A guest post by Chloe and Katherine Manchester
The holidays are an extra reminder that family matters most.
And it may seem obvious, but ‘family’ is what’s truly at the heart of ‘family planning’. Not politics or fraught debates. Just family.
Being able to plan if, and when, to have children is a crucial starting block for being able to care for your family in the best way you can. It means, in a life full of uncertainties, that parents have a greater ability to invest in their children’s education and nutrition; that mothers can plan enough time between births so that mother and baby are as healthy as possible; and so that a baby on the way is cause for celebration, not concern, and never burden.
Our father Tim would have done (and did) anything for his family, and he dedicated his career to helping other families around the world build healthier futures. We chose to work together with Kupona Foundation and CCBRT because we knew that doing so would continue his legacy, and give parents in Tanzania the same opportunity to provide for their families.
Tim’s Corner is a small kiosk next to CCBRT Disability Hospital in Dar es Salaam, where patients, their families, and other visitors can speak with a trained nurse about family planning, and access the best contraceptive options to suit their reproductive intentions, in a safe and welcoming space. The average Tanzanian earns less than $3 a day, so making these services accessible to everyone is part of our shared vision of making family planning services more equitable.
The next step is integrating these services into other programs at CCBRT, including the new Maternity and Newborn Hospital, as well as for women recovering from obstetric fistula repair surgery. We also need to make the services as accessible as possible for adolescent men and women. Reaching high risk groups with contraceptive services can be life-saving.
There are many worthy causes deserving of your support this holiday season; we sincerely hope that you will consider giving to Kupona in honor of happy families in a part of the world where poverty poses a daily struggle. Tanzania was our adopted home for more than eight years, and holds a special place in our hearts. We are so thankful for the amazing staff at CCBRT and Kupona who work so hard to champion this cause.
Happy holidays, and thank you for all that you do.
Chloe and Katherine Manchester