Linkages and LLLI - An International Partnership
Training and Community Coordinator,
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 37 No. 1, February-March 2001, p. 24
LINKAGES is a global behavior change project which focuses on four components: optimal breastfeeding practices, the timely introduction of complementary feeding, Lactational Amenorreha Method (LAM), and maternal nutrition. The Academy for Educational Development (AED), La Leche League International (LLLI), Wellstart International (WSI), Populations Services International (PSI, a social marketing project), CARE, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), and World Vision (WV) have formed a consortium to work together toward the design and implementation of strategies that contribute to improved infant feeding behaviors, maternal nutrition, and the use of LAM.
LLLI has contributed its mother-to-mother support group expertise through the design of a Training of Trainers module for non-government organizations (NGOs), Ministries of Health and the private sector to train community-based health care volunteers to lead breastfeeding mother-to-mother support groups within their communities. LINKAGES has contracted LLL Leaders to field test the Mother-to-Mother Support Group training module (Ghana) as well as the LAM module (Nicaragua), to implement trainings in breastfeeding mother-to-mother support groups to NGOs (Bolivia and Niger), and to provide training in volunteer testing and counseling to women who live in an area of high HIV prevalence (Zambia).
LINKAGES is also working with La Leche League of Guatemala to test the well-known and widespread strategy for promoting breastfeeding: mother-to-mother support groups. This study tests the hypothesis that La Leche League of Guatemala breastfeeding support (including mother-to-mother support groups and home visits) improves breastfeeding practices at the community level. A second hypothesis tests whether increasing the ratio of breastfeeding counselors to women of reproductive age results in significantly higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding and lower rates of bottle usage among children less than six months old.
At the Regional Latin American workshop in Puerto Rico, November 14-15, 2000, 35 LLL Leaders from Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central and South America participated in a Mother-to-Mother Support Group training. Their training was funded by LINKAGES and UNICEF and was given by LLL of Guatemala and Maryanne Stone-Jimenez. These trained LLL Leaders now form a national cadre of trainers able to provide technical assistance to local and national private voluntary organizations, government entities, and non-governmental organizations in the formation of community-based mother-to-mother support groups.
Specific Objectives of the Training of Trainers:
Training Opportunities for Leaders
Director, Action and Development
957 N. Plum Grove Road
Schaumburg, IL 60173-5194 USA
Phone: 847-519-7730, ext. 260
Email: contact form
Training and Community Coordinator
1825 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington DC 20009-5721 USA
Email: mstone at aed.org