“Maternal mortality is still a huge problem in Afghanistan, where being pregnant and giving birth are a risky business,” writes Sakena Yacoobi on the interactive women’s empowerment site, World Pulse. As executive director of the Afghan Institute of Learning, Yacoobi was invited by the media site to describe how AIL’s workshop for expectant mothers is combating misinformation and “old wives’ tales,” and encouraging more women to receive clinic care.
Since the first workshops started in 2010, Yacoobi notes vastly better results in safe, healthy births for both mother and infant. She ends her report on an optimistic note about the power of education and the receptiveness of Afghan women:
[I]t shows the situation within our culture is not intractable; change and improvement in outcome is possible. Afghan women just need the opportunity of education; they will seize the opportunity and then they will take responsibility to look after themselves and their children in the best way possible. There is no uphill battle to be fought in persuading a change in attitude; it is a question of access to knowledge which is the catalyst for a shift in what is normal behavior.
Pratham co-founder Madhav Chavan finished a 9-city tour of the U.S. with a stop in Houston for the Pratham Annual Gala, held at the Hilton Americas Hotel in downtown Houston. His American travels included a visit in April to CMC to attend ceremonies for 2013 Kravis Prize recipient Johann Olav Koss. His Claremont trip included participating in a lively panel discussion with other past Kravis Prize recipients (Pratham received the Prize in 2010). In Houston, Chavan celebrated the local Pratham chapter’s raising of a record-breaking $1.3 million in donations.