Farrell April 2009

Name: Naima Farrell
Post: Pénessoulou
Contact: 97-96-18-13
Pickup Location: Cotonou
Brief Project Description: Early Pregnancy presentation during CEG Penessoulou’s Cultural Day, Tuesday, April 8, 2009

During CEG Pénessoulou’s Cultural Day, my homologue and I led a one-hour long discussion with students on the problem of early pregnancy at our school.

First, we asked students about the disparity between the number of male and female students at CEG Pénessoulou and its causes. Inability to pay school fees, lack of parental/ family support, laziness and lack of ambition, tradition, and early pregnancy were a few of the reasons students cited for the lower enrolment and retention rates of girls at the college.

We then focused our discussion on the issue of early pregnancy. We asked students what they considered to be an “early” pregnancy and what the impacts of early pregnancy are on the mother, father, child, and community. We discussed how early pregnancy might be prevented (abstinence, condoms, birth control, and other family planning methods) and asked students why many people do not use these methods despite their wide availability, affordability, and ease of use. Students received a hand-out (attached) outlining ways to postpone sexual relations, and students who volunteered to answer questions received free condoms.

We concluded by discussing how students could protect themselves and prevent early pregnancies in the future.

Date of Project: Tuesday, April 8, 2009
Number of People Involved: 2 presenters, 200+ audience members

Item Number Cost
Photocopies 170 (x 15 CFA) 2.550 CFA
Condoms 10 boxes of 12 packets (x 850 CFA)* 8.500 CFA
Total Cost 11.050

Amount Requested: 11.050 CFA

Note: 4 additional boxes of condoms were donated by the owners of ETS Défi Communications, the store where I purchased the condoms, to show their support for girls’ education.


GAD Coordinator Comments: She needs to provide some sort of closing report or evaluation, as she is requesting a reimbursement. Otherwise, I think it looks like a great project. Recommend funding.

GAD Finance Comments: I agree with closing report, but looks like a really good project. Recommend Funding

Update: Naima added the following section to her reimbursement request (see below). Funding approved.

Closing Report

Things that went well:
-Students gave forthright, candid responses to our questions
-My homologue did most of the talking, which I think was very effective and encouraging for potential future events
-The Q&A format was good for involving the audience and keeping things moving
-The presentation was well-prepared and covered a lot of important information
-The parents in the audience seemed receptive to the message and participated in the discussion
-Students were excited to receive condoms as prizes

Things that I might do differently in the future:
-I’m not sure that Cultural Day was the best occasion for a serious discussion; most people were in the mood to celebrate and have fun, and the group we addressed was very large. Though we did our best to liven up our session and involve the audience, I think we might have had more impact meeting in smaller groups on a different day.
-I wished the midwife could have been present (she was out of town).

Advice for other volunteers who would like to do a similar project:
-Host the discussion in smaller groups
-Perhaps try to involve students in the planning, as well as professors

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