Since 2010, PPGNW has provided support to the Módulo Anexo Materno Infantil (MAMI or Maternal-Infant Health Annex) in the province of La Romana, Dominican Republic. A partnership between the public hospital and a local non-profit HIV and primary care clinic, MAMI was created to respond to the high rates of sexually transmitted infections/HIV and adolescent pregnancy. MAMI offers high-quality, teen-friendly services and sexuality education to the poorest youth in the province.
“I feel very happy to see [her] maturing and becoming less shy. She now talks with me openly about topics related to sexuality, something she never would have done before.”
~Mother of La Romana peer educator
PPGNW’s primary roles working with MAMI include:
Teen/Peer Education Training Sexual and Reproductive Health Education Training Funding Support Capacity Building
In the first 22 months of the PPGNW-funded project, the number of youth MAMI reached in classroom reproductive and sexuality health education sessions increased more than four-fold—from 1,388 youth in 2010 to 6,986 in 2012. MAMI also initiated the first-ever sexuality education in the batey community schools; residents of bateyes are primarily of Haitian descent, face discrimination by Dominican society, and have the poorest health outcomes in the province. Furthermore, in the 22 months of the project, the number of new family planning adolescent clients increased by an incredible 315%. In the same time period, there was a 21% increase in HIV testing at the clinic. With their newly acquired knowledge, these youth now have the critical information and access they need to family planning services.
PPGNW International Program funding also supported training peer educators to help facilitate school and community education sessions while developing leadership skills. All MAMI education sessions foster a non-judgmental environment where youth can talk openly about sexuality, which in turn facilitates discussion with peers and family members.
A 2013 visit to PPGNW by two educators from MAMI strengthened vital capacity building and enabled dynamic cross-cultural learning. Continuing this relationship, PPGNW’s International Program is fostering capacity building at MAMI for increased independent sustainability.