On 4th May 2017, Society for Family Health (SFH) Rwanda conducted the third annual gathering of the Community Based Organisations (CBOs) that for long have partnered with it in influencing the behaviours of individuals to adopt recommended health standards or practices for their healthier living. In other words, these CBOs have been an alternative channel in offering and extending SFH health products and services to their communities.
They have provided and produced locally based initiatives and health solutions such as conducting community dialogues, sketches, and dramas aimed at influencing behaviours of community members to obtain a healthier society in accord with SFH objectives and values.
In SFH philosophy, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) are a group of ordinary people, getting together and responding to the shared health needs around them and those in their communities. Although most of them literary lack the formal education and skills required, they are very vital in reaching out to their communities with health messages and products as well as impacting their lives.
In addition to the philosophy, SFH also believes that working with CBOs, there is an assured level of sustainability of its interventions to communities they serve-since CBOs are able to deliver and transfer health messages to such communities with or without SFH Rwanda. This is because they have been trained and retooled to ensure their unique insider position within communities.
CBOs are a community model intervention adopted by SFH to ensure the sustainability of its interventions with or without its existence. They are supported and facilitated by Global Fund and Rwanda Social Marketing Project (RSMP), a five year project funded by USAID.
Jannet Opio: giving her opening remarks during the CBOs annual gathering at Le Printempts Hotel.
Jannet Opio, the Chief of Party for Rwanda Social Marketing Project said: “I think we have learnt a lot from you (CBOs) much more than you have learnt from us especially in dealing with community needs; we only gave you the framework but it’s you who knew exactly what people already knew and what they were already doing and how they ought to improve first hand”.
The annual CBOs meeting takes place once a year, and is organised with intent to share experiences and best practices–paying attention to issues and needs that CBOs express. It is also a good opportunity for CBOs themselves to come together and discuss matters they find important and share among themselves best practices or else have a peer to peer review opportunity.