WellShare’s Reproductive Health Program, SPEAK (Spacing Pregnancies Program for East African and Karen Communities) – formerly the Child Spacing Program.
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The Somali Child Spacing Program provides culturally appropriate reproductive health education and resources to the Somali community and to health care providers serving the community. Grounded in a health benefits, client-centered approach, Somali Community Health Workers (CHWs) assist Somali men and women to understand their reproductive health options, and how to access resources and care. Likewise, staff work with providers to increase their culture sensitivity, thereby improving their work with their Somali patients.
Primary activities include:
- Home visits and community dialogues conducted by CHWs to discuss the benefits of child spacing and to refer participants to reproductive health services;
- Development and distribution of reproductive health education materials for providers and community members alike; and
- In-service trainings and forums for health care providers, educators, and other social service professionals.
Video: WellShare Couples Communication and Child Spacing
The Karen Child Spacing Program provides culturally appropriate reproductive health education and resources to the Karen community and to health care providers serving the community. In 2013-2014, staff from WellShare and the Karen Organization of Minnesota (KOM) partnered to develop and implement a holistic reproductive health curriculum in the Karen community.
The groups, facilitated by and for Karen women, seek to:
- Improve participants’ confidence in accessing health care – from understanding what types of care are available to knowing how to schedule appointments,
- Increase participants’ comfort engaging in conversations about reproductive health and family planning, especially with their health care providers and their children.
Additionally, WellShare is partnering with health care professionals and community members to create health education tools. These tools are intended to facilitate dialogue between Karen patients and their providers around the subject of family planning methods.
WellShare’s Reproductive Health Program is generously funded by Family Planning Special Projects at the Minnesota Department of health.