From the twenty eight songs that were prepared by the various members of the local communities and schools, six songs were chosen to be performed for everyone.
This required hours of walking down and up mountain tracks so that no-one would miss out on the important messages embedded in the songs.
Every small cluster of houses was visited…
… every house…
…even the most isolated of farms…
… and in every school, across the two intervention districts.
It was a huge undertaking… all of it on foot… often on slippery tracks.
The team became something of a ‘wandering minstrel’ show!
At times, they sang as they walked.
They stopped to chat to women along the way.
There were impromptu performances where ever they met with people.
Taking a break from working in the fields, these women listen to the messages.
Taking it all in!
At another impromptu gathering… the women joined in the dance.
These songs were for them… to improve maternal health.
Importantly, men also stopped to listen.
Older ladies wished this intervention had come in their child bearing years.
There were gatherings in small hamlets.
There were gatherings in every available gathering space.
This singing and dancing cultural intervention program became ‘owned’ by the community. With such involvement from everyone, it’s possible to expect some really good outcomes for improving maternal health in the area.
There was intense interest from all ages and genders.
And there was intense interest, especially, from the young ones. They are the ones who will take such cultural change forward. Hopefully, they will ensure that, in their lifetime, maternal mortality will decrease dramatically and no longer take such a terrible toll on the women and the babies of their remote, rural communities.
Jennie, David and Binod
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