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I am a Village Midwife, and this is My Struggle

My name is Elik Kurniawati, I am a village midwife who for more than 12 years has been assigned in Sambigede Village, Blitar, East Java. As a midwife, I have a wish to improve the potential and independence of women, mainly mothers of childbearing age in our village.

‘Aisyiyah MAMPU somehow answered my wish through its activities since October 2014. I never joined any of ‘Aisyiyah activities until I was invited by Jariyah, a fellow midwife. At that time, Jariyah was assigned for Binangun Village, she was looking for a motivator for MAMPU ‘Aisyiyah program which actually is congenial with the work I am doing right now.

I accepted Jariyah’s offer after I learned about the goals and objectives of the program. I agreed to become a motivator for the Balai Sakinah ‘Aisyiyah/ ‘Aisyiyah Women’s Group (BSA) activities can be done hand in hand with the government’s program, such as Posyandu (integrated health post). MAMPU ‘Aisyiyah program through BSA also creates an opportunity to bringing up many more potential cadres in advancing their village forward. Adding to that, most of the cadres and members of BSA are mothers of childbearing age who are prone to various health risks, particularly reproductive health disorder, thus they need assistance from a midwife, just as I’ve been doing in Sambigede Village until now.

I gained a lot of knowledge which strengthens me as a midwife and a motivator. Through this, I have learned to effectively communicate information on health to women. Not only that, now I ould actively contribute in encouraging this village’s creative economic and innovation.

One memorable moment was when we managed to arrange the Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid (VIA) test at Puskesmas (public health center). What I cherished the most was the participation rate of women to check themselves was very high. “Alhamdulillah, at that time each BSA managed to encourage their members to take the VIA test.” However, it wasn’t easy to accomplish. We gave our best effort to convince the women, who at that time, were too shy to follow the procedure of VIA test.

We’ve been trying various approaches to gain participants and to convince them to take the VIA test, we also worked together with PKK (family welfare organisation) to spread the word the importance of the VIA test. Despite all of our efforts, there is one significant approach that worked, which is storytelling. We asked one of the BSA members who has taken the test to tell their experience to the other members who hasn’t. The experienced member also told the other members that they don’t need to be embarrassed or shy because the ones who will do the examination are female midwives. Alhamdulillah, they slowly gained the courage to take the test. This achievement is a proof of the great work that our motivators’ and cadres’ are doing.

Not only I gained knowledge on reproductive health, I also gained new skills, ability, and courage through this. I saw highly dedicated women who experienced changes within them and influenced changes in the society.

I thanked God for the good return of all our work all along. Since the creation of BSA through MAMPU ‘Aisyiyah, most women in this neighborhood who previously had different religious perspective, now feel sympathetic towards ‘Aisyiyah program, a similar situation happened to the government of Sambigede. The local government gave us their trust and appreciation to MAMPU ‘Aisyiyah program by managing a fund allocation for Pap smear test implementation for up to 70 women. Thanks to MAMPU ‘Aisyiyah in our village, not only me but also the other motivators, cadres, and the people in Sambigede felt positive changes.

Thank you MAMPU and Aisyiyah!

 

Written by: Elik Kurniawati taken from Most Significant Change stories