We have learned that family planning is the most important way to improve people’s lives in the long term. There are many great projects that give people clean drinking water or jobs. All of these programs are beneficial, but they can only reach their full potential and bring about lasting improvement through family planning. In this article you will learn about why this is the case.

Reason 1:

Less children equals less expenses for nutrition and health care

Just under half of the inhabitants of Kisumu County, Kenya, earn less than USD 1.90 per day and therefore live below the poverty line.  This means that almost every second person does not earn enough to buy essentials. Due to the growing population, most families have little land to grow food themselves. The situation is made worse by the birth rate of 4.4 children per woman and the very young population (44% are under 14 years of age).  The more children have to be fed from the already low income, the more serious are the consequences such as malnutrition and immunodeficiency. The HIV prevalence of 19.9% as well as a multitude of opportunistic diseases (malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis, etc.) additionally increase the need for good health care and are one of the reasons for a child mortality rate of 5.2%. All these factors stand in the way of a healthy development in childhood – this can be prevented by family planning.

Reason 2: Overcrowded classes worsen education for all

“Education is the key to a better future” – many parents in Kenya are also aware of this. However, as the number of children increases, school classes become more and more crowded and it becomes increasingly difficult for children to actually learn anything. Elementary school is theoretically free, but there are still costs for school materials, uniforms and additional teachers, because the state teachers are not enough. Secondary school is even more expensive, as additional school fees of 90 to 450 euros per year have to be paid. In summary: For many parents, financing their children’s school attendance is an impossibility! Therefore, not all children or often only the boys are sent to school, while the quality of education continues to suffer and learning a profession is denied to many.

Reason 3:

Trapped in the spiral of poverty

Wrong nutrition and poor education are bad starting points for a promising future. The children growing up now will have a hard time completing their education and finding a well-paid job.  Our evaluation threw our project work over several years showed that a low level of education and a low income impair the use of contraceptives. Especially the lack of acceptance, often caused by tradition and religion, as well as the high costs of contraceptives stand in the way of this. We can expect that the current children, who lack access to good education and other opportunities in life, will also have many children whose needs cannot be met. This makes it almost impossible to break out of the poverty spiral. 

Our solution: Lived family planning – happy children

When parents practice family planning, they can decide when they are ready for a child. Together with a consultant from our organization, they consider whether they can meet the needs of an (additional) child. If this is not the case, they concentrate on improving their situation through education, work and savings. We support them in obtaining contraceptives from government agencies and also help them to achieve economic independence.
Practical family planning creates proud parents who meet the needs of their children and offer them opportunities – without having to rely on donations!
Our project is not limited to families, but also involves specifically young people, men, village elders, religious leaders and many more. Together we want to break down prejudices, open up access to contraceptives and draw the attention of politicians to this issue. 
Learn more about our project Small Happy Families and help us to strengthen families across generations. As little as 14 euros enable a family to use contraception for a whole year.