The Leadership Program for Reproductive Health in the Visayas

Grooming leaders, bridging leadership and nurturing initiatives among people’s organizations and community youth

October 2003 – September 2006

Leaders of people’s organizations (POs) who are educated and trained on issues related to gender equality, sexuality, reproductive health and reproductive rights are potent instruments to promote Reproductive Health for All in their communities in Regions 6, 7 and 8. Believing in this, the Visayas Primary Health Care Services, Inc. (VPHCS) implemented the Leadership Program for Reproductive Health in the Visayas with the Visayas Reproductive Health Initiative (VRHI) consortium with the support of the Ford Foundation from October 2003 to September 2006.

The project worked to enhance the quality of life in the Visayas through an educated awareness of issues and concerns that relate to gender equality and the empowerment of women, sexuality, reproductive health and reproductive rights.

The project developed a corps of leaders from among the various sectors of society, i.e., local government units (LGUs) and government organizations (GOs), non-government organizations (NGOs), academe, mass media, youth, health service providers, local stakeholders and grassroots organizations who can organize and empower their respective sectors and shape reproductive health education, advocacy, and service delivery and influence local policies toward optimum reproductive well-being of the population.

Aside from the VPHCS, the VRHI consortium was composed of  the Sociology-Anthropology Research Group (SoARG) of the University of San Carlos, the Media Advocates for Reproductive Health and Empowerment (MARhE)-Bacolod City, and the Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Philippines (AMHOP)-Bohol Chapter.

A training for leaders of people's organizations in Region 7.

The VPHCS worked with people’s organizations and community youth groups while the other organizations worked with the other sectors.

A series of trainings for the http://cialis-versus-viagra.com leaders of people’s organizations and youth groups was conducted that included topics such as basic health orientation, reproductive health orientation, understanding sex and gender, human sexuality, family planning and safe motherhood, addressing gender-based violence, reproductive tract infections, adolescent reproductive health, men and reproductive health, and leadership in community health work.

After the trainings, the leaders conducted information drives through the mass media, community education classes, distribution of leaflets and gatherings, and launched parents’, youth and community assemblies, photo exhibits, cultural presentations, and reproductive health campaigns. They established linkages with local government units and government and non-government agencies in providing reproductive health services in their localities.

The various organizations included the following, namely: the Samahan ng Maraliting Kababaihang Nagkakaisa (Association of United Urban Poor Women) based in Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, the Nagkahiusang Kabus nga Mag-uuma sa Tuburan alang sa Tinuod nga Kagawasan ug Demokrasya (United Poor Farmers of Tuburan for Genuine Freedom and Democracy) in Tuburan, Cebu, the Libas Urban Poor Association in Barangay Libas, Roxas City, Capiz Province, the Samahan ng mga Maliliit na Mangingisda sa Samar Laban sa Kahirapan (Association of Small Fishermen against Poverty in Western Samar), the Katig-uban han mga Mag-uuma ha Sinirangan Samar (Alliance of Peasant Organizations in Eastern Samar), and the Nagkahiusang Ubaynong Mag-uuma (United Farmers in Ubay) in Bohol.

The three-year VRHI project ended in 2009 but its gains left an indelible impact on the lives of many communities of peasants, urban poor, women, youth and other marginalized sectors in the three Visayas regions. The knowledge and skills imbibed by the various leaders of their organizations created ripples, flowed and weaved through the daily lives of the people in the continuing endeavor to advance Reproductive Health for All.