Women, health literacy and empowerment

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Session Notes

Rough notes - remyd@civx.us

Beth Santos    as a volunteer that got dropped into OLPC    Sao Tomei(sp), west coast of Africa island, 150,000 people    Went there working with an NPO. While I was there I got information about a    bunch of computers that got there, but people weren't using. I walked in,    and started working with students. The machines were given through an "OLPC    Corps", apply to recieve $10K and 100 OLPC by partnering with an NGO. They    did a few weeks there with the program, and then left. The school kept them    locked away so they wouldn't lose them. It was mostly teacher training, and    then we did a weekly 3 hour saturday class to teach students. There are 2    schools in one building, and 2 groups of students come through during the    week. Very busy.

   The teachers kept the program, with a bit of luck, for a whole year, and are now starting a new year. When I was with the 6th grade students, there was an even mix of girls/boys. We had a class of 16/18 kids, and 3 of them, in this other language course, were girls, who often skipped due to cultural pressure for girls to not prioritize Education. 65% of kids continue on with their education.

Primarily the girls used etoys in the course over the summer. Video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWHIH-pmWBo

Everybody in Sao Tome is trying to self identify. They were a portugese colony until 1975.

They had seen computers before, like 1991 huge computers before the xo. They started learning in 7th grade how to use them.

Remember, these girls are not expecting of themselves to continue their education. I did these interviews with lots of people. The girls really interested me because I had no idea what they were going to say.

v=gIZ2aBtp5ho Student Interview at Sao Joao 1

I was surprised to hear their answers! These are things they are picking up/figuring out by having internet connection at school. It was really amazing to see these girls, not only developing as girls, but right along side the boys and the rest of their classmates.

Lets look at the things that people put on the board.

One of the things you video and these posters have in common in demonstrating is overcoming the fear of technology. Is that part of your experience?

The school in Kenya at Atugi(sp), the boys and girls mixed are getting new skill sets. There are issues there though. We encountered FGM, and other atrocities while there too.

There is another group that goes from York to the Kenya school, and talk to the girls separately about what is coming up in the future. One of the girls said, "No matter how many hours you put in, if you can get one parent educated to keep their daughter from going through something like that, it's worth it."

The difference between health education for women, focusing on health as a risk factor, and also an asset, as a positive thing. As a risk factor, it is less sexy as a product that you can sell to funders, than if you say "if we provide this kind of education, it is a long term asset not only for that woman, but for that society". This longterm asset model is not what most orgs are using.

Even good orgs like doctors without boarders or smiletrain. Peopel come from all around and get treatment, but then go back to where they were from, and continue to fail to practice nutrition, immunization, etc...

So, healthcare education has a longterm asset for a communtiy. It also empowers a woman, as she is a fount of knowledge, and is no longer just recieving instructions formt he males in the family. That is her project, Harmuia(sp).

The small village where she and her family were highcaste type folk, she is coming back with a foundation to her village to meet the health needs of women in her community to demonstrate this proposition: Health literacy will create empowerment. Homaira Mahi(sp) was on the schedule to present, however, she as women do, has child care responsibilities to her 7 month old child needed her. We all are in awe of that (in a good way :), but that is why she is not here.

Anyone have experience in teaching health literacy to women, who then teach that knowledge, and excercise that in their communities to a greater degree? Has anyone seen this, or is it just a theory.

A: I've seen birthcontrol presented, in portland, as an empowerment tool, and being responsible to society. Don't spread disease, don't get pregnant if you don't want to. It generally emanates from the women. If it is hidden, and women don't talk about it, its underground and more "locker room" talk.

That comes back to another topic on our board about "HIV prevention". There has been alot of advance for that in women's health, and things of that kind, that has come out of the HIV Epidemic.

We've been travelling to Kenya/Nairobe at a health center. Once the men there find out that the woman is been diagnosed with HIV, they go and get another wife, leaving them with 0-12 children. It seems that the learning center is the future to getting these girls and boys to make decisions for their future.

