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Teaching FEMM in Colombian Misak Indigenous Community

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In Colombia in Silvia, Cauca the indigenous Misak community lives and there we had the  privilege to share a FEMM workshop. 

The Misak cosmogony is structured in a dual system: the masculine and the feminine. For them  the conception and the beginning of life are very important as well as all the phases of the  reproductive continuum. 

People from the Misak community are losing their traditions. Most women now use hormonal  contraception and are now affected by their health impact. As an example, last year one woman in  the community died due to the usage of hormonal birth control. 

This is why some of them are now interested in natural family planning methods that are more  aligned with them. 

Mama Agustina Yalanda is a midwife and community leader who knows our work so she invited us  to her community. Thanks to her we have been able to exchange knowledge in a horizontal  relationship. 

Last year we visited Silvia’s Botanical Garden where we shared to women and men a workshop  about the ovarian cycle, ovulation as a sign of health, hormonal contraception, natural family  planning, observing the biomarkers, and charting their cycle using FEMM. 

Since the Misak people are very knowledgeable about cycles of life in nature, we adapted the  teaching language of FEMM for them using metaphors comparing ovulation with growing a seed  and tropical weather seasons (dry and wet seasons). For them it was very easy to understand  the information in these terms. 

This workshop was self financed by our own resources. We have spoken with some community  leaders and they see our work as urgent, but unfortunately they don’t have economical  resources to finance us. We want to continue with this process we began last year, be able to  go back to Silvia and teach the whole FEMM program. 

“The workshop that you shared with us was very important for us as women to learn more about  our bodies, our first territories. Now we know that there are natural family planning methods that  do not harm our bodies. Thank you very much for sharing this knowledge that was very helpful  for the women of the community. Pai pai (thank you)”
Mama Yuli Yalanda, Misak leader. 

 

“It was very rewarding being able to reach the Misak community that does not have the privilege  to access this education, but urgently needs it”.
Manuela y Laura, FEMM Teachers

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