We are excited to announce that W4C Vice President, Isabella Cortes Lara, sat down with Post-Growth Australia for a podcast episode about her experiences facilitating access to family planning resources and conservation training to women in rural Colombia.
In this podcast, Isabella highlights her personal experience organizing conservation programs in rural communities, and explains how Women for Conservation began implementing family planning programs after listening to the stories of young women.
“We listen to what the community is saying – that is the most important part of our work, and why we started doing family planning. Instead of going in with our own agenda, we listen to what the people are saying that they need. We were really appalled by the amount of girls that were 16, 17, 18, that weren’t able to finish their high school education because they were already pregnant or they had already had a baby and they were desperate – desperate to receive help. And they weren’t able to go to our conservation programs, because they had to take care of their children. The issue here is that there are so many girls who want to pursue a career, but how can they pursue a career if they already have two kids? “
“The entire trajectory of a girl or woman’s life is changed with having a child, especially if she’s having that child without help. Many of these girls who are coming up to us are saying “look, my husband has left me, I already have 2 children, I don’t think I can sustain another pregnancy, and I want to be able to do it in the most responsible way, can you help me?” We bring nurses, psychologists, doctors, to these communities, and they are the ones that give all the information on family planning and perform contractive procedures for those who want them. We also do other healthcare, like mammograms, and we talk about preventing cervical cancer because that’s another huge issue.” – Isabella Cortes Lara
Overall, the interview highlights Women for Conservation’s mission to support thriving communities, as a way to both benefit people and the planet.
“We look at it this way: if people are living better lives across the globe, they will probably have increased access to education, and can help create innovations in the world. They could contribute medical advances, technological advances, the list goes on. If those people are better off, then humanity is better off. We are coming at this from an altruistic angle – that all humans have a right of quality of life and the pursuit of happiness. And we, with Women for Conservation, are doing the best we can to raise this message of positivity, to support the well-being of people and the planet.”
Click here to learn more about our work through another podcast interview Paws for A Moment by Brevard Zoo with Founder Sara Inés Lara.