Q: What is the Man's Role in Women's Health? Q: How do we reconcile this with cultural values (Western Values)?

A: We don't have the problem in the Phillipines, because we make them "think they are in charge" *Laughter*.

A: Make it the man's idea A: Technology as a tool for empowerment through acquiring knowledge.

The experience in india, is that health literacy and increased economic benefits, ahve caused indians heading into the middle class, have lowered the rate of child rearing. The success in India of the maternal health programs, have exceeded the succcess of the "One chlid per family" mandate in china. The india birthdate has gone down significantly more than china, according to Humyra(sp)

Increase the attention to family planning, but increasing economic wealth, which has a secondary advantage over society.

A: Ther is a trained crew in India, trying to get young brides to wait 2 years before having kids. It's a struggle.

It is a struggle, but the question is, is there any success?

A: Well is it growing, so there must be.

Q: When people move into the middle class, they have less children. Is the other true--That having fewer children leads to a better economic life?

A: Instead of having lots of disposable income, you need more dishwasers/cars/needs. Is there an increase in disposable income if you have 4 instead of 9 children? I don't know. They have less "physical stuff". As soon as the reach the bottom rung of having enough food, a place to live, and an education, it seems they are happier than those without, regardless of family size.

Q: Is there a counter argument to have larger families, once you get away from the "Family Farm" model.

A: In urban environment, every additional child is another mouth to feed, not another hand to make the work lighter.

If you have a village, and you give money to a man, he will probably buy a motorcycle. If you give it to a woman, they are more likely to buy food or start a business. The more resources you have, the more empowerment you feel you have.

in this country even 50 years or less, a divorced woman could not get credit, or have control over their own money.

In Afganistan, that is what is happening with the Taliban now. You see women beggers with child in hand, who are begging because they are not valued.

Beth:    There is a song about a man in Sao Tome about a man who has a Girlfriend for    everything: One to work, One to sleep, ONe to eat, and he ends up not    having to work. It's a funny song :)

There are muslims as well as Hindus Aziznagar(sp), the study is they ahve developed a women's health education curriculum, on the XO. Because they are university based, they will do an assessment before hand, and a monitoring afterwards.

In muslim communities, birthcontrol is not an accepted practice. The grandparents want offspring, the husbands want a son, and it is not a good place to start. The place to start is pediatric health. How do you make your child more likely to survive birth. 20% of children in Afganistan die before age one. One in 20 women die in child birth. Maternal health in child birth,a nd pediatric health in the first year, will bring support fromt he community, and from there, if you have an education component, you can educate ofr nutrition, clean water, and all the other things that go into health literacy. When a woman begins to have an understanding of how health happens, and how to stay healthy, we hope it will be powerful enough to empower them to continue the cycle. Muslim custom is wash your feet... that doesn't help when you come from the fields or from dumping trash going right up to the dinner table.

What else are the things that are listed on here?

Q: Are there other organizations that are looking at the XO's role in teaching these things?

A: I know of work in Afganistan and Nepal. One thing, is a health Activity, which is designed to be looked at by the parents. In both languages (Dadi, and Pashto(sp), put on as an effort to educate the specifics, but also the child's use of the computer to be more desirable, as there is something for them on the computer as well. In nepal, i've never seen the health routines.

We are currently developing a health activity. My other hat is with the waveplace foundation, teaching teachers how to use/apply etoys to their curriculum. This takes away the mental blocks so teachers can see how computers are used in the classroom. One of the places we are doin ghtis is in Haiti. we've been trying to develop content in that area. WE have a group on the OLPC-Health list. We are focusing on water and Sanitation.

Is anyone familiar with the Book "where this is no doctor" Alot of groups in countrys, use this book, to help when there is no doctor, to give birth, cure bites, etc... to follow the directions/help others.

The hope for us, is that there can be a similar document, that kids can use to learn but also participate in how the process of water cycle/flow.

