Sirarou March 2009


Post: Sirarou
Date of Project: March 7, 2009

Brief Project Description:

The 20082009 academic year at CEG Sirarou has brought with it the highest female student pregnancy rate since the school opened in 2001. Since October 2008, there have been 12 known pregnancies. This number does not include unknown pregnancies or abortions. With these included the faculty of CEG Sirarou estimate that the actual number of pregnancies is closer to 25. CEG Sirarou has approximately 220 female students thus, using the approximation of 25 pregnancies, this means that 11.36% of female students were or currently are pregnant.

According to the faculty of CEG Sirarou as well as Sirarous midwife, most girls are either impregnated by other CEG Sirarou male students or by other village citizens. When asked why the girls do not use protection during intercourse in order to prevent unwanted pregnancies, the most common responses are: 1: lack of information, 2: fear of becoming sterile if hormonal contraceptives are used, and 3: lack of understanding regarding the most fertile days of a womans menstrual cycle.

In order to combat this growing teen pregnancy problem and to motivate girls to think about their futures and realize their full potential, I initiated the CEG Sirarou International Womens Day Event. All female CEG students and all of their mothers were invited. The event lasted from 10am to 1:30 pm on Saturday, March 7th, 2009. The event consisted of 2 separate programs. The first program, Les Beninoises Modeles, or Female Beninese Role Models, was a moderated discussion between successful Beninese women with careers and university degrees and participants. For the CEG female student participants, the goal of the session was to motivate them to think about their professional goals and to realize that there is more to being a woman than motherhood and being a wife. The model Beninese women were able to share their life stories and to give advice and answer girls questions. For the mothers of CEG students who participated in this session, the goal was to discuss what they, as mothers, can do to ensure that their daughters continue their studies. The model Beninese shared what their mothers did/are still doing to help them achieve professional and personal success in an effort to illustrate what the mothers in Sirarou can do for their daughters.

The second program of the event was a sexual health sensibilisation. The midwife of Sirarous health center and a midwife from Ndali together with 2 nurses gave the presentation in which available methods of contraceptives, their cost and usage were discussed. A discussion about the dangers of teenage pregnancies, abortions and sexually transmitted diseases was also had. The session ended wit ha condom demonstration in which participants were asked to put on and remove condoms correctly from the wooden penises used.

Mothers and daughters were kept apart throughout the event with the exception of the refreshment period at the end, i.e. while the girls were with the model Beninese women and the mothers were in the health session, and vice versa. This was done so that both mothers and daughters would feel at ease with asking questions, especially in the health session.

Hopefully, with the information learned during the event, at least a few of the 134 participants will have learned something that will help them protect themselves and prevent teenage pregnancy.

Number of People Involved: 144 people

Invited guests/speakers/presenters:
1. Sage Femme de Sirarou (health session presenter)
2. Sage Femme de Ndali (health session presenter)
3. Linfirmiere de Sirarou (health session presenter)
4. Health PCV Mani Mouanoutou (health session presenter)
5. CHABI MORO Ruth, 3rd year law student, University of Parakou (model Beninese woman)
6. AVIMADJENON Pascaline, Director, Kakara Primary School (model Beninese woman)
7. ZOMADI Petronille, Primary school teacher, Abarika Primary School, Parakou (model)
8. EDAH Messan Edwige, teacher and vice principal, Abarika Primary School, Parakou (model)
Subtotal: 8 guests

96 CEG Sirarou female students (6eme to 3eme)
38 mothers of CEG Sirarou female students
Subtotal: 134 participants

1 PCV, English Professor, CEG Sirarou
KLADJISSOU Rose, French Professor, CEG Sirarou
Subtotal: 2 organizers


Item Number ~Unit Price Cost
Bisap juice for participants 200 bags 25 5.000
Fried dough balls for participants / pte 200 balls/pieces 25 5.000
Soft drinks for invited guests and speakers 10 large 400 4.000
MTN phone credit for programming with guests 2.000
Bread for sandwiches for invited guests and speakers 5 125 625
Paper napkins for sandwiches 1 pack 875 875
Photocopies of event announcement distributed to all girls at CEG Sirarou 50 copies (5 announcements per sheet) 15 750
Hot dogs for guests sandwiches 2 packages 700 1.400
Vache Qui Rit cheese for guests sandwiches 2 rounds 500 1.000
Partial transport costs for health PCV Manivanh Mouanoutou 3.000
Total Cost 23.650

Amount Requested: 23.650 CFA
PCV Feedback: Overall I feel that the CEG Sirarou International Womens Day event was a success. I was very pleased with the female student turnout, 96 students of the 220 female students were present which is good when considering that many students do not live in Sirarou but are from surrounding villages (some over 15 km away). I am pleased that 38 mothers did come to the event but I wish even more had come. While I did make 2 tours of the village to remind the women of the event in the days leading up to it and while I did distribute an announcement to female students to give to their mothers, I feel like I might have done more. In the future I might make a large sign and post it in a public place or I might deliver flyers to mothers directly instead of relying on students to do so for me.
My advice for someone doing a similar project would be to start early and to find motivated community members to help organize it. I am fortunate enough to have a very motivated village midwife and to be friends with many of the more well-known and respected women in town who were able to introduce me to womens organizations and who were able to get the word out about the event without my having to be present.


GAD Coordinator: Great project! I was surprised to see transport for Volunteers included in the budget and telephone credit for planning, but the funding of Volunteer expenses is not specifically forbidden by our rules. Recommend funding.
GAD Finance: Recommend Funding. This is an absolutely fantastic project. I am extremely impressed. I think it is really unique and a great project for International Womens Day. How did she find out the information regarding the pregnancies? That is something that I would like to know.

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