Written by Sadia Ahmed
Family planning and child spacing in the Somali community has historically been a taboo topic of conversation. Women have not always had the opportunity to explore birth control and other child spacing options due to stigma surrounding it and lack of resources. A lot of mothers chose to stay at home and take care of their children while their partner went out and earned a living for the family.
Over the past decade especially, it seems that times have changed and there is increasingly more education surrounding the topic of child spacing in the Somali community.
Here at Wellshare, we provide our clients with resources that inform them of the positive effects of child spacing. Wellshare’s Family Planning Special Projects team had the opportunity to collaborate with Amin Arts, a professional cartoonist located in Canada, to create an educational animation on child spacing. This video collaboration, along with our Somali Decisions about Child Spacing booklet, provide the community and those alike with resources they can use to navigate their family’s future.
Our very own Community Organizer, Adar Kahin, came up with the idea of this video after years of witnessing families in similar situations. She is a mother of six children and believes that parents deserve to have an understanding of child spacing. Adar shares that her own family also had these experiences and it encouraged her to put more effort into teaching families about child spacing. Many families that she spoke with were unaware of the term ‘family planning’. Adar says “I’m sure many people will think this video is about them but this video is about all families that are struggling. I want to help all of them.” Adar does this work to ensure that her community members are getting the much neededsupport they deserve and hopes that viewers will feel empowered by gaining awareness of the role child spacing can play in their own lives.
We would like to thank our SPEAK team for working on this video and Amin Arts for bringing it to life. This animation was funded by the Family Planning Special Projects grant funded by the Minnesota Department of Health.