Q: A few years back, a non-profit ,instittue for one world health, did field testing in india for leach meniasis(sp), like lepracy. They said, "people have to have enough energy and be cured of this disease, before they can learn about bad water" Which issues should be prioritized when doing health education?

A: Its a chicken and egg question. Have people learn as much as they can, about as much as they can, and have them make their own decisions on what actions to take.

I'm concerned about children, not having proper nutrition, not being able to learn. IN your deployments have you talked about these kind of issues?

A: In haiti, we provide snacks before class, and in St. John's. Along with teacher training, as part of the program. The difference between hardcosts and softcosts. Hard cost = Laptop, or other discreet things that you know how much it will cost. Soft cost = Tech support, Teacher Training, breakfast, etc...

it is difficult because that is a vector for corruption :(

Calling the cost of the laptop    in afganistan $230 to deploy a laptop.        This includes the solar panel costs, and teaching training, etc...        This is for 25 laptops. If you took $30 extra dollars, for each laptop,        it will help cover these "soft costs". The laptop is a useless        doorstop, unless you have teacher training, tech support, monitoriing        and evaluation, gathering of informaiton, longitudinal studies. What is        the "real cost" is the right question, not that "the laptop costs        $189.00".        In afganistan, we paid tech support $50/month, which was pretty good        wages there.

Last conversation with Mike Dawson this morning:    We were talking about a proposal for Pactia(sp) province, where there are    no girls schools, building a protocol into the boys schools to take their    laptops home and teach literacy to their sisters and mothers, who do not    have access to education. It is going to take some thinking on how to best    do this.


