Cynthia's notes from the field, October 2018

Cynthia Stadler is a Zienzele Board Member and certified nurse midwife. This was Cynthia’s third field visit, and during this trip, she ran her second cervical cancer screening clinic. These are some of her notes and images!

 Cynthia, Nancy, and Prisca

Cynthia, Nancy, and Prisca



Yesterday was our first Teen sexuality workshop. We were joined by two amazing women from BAHSO- Kombi and Chipiwa. BAHSO is an organization founded by the family of the first woman in this area to die of AIDS. They are inspiring educators focused on living positively with HIV , STI prevention and sexuality education. Zienzele frequently collaborates with this terrific organization.
We had 47 students come, ages 12-17. 
We covered puberty, reproductive anatomy, STIs, pregnancy and birth control, healthy relationships and gender based violence, PLUS planning for your future and careers.
The students asked great questions. It seemed they really got something out of the day and enjoyed it.
Knowledge is Power!

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Our big cervical cancer screening day. It was a grueling day. We left the house at 7am and didn’t get home until after 7pm. We screened 94 women using VIA (visual inspection with acetic acid) and found 14 positives. This is a low tech screening method developed by the WHO for low resource areas using vinegar and the naked eye. We have arranged for the 14 women needing cryotherapy to travel by van together to the hospital for treatment.

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We held our second teen workshop in Berejena today. A donkey decided to join the class! The highlight for me was the three post secondary students who came to tell their story and provide inspiration to the younger students. Solomon, Petronella and Daniel were great! So wise and honest and inspiring. Solomon had the kids all chant “ Zienzele helps you stand on your own two feet!”

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Today we delivered food and clothing to the 69 of the child headed households (children who live without an adult or with an old disabled adult) that Zienzele supports.

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Each of our 46 basket groups submit their best weaver’s work into our big annual basket competition-always an exciting gathering full of dramatic skits, singing, dancing, laughing, and for ten women and the cooperatives they represent, the honor of winning… and prizes!

The woman in the photo is this year’s first-prize winner, posing with her winning baskets.

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 Zienzele Representatives are crucial on-the-ground liasons with our women’s cooperatives and the children we support, keeping us all connected between Prisca and Nancy’s field visits.

Zienzele Representatives are crucial on-the-ground liasons with our women’s cooperatives and the children we support, keeping us all connected between Prisca and Nancy’s field visits.