278 - Faith-based organizations enhancing SRHR
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Faith-based organizations enhancing SRHR

Traditionally, faith-based organizations were not associated with giving aid related to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR). But this is an outdated view, according to DSW’s Angela Mutegi. She coordinates the communication activities of the Faith to Action project, which brings together faith-based organizations that are committed to educating young people in remote areas.

Faith to Action brings organizations together to enhance SRHR

Sexual and reproductive health is ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and its functions and processes.’ This has been defined by the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in 1995, based on the World Health Organization’s definition of health.

Faith-based organizations may not have been well represented in the past on the issues of SRHR. Faith to Action takes steps to make sure that contributions by faith organizations are documented and that there are evidence-based resources that communicate the impact of faith organizations engagement in SRHR. Faith to Action is a project implemented by a consortium of partners and DSW (Deutsche Stiftung Weltbevoelkerung) is acting as the secretariat of the network.

The project’s main objective is to increase faith-based organization’s commitment to providing SRHR information to young people with commodities, services, and respect for rights. The geographical focus is in six countries; Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.

The common view is that traditionally minded people refuse, or have difficulties with, sex education and contraception. "Well, it depends on how you define traditionally minded", Mutegi says. "I agree, however, that there are divergent views among various groups of people on how sex education and the issues of contraception should be conducted. These views range from issues of semantics to belief systems majorly dependent on the school of thought. These issues are informed by culture, education, and religion among others. As such, the behavior of each person towards sex education is unique."

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