* Now talking in #olpc-555
* Topic is 'Outreach Track: Women, health literacy and empowerment (Carol Ruth Silver, Humaira Mahi, Beth Santos)'
* Set by silbe!~silbe@twin.sascha.silbe.org on Sat Oct 23 14:39:18
<CanoeBerry> Sorry for the late start!
<CanoeBerry> Beth Santos now beginning!
<CanoeBerry> Can someone plz help record this channel?
<CanoeBerry> It will be posted in about an hour to..
<CanoeBerry> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_SanFranciscoBayArea/Community_Summit_2010#Schedule_of_sessions
<CanoeBerry> This session (ROOM 555 OUTREACH+ TRACK) is:
<CanoeBerry> Women, health literacy and empowerment
<CanoeBerry> (Carol Ruth Silver, Humaira Mahi, Beth Santos)
<CanoeBerry> Beth Santos discussing Sao Tome & Principe, a small Portuguese-speaking country off the West coast of Africa.
<CanoeBerry> "Women aren't expected to be educated there."
<CanoeBerry> "Several girls skip classes and don't care about school at all."
<CanoeBerry> 65% of students go from 6th grade onto high school.
<CanoeBerry> Tech issues in room with MUTE
<CanoeBerry> Of Beth's video..
<CanoeBerry> Sound problem in room.
<CanoeBerry> Sound fixed!
<CanoeBerry> http://youtube.com/watch?v=IWHIH-pmWBo
<CanoeBerry> We are watching the video above.
* @mavrothal (~laura@ Quit (Remote host closed the connection)
<silbe> CanoeBerry: YouTube says not available. Typo or not-yet-uploaded?
<pleia2> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWHlH-pmWBo
<CanoeBerry> http://youtube.com/watch?v=IWHlH-pmWBo
<CanoeBerry> FIXED video link above!
<silbe> thx!
<CanoeBerry> Folks are not EXPECTING to continue their education.
<CanoeBerry> Beth asked them what they _were_ expecting..
<CanoeBerry> Inspiring non-scripted dreams..
<CanoeBerry> Girls developing own identities, some even dreaming of being engineers now..
<CanoeBerry> 2 post boards at the front of Room 555 here.
<CanoeBerry> 20 people in room here added their ideas to these 2 spontaneous paper posters:
<CanoeBerry> 1. Health Literacy
<CanoeBerry> 2. Women's Empowerment
<CanoeBerry> Kenya challenge: FGM (female genital mutilation)
<CanoeBerry> Somethings boys don't have to go through.
<CanoeBerry> Tho yes, circumcision as adolescent age in some parts of Kenya..
* jnettlet (~jnettlet@S010600240142f8d3.vc.shawcable.net) has joined #olpc-555
<CanoeBerry> York University (Toronto) group goes nearby there to talk to girls separately..
<CanoeBerry> York Univ student: "no matter how many volunteer hours you put it, if you can generate 1 girl/mom that her daughter doesn't have to go through this, it's worth it"
<pleia2> picture of the ideas paper that the audience put together: http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/5107714665/
<CanoeBerry> pleia2 saves the day!! See photos of both posters in above link!!
* MarkDude (~Mark@pdpc/supporter/student/markdude) has joined #olpc-555
<CanoeBerry> carol ruth silver: long term asset for that women AND society..
<CanoeBerry> Risk factor model: good orgs like PIH / Smile Train give medical treatment then folks go back to bad nutrition etc..
<CanoeBerry> (Partners in Health)
<CanoeBerry> Health Education has _long term_ implications in helping life of woman / her family _and_ then she becomes fountain of knowledge to that community..
<CanoeBerry> Humaira Mahi in India community, unable to be here today it seems.
* bensheldon (~bensheldo@sfs-wifi-aruba-dhcp-130-212-149-169.sfsu.edu) has joined #olpc-555
<CanoeBerry> Was supposed to co-present today, but Carol Ruth Silver presenting her India story breifly now.
<CanoeBerry> (Humaira Mahi in India community, unable to be here today it seems.)
<CanoeBerry> Question for Carol Ruth Silver: evidence of greater empowerment? or is this just a theory?
<CanoeBerry> Mark T? presenting Portland, Oregon experience where communicating birth control more publicly (outside the closet, outdise the locker room) succeeds in prevent HIV etc.
<CanoeBerry> (Mark Terranova, Zareason, Fedora Ambassador, GidgetKitchen.org)
<CanoeBerry> Giant screen fixed by Ben Sheldon!
<CanoeBerry> Back on topic..
<CanoeBerry> Robin Ridenour? discussing men get another wife when prior sick? Learning center as center of hope.
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<CanoeBerry> Beth: is there still a man's role?  If women use technology instead, to inform their health/values/etc. How do you prevent classic cultural imperialism from US/Europe etc?
<CanoeBerry> Cherry Withers: Make men believe they're in charge? Find one enlightened man?
<CanoeBerry> Remy DeCausemaker on a software perspective: "running code & quality patches matter not your age/gender"
<CanoeBerry> "Role of technology: knowledge"
* _sj_ (~sj_@wikipedia/sj) has joined #olpc-555
