Today, Melissa and I were able to visit the land cooperative shared by women who have completed the Maternal Health Education Program administered by GlobeMed at GW and RVCP. Accompanied by Méthod and Ephrodite, we were able to observe the women as they planted the potatoes and were also able to help them with some of the planting. After the bulk of the planting and fertilization had been completed, we talked with the women about MHEP, their suggestions for the program, and any questions they have about the program. It was an overall successful day and was useful in getting information about MHEP, the land cooperative on which the women farm, and the methods they use for farming.
Aside from the useful information we gained from the women’s suggestions and insight about MHEP, we were also able to see the dedication of the women firsthand. All of the women who were present were diligently working, many with children nearby or on their backs. One woman, who was unable to attend herself, sent her husband, a 73-year old named Samuel, in her place. The husband’s attendance suggests that MHEP is becoming a program which holds respect and legitimacy in the community; an essential factor to the program’s success. The barrier of women being allowed or granted permission to attend the sessions seems to have diminished at least partially, as shown tangibly through Samuel’s presence this morning.
We hope to visit the fields again during the harvest, to see the fruits of the women’s hard work and dedication. Stay tuned!