Dividends of Empowerment and Resilience

Dividends of Empowerment and Resilience

Although people are hurting and many suffer injustice around the world, God’s goodness and faithfulness continue through generations. God’s lovingkindness is evident in the communities where World Renew has opportunities to work.

The following story testifies to God’s enduring love.

Jamila Abdulahi, a peasant farmer in Nasarawa State, gives thanks to God for giving her and her husband a baby girl. In their first five years of marriage, Jamila and her husband, Abdulahi, suffered three stillbirths and the death of a six-day-old baby, terrible losses that brought great pain and sadness to the couple.

During Jamila’s first four pregnancies, she and Abdulahi never visited a clinic for prenatal care or sought any medical advice at all. They believed in traditional remedies and thought going to the hospital for medical care was unimportant.

However, with the introduction of a maternal, newborn, and child health project in her community, Jamila had the opportunity to join one of the program’s cluster groups. Her husband and mother-in-law initially protested her participation in the project, regarding it as a waste of time. But with the intercession of program staff and village development committee members in her area, Jamila’s husband and mother-in-law eventually relented and allowed Jamila to participate in peer education meetings.

Two months into the program, Jamila became pregnant for the fifth time. She listened keenly to lessons on prenatal care, pregnancy danger signs, and baby care, and participated actively in group discussions.

As expected of program participants, Jamila also shared what she was learning with her husband, who listened carefully and eventually understood the need for his wife to receive prenatal care. Abdulahi accompanied Jamila to the health facility for her first prenatal care appointment, and Jamila faithfully attended all following prenatal appointments until she safely delivered a baby girl in June 2017.

After their daughter’s birth, Jamila and her husband followed the program and clinic’s advice on baby care, including exclusive breastfeeding. Staff and village development committee volunteers visited Jamila to encourage and support her.

Jamila’s fifth pregnancy, safe delivery, and the baby’s survival have changed Jamila and Abdulahi’s thoughts about medical care, especially prenatal care.

Jamila now encourages family members, friends, and community women on the importance of prenatal care, breastfeeding, and general hygiene.

As a result of Jamila’s story and the stories of other project participants, more women in her community and neighboring villages attend prenatal care appointments, and more deliveries are happening in healthcare facilities.

Parents increasingly see the need to have their children immunized. In one village in the Idevi community, development committee members contributed money to enable three pregnant women to attend prenatal clinics regularly.

Jamila and her husband sincerely appreciate everyone behind this project. Jamila says she cannot thank God enough for the fact that she is now a proud mother.

For more information on how World Renew supports women and children in bettering their health, visit worldrenew.net/goodhealth.

About the Author

David Tyokigir works in Nigeria as a program consultant for World Renew.

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