<CanoeBerry> Carol Ruth Silver: concern over man's role in muslim countries
<CanoeBerry> "HIV positive man in Kenya?  When she has 9 childen and we're tired of her, we'll get another wife?"
<CanoeBerry> But when those same guys come to Germany/UK etc, economic equation changes to 2-4 children.
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<CanoeBerry> Humaira Mahi was going to speak on thie health lit experience here in India..
<CanoeBerry> Indians moving into the middle class are significantly limiting their childbearing..
<CanoeBerry> Hmm: Exceeded success in China?
* bensheldon (~bensheldo@sfs-wifi-aruba-dhcp-130-212-149-169.sfsu.edu) has joined #olpc-555
<CanoeBerry> Young married couples in India are being asked to delay having kids.
<CanoeBerry> Struggle to communicate the benefits here to young brides in India.
<CanoeBerry> Cherry Withers: counteragument to economic argument of having less kids? More kids' hands need on farm.
<CanoeBerry> Carol Ruther Silver: every additional child is another mouth to fee!
<decause> s/fee/feed, but both work :P
<decause> should I be taking notes in IRC instead?
<decause> ?
<CanoeBerry> Yes!!
<CanoeBerry> Thanks!!
<CanoeBerry> To be posted at end of hour here:
<CanoeBerry> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_SanFranciscoBayArea/Community_Summit_2010#Schedule_of_sessions
<CanoeBerry> Disempower women, by taking away their ability to control money?
* knoppix_____ (~knoppix@cpe-74-73-156-174.nyc.res.rr.com) has joined #olpc-555
<CanoeBerry> Their lives are  of no value, except to themselves -- begging in the street, and completely unable to get a job in Afghanistan.
<CanoeBerry> Unless family takes them in, "they might as well be dead"
<CanoeBerry> Beth Santos: Sao Tome song on man who has diff girlfriends for dinner, sleep, breakfast, etc -- and so not having to work ;)
<CanoeBerry> Humaira Mahi will use XO for health education in tiny village near Hyderabad, where she growing up.  Muslims and Hindus in that area?
<CanoeBerry> Village: "Aziznagar"
<CanoeBerry> Women's health educ curriculum developed, on XO.
<CanoeBerry> Univ based: so assessment beforehand and monitoring & evaluation later?
<CanoeBerry> Question from audience: Is birth control the core of womens' health, everything starting from there?
<CanoeBerry> CRS answer: too controversial to start there.
<CanoeBerry> 20% of Afghan kids die in first year.
<CanoeBerry> 1 in 20 Afghan moms die giving birth.
<CanoeBerry> Pediatric health critical..
<CanoeBerry> Education component educating for nutrition+clean water?
<CanoeBerry> Maternal Health Lit..
<CanoeBerry> Hope: Empowering enough to give women voice asking folks to wash hands (beyond Muslim tradition of washing feet)
* Retrieving #olpc-555 modes...
<CanoeBerry> Implement knowledge!
<CanoeBerry> Question from audience -- Chritine Murakami asks: what other OLPC Health traction is out there / emerging?
<CanoeBerry> CRS on Pashto work..
<CanoeBerry> Beth Santos discussing OLPC Health mailing list she has fostered this year, to advance Water / Hygiene content this year.
<_sj_> [note: we have some discussion about health in 553 -- Stacy Kertsman @ UC Berkeley & Eduweavers, is working with schools in South Africa on nutrition and health
<_sj_> ]
<CanoeBerry> She mentions "Where there is no Doctor" book freely available.
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<pleia2> mailing list link: http://lists.laptop.org/listinfo/health
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<CanoeBerry> Specific mention: Leech disease more excacerbated by water problem?  Which do you tackle first?  Both together??
<CanoeBerry> Specific mention: Leech disease more exacerbated by water problem?  Which do you tackle first?  Both together??
<CanoeBerry> Time check: 9min remain
<CanoeBerry> Elizabeth Krumback discussing linuxchix.org
<CanoeBerry> Remy familiar with them.
<CanoeBerry> Role Models as critical?
<CanoeBerry> Hard costs (laptops) vs soft costs (breakfast for kids, tech support, transport of kids)
<CanoeBerry> CRS on corruption risk when paying soft costs especially.
<CanoeBerry> Reminder: we've been discussing these thoughts on "Women, health literacy & empowerment"
<CanoeBerry> http://www.flickr.com/photos/pleia2/5107714665/sizes/l/in/photostream/
<CanoeBerry> CRS discussing teacher-training, transp, deliv, etc costs being more upfront.
<CanoeBerry> Plz join us 3:15p this afternoon for more discussions of Peer-to-Peer learning, perhaps including health issues!
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<CanoeBerry> Above Transcript Now POSTED to:
<CanoeBerry> http://wiki.laptop.org/go/OLPC_SanFranciscoBayArea/Community_Summit_2010#Schedule_of_sessions
<CanoeBerry> Remy DeCausemaker & Ben Sheldon are helping supplement / clean soon!