Family planning, funding and ferries

World Population DayDid you know that around 16 million girls under 18 give birth each year worldwide? And there were over 800 teenage pregnancies recorded in Fiji in 2012 – most of these students?

MSP supported UN World Population Day 2013, focussed on the issue of adolescent pregnancy this year, with a special free clinic for women and young people.  We were subsequently featured on FBC News and on radio. Catch the web articles and TV interview with Jennifer Poole via the links below: (timing 0400-5.45 mins)

Poorer baby outcomes

Services should be readily available: MSP

We continue to promote gender equality and to enable every young person in Fiji to fulfill their potential through improved access to family planning and sexual reproductive and clinical health services and information.

Funding support

Funding is integral to the continued successful impact of our programs, and we are thankful to have secured some funding support through the Fiji Community Development Program (FCDP). This will allow us to further develop our programs in 2013 to enable more women, children, young people and vulnerable populations in Fiji to access quality health care services.

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FCDP Team Leader, Michael Brownjohn, said: “FCDP is really pleased to be supporting such a well-respected organisation in Fiji, which fills an important service delivery gap in the area of sexual assault counselling and reproductive health and education.”

Doctors at sea

We hosted medical students James C and James D from the University of Cambridge in the UK for a month. They were a big hit with our community outreach team and local communities alike, and gained valuable insight into the common medical problems experienced by local communities in Fiji.

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Before leaving us, they said: “It was amazing to see the villages and how their populations have thrived through farming and fishing. We were treated to some tasty lunches prepared by the village women and it was interesting to chat to the locals and hear about their way of life, customs and traditions.

“We have had a really enjoyable time here at MSP, seeing a lot of interesting medicine and working with a fantastic team. We feel very privileged to have been part of such a valuable outreach program and hope to help out with MSP once more in the future. Thanks a lot guys!

Empowering young men as well as women

We delivered our second Engaging Youth in Child Protection & Women’s Empowerment to End Violence Against Women & Girls workshop – this time in Lautoka for Western Division Youth. The mix of both female and male participants ensured that the important messages were conveyed to both sexes and we received some great feedback.

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Jacob Raymond said: “We need more workshops of these types that will engage our youths in child protection and women’s empowerment to end violence against women & girls. Youths have to be taught from this young age that violence against women & girls is totally wrong. By conducting these types of workshops the youths will come to know how to become better husbands and fathers later on in life…

Being a man, I believe women also have rights and need protection. Very few men will think about this…I’m glad that MSP is playing a role in eradicating gender-based violence and in empowering women & girls. You should be highly commended for this.”

Our final workshop in the series will be held in Labasa in August for Northern Division youth.