in ’87 and it all changed. Auto Binary Trading System Help, Trading System That Makes Tons of Money, Money Making System. For more info, visit my website http://f8879axrk7xlbl60675fqltevz.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=PHXDAN ...
web November 19, 2014
Winning Sports Bets Known An Industry First... Never has anyone in the betting niche given out a service or product to make money first and be charged later because they knew it would not work or that theirs would be a crappy product. You know that ZCode™ works because you followed us on facebook and/or saw people there make money... with STEADY GAINS! ... we wanted to prove to you upfront and LIVE that we've got something SPECIAL... something that can truly make a difference in your life, even if you are no sports fan or just a work-from-home mom who wants to make extra thousands a month. Please visit site http://95851orvk6ot1m3sebl4vp2rb6.hop.clickbank.net/?tid=PHXDAN ...
web November 19, 2014
austinautoguide.com Hyundai set out to recall quite a number of their vehicles from the market in three phases. The target was to get back more than 418,000 vehicles from the roads as a result of various flaws. Most notably, there were questions raised about the oil leaks, brake systems and the suspension systems in these vehicles.insuranceclaimhelpline.com
insurance November 19, 2014
as well as their cost of living. www.interior-decorator.net These tents are designed after the Gers of Mongolia and are designed to provide year round accommodation with a minimalist approach to space and the use of materials.furrykidz
Interior Decorator November 19, 2014
When visiting blogs, i usually discover a very good content like yours Click here
Dylan November 18, 2014
Hey there! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers? I'm kinda paranoid about losing everything I've worked hard on. Any recommendations? click here to know more
Pocket Knife Guides November 18, 2014
I simply stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really contoh surat lamaran enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I’ll be subscribing on your feed and I am hoping you write jual penyangga leher again very soon! That is an extremely smart written article. I will be sure to bookmark it and return to learn extra of your useful information. Thank you for cara membuat blog the post. I will certainly return. Really great effort. Everyone must read this article. Thanks Mark Your Life for sharing. A lot of blogs I see these days don't really provide anything that attract others, but I'm most definitely interested in this one. Just thought that I would post and let you know. service genset jakarta selatan
Lingkar Merah November 18, 2014
Hi would you mind letting me know which webhost you're utilizing? I've loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Click here
felixc November 17, 2014
burberry outlet burberry handbags ray ban sunglass tory burch outlet burberry handbags coach factory outlet coach factory outlet tory burch handbags coach factory outlet michael kors outlet online copy watches mont blanc pen holister clothing chanel handbags coach outlet canada goose jackets true religion sale michael kors outlet online sale abercrombie kids belstaff timberland canada ghd hair strighteners louis vuitton handbags www.louisvuitton.com imitation watches knockoff watches hermes belts louis vuitton outlet online timberland boots red timberland boots louis vuitton mont blanc legend coach outlet store online p90x workouts holister co the north face outlet abercrombie fitch canada goose jordan 13 gucci shoes mont blanc pen burberry outlet toms canada ray ban glasses louis vuitton black friday ugg boots christian louboutin sale juicy couture black friday cyber monday deals holister true religion sale michael kors handbags tory burch shoes hollister clothing burberry supra shoes nike outlet stores louis vuitton handbags toms wedges the north face jackets ugg sale true religion kors outlet gucci shoes timberland boots ugg boots beats headphones timberland canada coach outlet store online michael kors outlet moncler outlet rayban sunglasses burberry handbags ugg boots fake watches true religion discount oakley sunglasses canada goose abercrombie & fitchfitch coach outlet store online jordan retro adida srunning shoes cyber monday sales louis vuitton outlet canada goose sale louis vuitton handbags rayban sunglasses louis vuitton handbags tory burch outlet online hollister clothing store oakley sunglasses mont blanc christian louboutin shoes replica rolex watches true religion sale oakley vault cheap uggs michael kors outlet online sale burberry bags canada goose christian louboutin sale abercrombie store coach factory outlet louis vuitton handbags timberlands abercrombie store burberry sale oakley sunglasses wholesale louis vuitton kobe shoes celine outlet michael kors outlet hollister co michael kors outlet retro jordans burberry outlet online true religion jeans michael kors handbags abercrombie burberry sale oakley sunglasses gucci belts dior handbags oakley sunglasses wholesale adidas outlet store jordan 11 gamma blue michael kors outlet online chanel online shop lululemon ray ban sunglasses hollister clothing mont blanc