Meet Odonkonyero Richard lives in Pongdwongo, Gulu District in Uganda. Odokonyero was selected to become a Village Team member 7 years ago, when the local council announced that they were looking for committed members to get training as Village Health Team members.
Since then, Odonkonyero has been training and counseling women and men in the community about various health issues and family planning services. Odokonyero is well known in his community and has had many positive impacts on families. His favorite story is about a couple whom he sensitized about the use of family planning. They had for a long time tried to control the spacing of their children but without success. Both of them are peasant farmers. Odonkonyero is happy that his training enables him to participate in community activities in a respectful way.
As more and more families are interested in family planning, the demand for long-term methods and for Village Health Team members that are trained in this subject is constantly increasing. Odonkonyero wishes that more people in his community could be trained in family planning. Aside from the health team members, at the Karin health centers we also offer both short and long-term family planning methods. We also offer natural methods of family planning too.
A challenge that Odonkonyero faces with some community members is a lack of knowledge about family planning which often results in negative attitudes from husbands towards family planning methods. He has been involved in family conflicts where family planning has brought about fights. Therefore, Odokonyero makes sure to explain the advantages of family planning to both men and women. He ensures that men especially understand the use of family planning.
When asked what she likes about her job, Odokonyero said that he helps to bring unity in the family. He knows that when there is love in the family, there is peace.
When he was little, Odokonyero wanted to be a carpenter, but after working as a Village Health Team member for many years, he would now like to use his skills and become a nurse.