Empowered Marvi as a Change Agent

Village Allah Ditto Lashari is a remote village in district Sujawal, Sindh, Pakistan with 165 households and population of around 1000. Marvi worker Ameena is resident of this village, she is 45 years old with four children, and had a wish to educate her children but could not because of lack of resources as her husband was an agricultural laborer.

As Ameena was committed to serve her community, she was selected to work as Marvi worker and was provided skill-based training to provide counselling service for Reproductive Health and Family Planning through use of videos in local Sindhi language on digital tablets.

Ameena provides counselling services to Married Women of Reproductive Age (MWRAs) on FP methods especially to young couples, and encourages inter-spousal communication and women participation in decision-making about FP. A Marvi Markaz was established at her house where a Lady Health Visitor visits every fortnight to provide skill based FP services including insertion and removal of Intra Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUCD) and injectable contraceptives while Ameena provides Condoms and replenish dose of contraceptive pills.

She established an enterprise at Marvi Markaz with the support of HANDS. She sells health, nutrition, and hygiene products as well as basic food items and vegetables at affordable prices. The women who were previously dependent on their male relatives for their basic purchases are now Ameena’s customers, enabling her to start earning an income.

From her income and savings, she purchased a motorbike for her husband which is now being used for taking her children to school and her wish to educate her children has come true with her financial gains. Whenever required, the motorbike is also being used to take sick people from the village to a health facility. Her husband also supplies milk to the nearby town, which further supplements their family income. For Ameena it is not only source of earning money but she also gained respect and recognition in village for which she feels delighted.

Today, the program has extended from 300 Marvi workers in one district to 3,950 Marvi workers in 15 districts across the country, serving a total population of more than 4 million including more than 850,000 women and adolescent girls.