Encouraged and empowered: Helping women help themselves
K’s stubborn gaze and steady hands are surprising in one so young. She meets people's eyes, speaking confidently to patients and village leaders alike.
Like most girls from her village, K grew up accepting the established gender roles. She would do housework in her parents’ home until the day she moved into her husband’s home. The best women didn’t leave their husband’s house until they were carried out — when they died.
She didn’t expect to have an education or to get involved with the community. But then one day she met a Christian worker with a non-profit and partner of SIM who taught women how to run healthcare centres for mothers and children. Did she want to receive the training?
Soon K was learning how to give prenatal exams and vaccinations. She was encouraged to apply for a job as a nurse who oversees basic healthcare needs and arranges hospital visits. Not knowing how to apply, she didn’t give it much thought. After that she got a job providing family planning information, and then another job 400 kilometres away. Eventually she decided to return to help her own village.
Now K is married and has two small children. She has reconnected with friends from the non-profit, who are helping villages provide their own healthcare. When she heard there was a position open as a nurse, she applied for the job… and got it. She is responsible for three wards, around 2,000 people, and all have a 100 per cent vaccination rate.
A local organisation has promised K a job when her children are older and she can work full time. She will oversee maternal and children’s health initiatives in many villages. K is so glad the non-profit reached out to her with training and encouragement. She hopes that she too can make a big difference in the lives of women and girls.
• K and the other women the non-profit works with to know Jesus and receive spiritual transformation.
• The non-profit to continue empowering women and other marginalised groups.