Real People Talk Family Planning


January 6, 2016

When Family Planning 2020, an organization working to reach 120 million more women and girls with access to voluntary family planning information, services and supplies by 2020, recently decided to come up with a new storytelling campaign, they naturally looked to Humans of New York for creative ideas.

With the goal to tell true stories about the people behind their movement in lieu of the upcoming International Family Planning Conference this January, a Tumblr called #FPVoices was born.

Images + Words = Truth

More than 200 million women in under resourced countries who want to use contraceptives, don’t have access to it according to the United Nations Population Fund and Guttmacher Institute. Over the next year, the campaign aims to capture a rich variety of these voices from around the world – featuring men and women of all ages and nationalities.

The Tumblr page, a partnership between FP2020 and The Knowledge for Health Project (K4Health) from USAID, features stories from medical practitioners, midwives, nurses, researchers and ordinary women and men who spend their entire lives fighting to protect family planning rights.

Picture of an aspiring doctor in New Guinea

Dr. Edith Kariko, Service Delivery Director at Marie Stopes PNG, is an aspiring doctor in New Guinea. Photo by Marie Stopes International, FPVoices Tumblr

Working to Improve Access and Global Health

Dr. Edith Kariko is a Service Delivery Director from Marie Stopes PNG in Papua New Guinea, working to lower the death rates for mothers in her region. She uses #FPVoices as a platform to tell her story:

Picture of a midwife

Heny Rosdiana, Midwife at village-level health facility, Suralaya Sub-district, teaches women about IUDs. Photo by Agung Arnita, FP Voices Tumblr

“As an aspiring doctor, I always wanted to share my knowledge and give something back to my people that does not require a lot of resources, but will have a great impact on their health. In family planning, I found it.”

Heny Rosdiana is a midwife from Indonesia. She’s not only working to improve access to family planning in her village but also to empower the women and girls she’s helping. On the Tumblr blog, she is quite personal about her storytelling approach:

“I use the IUD. For me, the IUD is very comfortable, and I have no side effects. Often during counseling, I use my experience as an example.”

Mothers Who Want Better Lives for Their Children

Then you have ordinary yet extraordinary human beings like Nahimana, a young single mother in Burundi, who is fighting against all odds to raise her daughter to live in a world unlike the one she was raised in; one in which she was forced to become a sex worker:

“As a girl, I hope that I will be able to support my daughter’s education. If she could finish her studies and find a good job, that would bring a positive impact to her future.”

This is a campaign about hopes and dreams for a better world for women and children. As the world welcomes and works for the success of the global goals, the family planning movement’s role is significant. By telling stories of the millions of women and girls around the world who do not have access to voluntary contraception, we can move the issue forward and together create a healthier world.

Picture of a mother in Burundi

Nahimana, 22, mother of two, works at a market and also sells sex in order to provide for her children in Burundi. Photo by International HIV/AIDS Alliance, FPVoices Tumblr

Take Action Challenge

  • Share one of the stories on #FPVoices on your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or other social media stream and start a dialogue about family planning and its significance.
  • Follow along with #ICFP to get the latest updates on the International Family Planning Conferencee.
  • Read stats and get other important info over at and find out how the organization plans to reach of an additional 120 million women and girls by the year 2020.

Share this post!