mountain louis vuitton canada goose jackets cheap oakleys cyber monday sales tods shoes outlet oakley sunglasses moncler jackets ralph lauren uk rayban sunglasses outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton online shop canada goose jackets coach factory online timberland red christian louboutin gucci handbags insanity workout louis vuitton outlet fitflops michael kors uk christian louboutin sale holister clothing store michael kors canada goose outlet timberland outlet burberry outlet ralph lauren outlet black friday ads michael kors outlet online marc jacobs red bottom shoes guess outlet michael kors cheap nfl jerseys polo ralph lauren michael kors outlet cheap jerseys ugg australia christian louboutin sale canada goose ferragamo givenchy jordan concords jordan 4 coach outlet hollister kids adidas shoes oakley sunglasses outlet chanel outlet cheap oakley sunglasses jordan 8 coco chanel tory burch sale timberland uk cheap nfl jerseys red bottoms jordan retro 11 jordan 11 coach factory outlet lv outlet jordan shoes christian louboutin chanel bags burberry handbags canada goose jacket cheap toms abercrombie and fitch louis vuitton toms shoes ugg australia true religion jeans chanel handbags ray ban outlet cheap uggs tory burch outlet jordan 11s jordan 11 low louis vuitton michael kors outlet online ugg boots outlet celine outlet ray ban aviators red timberland boots kevin durant shoes oakley sunglasses wholesale true religion outlet moncler jackets the north face true religion outlet toms outlet replica watches christian louboutin outlet ray ban sunglasses coach outlet gucci shoes ugg outlet rayban sunglass dolce gabbana oakley sunglasses marc jacobs louis vuitton outlet kobe bryant shoes abercrombie and fitch fendi outlet oakley sunglasses cheap burberry handbags tods sale abercrombie jimmy choo outlet polo ralph lauren ugg shoes canada goose outlet ray ban outlet timberlands fitflop shoes toms shoes burberry bags louis vuitton outlet gucci outlet michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet north face black friday burberry scarf white timberland boots chanel outlet online timberland outlet toms promo code chi flat iron adidas outlet hollister jeans prada shoes burberry outlet online timberland outlet polo outlet canada goose outlet uggs australia concords 11 uggs outlet coach factory burberry outlet burberry scarf christian louboutin outlet north face outlet ray bans tory burch outlet canada goose black timberland boots gucci outlet abercrombie store toms shoes bottega veneta outlet versace outlet concord 11 cheap beats bydre coach outlet chanel outlet chanel bags burberry outlet online coach outlet online coach outlet cyber monday sales coach outlet store online christian louboutin outlet coach factory outlet burberry outlet kate spade oakley sunglasses cheap north face jackets air jordan 11 kors outlet cheap jordans ray bans hermes birkin mulberry kate spade outlet hollister clothing abercrombie outlet toms chanel bags michael kors adidas wings christian louboutin outlet canada goose coach outlet store online true religion www.louisvuitton.com louis vuitton holister outlet ralph lauren outlet louis vuitton outlet stors michael kors handbags chanel beats solo burberry bags ray ban sunglasses outlet christian louboutin shoes abercrombie gucci outlet rolex watches outlet michael kors outlet michael kors uk abercrombie outlet lebron james shoes white timberland boots timberland uk canada goose outlet timberland boots retro 11 abercrombie & fitch louis vuitton ray ban wayfarer ralph lauren burberry outlet michael kors outlet online sale alexander wang michael kors cyber monday deals timberland pro michael kors jordan 3 cheap uggs canada goose outlet canada goose jackets jordan 11 columbia burberry scarf ugg boots sale jordan 6 true religion kids oakley sunglasses wholesale louis vuitton burberry sale fitflops outlet burberry scarf tods outlet store holister kids black timberland boots mont blanc pens beats by dr dre true religion louis vuitton outlet tods shoes louis vuitton handbags timberland uk burberry outlet online michael kors handbags coach factory store online oakley outlet jeremy scott adidas tory burch flats lebron james shoes cheap nfl jerseys oakley vault tods outlet burberry outlet abercrombie true religion sale holister timberland earthkeepers hogan shoes canada goose jackets coach factory ugg australia christian louboutin canada goose jackets ray ban wayfarer timberland boots christian louboutin sale chanel handbags oakley sunglasses wholesale louis vuitton handbags louis vuitton black friday beats studio burberry bags polo ralph lauren home
xiaozhengm123 November 17, 2014
Also this was the first one of these where I didn't have any knowledge of the subject before reading it and it was so wonderful and ahhhhhh these make today the best days.best crossfit shoes
best crossfit shoes November 17, 2014
I'm really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any internet browser compatibility issues. Herbalife Shake Recipe
Roberts November 17, 2014
I have a presentation that I am presently working on, and I have been on the look out for such information. click here to know more
Emergency Dentist USA November 17, 2014
Scroll to top