Kasis Road - Wan Smolbag Theatre


Kasis Road - Wan Smolbag Theatre


Kasis Road is the name of an imaginary settlement somewhere just outside of town.

The houses people live in, on Kasis Road, are made of corrugated iron or wood and

bamboo. There are little houses for rent, which only have a single room. A whole family

might live in one of these rooms. There is no electricity and the whole community shares

one tap.

The video follows the lives of a family living on Kasis Road. These are the members of the family

group. They all live in one house:

Abu Philip





Lorissa & David

(his son)

(Andrew’s wife)

(his younger son)

(a member of Nettie’s family living with them)

(Andrew & Nettie’s children)

The video looks at the problems affecting the family. The same problems exist in many Pacific

countries. Before you watch the video talk about some of the problems facing your community.


How many people in your immediate family work

How many people live in your house

How do you feel about the number of people that live in your house Can your family afford the

things they need

Does everyone in your family eat well

Do you expect to get a job easily, if you don’t have one already


There are many people in the world today. By the year 2050 there may be 10 billion people

alive on the planet, almost double the number of people alive today. This could cause enormous

and terrible changes in the way we live. Towns and cities would double in size. There would

need to be a huge increase in schools, hospitals and food production. Many more people would

be looking for jobs. There would be double the number of people needing firewood, land for

gardens and fish from the sea.

See how fast your own family is growing. Draw a family tree starting from your father’s mother

and father. How many children did your grandfather have and how many children have they


Here is an example:





= 0



= 0 = 0


= 0

=0 =0 0 =0 0 =0 =0 0 0 0=


0 0 0 0 00 0

: Male

0 : Female

= : Married


0 0






When you have completed the family tree answer these questions:

- How many of the people in the family are still alive today

- What is the percentage increase in numbers

- How many people do you think might there be in your family in fifty years time

- How many people in the family have been to school How many people in the family have


- How does the number of people in your family affect land

- What other things does the growing number of people affect’

Now you are ready to watch the video.

Kasis Road is over 80 minutes long.

You can show the whole video in an evening or afternoon

and then show segments

which will give you the time for activities and to discuss the issues raised in the film.


Play the video from the start to where Andrew and the other rubbish collectors are having

lunch. The scene finishes when Andrew says: “That’s the answer!”



a) What do you notice about the opening pictures before Tony jumps on the bus

b) Who beats Tony and why

c) The hospital orderly says that the boys have “Nothing to do but make trouble!” Do you

have boys like this in your area and is it true that they have nothing to do

d) Nettie says “You can’t trust girls today, Abu!” Is that true Give evidence for your answer.

e) What kind of person is Tony Do you like him


Tony sings this song to the pregnant girls:

Come and see my friends

These girls with no husband

They are having babies to fill up

Our lovely island..........

Tony says the pregnant girls are not married. Is

Tony right Find out from your local hospital if the

number of single mothers has gone up over the last

five years and see if the mothers are getting


You can interview the nurse in charge of the

maternity ward. You could ask questions like this:


a) What were the total number of births per year

for 1992, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97

b) Out of the number for each year how many of

the mothers were married and how many single

c) For each year how many mothers were

21 years old and under

d) For each year how many mothers were under 18

e) How many of the under 18’s had problem


f) Do mothers get any other information or help

from the hospital after leaving the maternity unit

g) How old should a girl be before she has a baby Why

You may want to make up your own questions or add other questions to these.

Take the results of your interview back to your group. Some members of the group can make

bar graphs. You can make a number of graphs:

Showing totals births 1992 - 1997.

Showing the number of single mothers for the same years.

Showing the number of mothers under 21 years old over the five years.

Showing the mothers under 18 years old for the same five year period.

You may make some conclusions from this and explain them to the larger group.


In the video Tony’s family live in a small house. There are many children in their area.

Before you watched the video you made a family tree for your own family. Find out about

family sizes in your area. (If it is too difficult to go round, you could look at family sizes within

your own group and their families).

Divide your town or village into sections, so that each member of your group has their own


Interview 10 married men or women from each area.

