It is nine in the morning and Tigist has just finished feeding her two youngest children. She steps out of the house in her blue uniform, carrying her bag filled with leaflets, contraceptive supplies and the notebook with her appointments.
Tigist is a community-based distributor for Marie Stopes International in the Merkato area of Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. She lives and works in Merkato, travelling around the community to ensure that women in her area can access family planning and other vital sexual and reproductive health services.
First on her list of appointments is Saada. After having twins, Saada decided with her husband that two children are enough, for the moment. “It’s so expensive here in Addis” she tells Tigist, “and I have to send money back to my family in Walisso”. After talking with Tigist about all the options available she decides to carry on taking the pill, but Tigist will go back and see her regularly to make sure that she has the option to switch to another method of contraception if she chooses to.
Next on her round is Zeitu, a frail looking 30 year old mother of four children. She gave birth to her first child at just 14, having been sold into marriage in her village in Wollo in the Amhara region two years earlier. “Four children are enough,” Zeitu tells Tigist, “I’m tired and the little money I make as a seamstress just isn’t enough to feed us.”
Tigist visits her regularly and makes sure that she is able to access the family planning method that suits her and helps achieve her reproductive choice of not falling pregnant again.
Tigist visits women like these each and every day, making sure that they can access and choose the contraceptive that is right for them. She is typical of the 8,000 men and women that work for Marie Stopes International, delivering life changing services in some of the most underserved and hard to reach communities in the world.
It is their commitment that allows Marie Stopes International to deliver the impact that it does, and it is their effort and dedication that sits behind each of the numbers in our Global Impact Report