Monthly Health Education
Local unit and GOT (community women) members receive monthly health education through the monthly health education program, which is administered by nurses during coffee drinking rituals. The traditional coffee ceremony, besides coffee drinking, is a buddy system that allows women to discuss personal, economic, and social issues away from the gazes of their husbands. Nurses educate women on reproductive health (including reproductive rights of women, family planning, personal hygiene, communicable and non-communicable diseases, and diseases that disproportionately impact women, such as breast and cervical cancer among others.) They also educate the women about harmful traditional practices such as FGM that inflict physical and psychological violence against women.
Environmental education is also provided to women, who benefit from it by learning more about environmental protection and contributing to cleaner and safer communities. They also plant trees in their neighborhoods as part of the government’s yearly Green Legacy Initiative.
WHAE’s health education program includes a lesson on motherhood as well. This education is intended to enable mothers to take care of themselves as mothers and to encourage them to share their personal experiences with other local unit and GOT members. The women in each group look out for one another and provide support and guidance to one another.
Annual Formal Health Training
Women receive annual formal health training from medical doctors on a variety of communicable and non-communicable diseases as well as practical knowledge such as first aid, breast self-examination etc. WHAE recognizes that women have intrinsic skills and abilities that enable them to be effective leaders. They are inherently empathetic and open to ideas and innovations, making them pioneers and way makers in many aspects but do not have easy access to leadership training platforms that enable them to hone their qualities. Realizing this, WHAE also provides annual leadership and life skills training to local units and GOT women. All formal trainings are provided by professionals.
Nutrition education and demonstration is designed to educate local unit and GOT women about the benefits of a balanced diet and to encourage them to increase their fruit and vegetable intake (within their means) and not to overcook vegetables. The women also yearly receive seeds and gardening training from WHAE to support their participation in urban gardening, which will enhance their health and strengthen their security of food supply.
Local unit and community women clean their neighborhoods through quarterly community-wide cleaning campaigns. WHAE distributes cleaning materials, including smocks, shoes, capes, brooms, masks, etc., to local unit and community women. The women also receive body and laundry soaps after the cleanup.
Access to Health Services
Local unit women benefit from enhanced healthcare services because of WHAE's health insurance scheme. In order for the women to have access to treatment, WHAE signs MOUs with regional and Addis Ababa hospitals and pharmacies. WHAE covers all of the women's medical expenses and ensures that all women become part of the government’s Community Based Health Insurance Scheme.
Ten (10) HIV bed-ridden women are being cared for each year in Chancho (Oromia Region) by trained local unit members who volunteered their time to bath the women, clean their houses and transport supplies to the women. The patients receive milk every day, as well as food support from WHAE such as wheat flour, cooking oil, and sanitary supplies body and laundry soap on a monthly basis.
WHAE’s male engagement program includes training on women’s reproductive rights, marital relationships, respect for women and the physical, emotional and legal consequences of gender-based violence, puberty and parental responsibility, peace and conflict resolution, volunteerism, and civility.