Yogyakarta, 30 April 2016 - Twenty four participants, comprised of Muslim Religious Leaders, Islamic teachers and Family Planning Programme Officers from nine Asian and African countries, joined a training on strategic partnership with Muslim Religious Leaders in Family Planning in Yogyakarta from 25 to 30 April 2016.
The training highlighted the importance of understanding the Islamic perspectives on family planning and the role of Muslim Religious Leaders in supporting family planning programmes. But family planning is not only contraception. It is about enhancement of the quality of life for the individual, family and community. “Religious leaders hold the key to life for many families. Religious leaders shape individual and community behavior. Religious leaders are at the intersection where religion, science, technology, culture, morality and human behaviour converge, including around maternal health, reproductive health and family planning. You are critical to individuals, families and communities”, emphasized Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson – UNFPA Representative in Indonesia during the opening ceremony.
“The support and endorsement of influential Muslim religious leaders to new ideas about family planning has helped Indonesia’s Muslim communities accept and adopt new family planning approaches. The Government of Indonesia’s engagement with Leaders of Islamic-based organizations has resulted in several fatwas (religious decisions) that have been strategically important in acceptance of the issues by the wider community”, reiterated Ms. Siti Fathonah – Director of Center for International Collaboration and Training, BKKBN during the opening ceremony.
During the six day training, the participants were not only given the opportunity to discuss the issues during the class orientation, but also were exposed to several Islamic community-based family planning programmes, such as in an Islamic boarding school, in a mosque and in an Islamic hospital. “The participants also had a valuable opportunity to visit Islamic community developments in Yogyakarta which have had a significant role to support national family planning program.”, Ms. Rika Kiswardani – Director, Bureau of Overseas Technical Cooperation, Ministry of State Secretariat stated.
During the visit to Al Mahali Boarding School, one of the site visits, the participants met and discussed adolescent reproductive health issues with young people. “I was amazed with the open discussion on the sensitive issues among young people in the Pesantren, the Islamic Boarding School. The Ulama also explained the issues from the Islamic points of views”, said Imam Amin Mohammed Bamba from Ghana.
At the end of the training, the participants developed country action plans. There are eight country action plans from Algeria, Bangladesh, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Maldives, Niger, and the Philippines. The action plans will be implemented in the respective countries. “These action plans are working documents that need to be discussed with the UNFPA Country Offices in respective countries. I will ensure that UNFPA Country Offices provide support to implement the action plans”, said Dr. Demola Olajide – Chief, Non-Core Fund Management Unit, UNFPA Headquarters in the closing ceremony.
This training is a part of the commitment which is implemented under the scheme of South-South and Triangular Cooperation, coordinated by the Ministry of State Secretariat, implemented by BKKBN, with the technical support from UNFPA.
Tags: family planning