Changing Behavior Around the World
The MicroMass family planning and skill building trip to Malawi, Africa was featured, along with 3 other agencies, for their philanthropy and humanitarian efforts in the May issue of MM&M.
MicroMass partnered with a local nonprofit organization, With Change In Mind, to deliver family planning training to a small, rural fishing village in Malawi, Africa. Alyson Connor, president, and Margot Mahannah, senior behaviorist, trained more than 150 women and 50 men on anatomy, reproduction, and family planning methods. The training focused on correcting inaccurate illness perceptions and helped community members understand available planning methods.
“With Change In Mind has a deep commitment to building skills and the capacity to promote wellness and ensure sustainability within communities,” said Mahannah. “We knew we had a unique opportunity to make a difference and promote behavior change outside the pharma environment.”
“We also facilitated a skill building exercise to bring the impact of tracking women’s cycles to life, and served as a trusted resource for women and men to ask questions,” added Mahannah. “The training was very informal, but extremely well received and attendance exceeded expectations.”
This trip is an extension of what MicroMass does as an agency — helping facilitate sustainable behavior change.
“Whether it’s a patient who doesn’t understand the benefit of using their maintenance inhaler or a person who doesn’t understand the benefit of understanding their menstrual cycle, behavior change is universal,” Mahannah noted. “Building trust and rapport with any community is paramount, and information alone is not enough to change behavior.”
The trip has been inspiring to all of MicroMass. “Although only two of us took the trip, the project was a team effort and we’re all proud that MicroMass was able to make a difference in this community,” said Mahannah. “It was uplifting for the entire team.”
The MicroMass and With Change In Mind work in Malawi is generating interest from pharma publications. In addition to MM&M, Med Ad News recognized MicroMass as one of 3 finalists for the prestigious Heart Award. The Heart Award is based on an agency’s social responsibilities and cultures that embody a high commitment to philanthropic and social causes.
MicroMass will continue to support With Change In Mind and their efforts in Malawi. In fact, recently Alyson and Margot were named to the With Change In Mind Board of Directors.