Find out their age and how many children they have. Here are some suggested questions:

-How old are you

-How long have you been married

-How many children do you have

-How many more do you want to have

-How many more does your partner want to have How old are your children

-How many go to school

Bring all your information together. Can you find an average family size What do you feel

about the average size Discuss your feelings with your group.


Alcohol is a legal drug. It is sold openly to anyone over 18. People who don’t work often make

their own. In the film we see the boys drinking ‘home brew’ a mixture of yeast & fruit. What

are the effects of alcohol Do we understand how alcohol makes us happy or drunk and how it

affects our bodies Perhaps you can find out from your library or a nurse at the hospital.


a) Who do you think drinks most; young men, old men, young women, old women Try to put

the list in order. Why is it like this

b) You have probably seen people drunk, can you describe the stages they go through as they

drink more & more

c) How do you feel about drunk people Tell a story about someone you have seen drunk.

d) What are people like the day after they have been drinking

e) What is an ‘alcoholic’

f) Are you happy with the way alcohol is sold

g) Does alcohol cause any problems in society What are they


Find out about what alcohol does to the brain, the liver, the nervous system and foetus in the

womb. You could also try to find out what other substances people drink and if they are harmful.

Write an article for a magazine about either:

The effects of alcohol; or the kinds of things people drink when they can’t afford alcohol. Give

the article a title: ‘Just a Little Drink’, or, any title you think is good & strong.

Make a poster for your community, school or group, which shows people how alcohol affects

their bodies.


Make radio spots about the dangers of drinking or the effects alcohol has on the body.

Remember everything has to be done by sound and voice alone. When you perform to your

group try hiding so they can only hear and not see you.

Example of Radio spot

This is an example of a simple radio spot:

(Sounds of people laughing, glasses knocking

















Come on, I want to go...you promised I

wouldn’t be late home.

What’s the problem We’re having a

good time.

Please.... I told my Mum I’d be home....

In a minute! (Sounds of laughing and

bottles clinking)


(Drunk) Alright ! Alright!


(Trying to start car) I was having a good

time! You had to go home! (Car starts)

I’m sorry.

I shouldn’t have taken you! (Car goes fast)

I could have stayed all night.

Don’t drive so fast.

I’m not driving fast.

Johnny be careful!

Stop whining! (A crash. Sound of girl crying)

Remember - Don’t drink and drive! It’s not worth it.


These short plays have only five lines. Each person takes one line. You have to decide what is

happening in the play and what your line’s attitude to drinking is. You should think about where

you stand, so that the audience can always see you. You should also think about whether

everyone agrees with everyone else or whether one person has a different idea. This should

affect where people stand, or who they focus on. A group with the same feeling should stand

together. If you are talking to someone you must look at them. You can have a lot of movement

even before you start talking. You might all be at a party dancing for example.

All these little plays have only five lines. Give out one set of lines to one group. They should

have 15-20 minutes to work out their situations & memorise their line. When all the groups are

ready they can perform to each other. They should then go back into groups & try and add five

more lines to the original play and then five more that bring it to an end. They show what they

have done after each five line set is complete always starting from the beginning. All the

situations in these plays are to do with drinking.

a) i) Come on try it!

ii) No! It smells terrible!

iii) I’ve had some......it’s fine.

iv) It makes you feel great!

v) Ah, she/he’s frightenend!

b) i) I’ve got it here!

ii) Don’t let anyone see!

iii) We’ll all get into trouble, you idiot!

iv) Yeah, we’re not supposed to do this.

v) Over here. No one will see us.

c) i) You’re coming with me!

ii) I want to stay. I’m having a good


iii) He/She’s not doing anything bad.

iv) Look we don’t want any trouble....

v) Leave him/her alone!

e) i) You can’t go home like that.

ii) I can go home if I want.

iii) You’ll get yourself killed.

iv) Can’t you do anything

v) Come on, let’s get out of here!

d) i) They say it’s dangerous, don’t touch


ii) What do they know

iii) Wait! You should listen to them.

iv) Talk, talk, talk, they don’t want us

doing anything.

v) It’s time they realised we’ve grown


When you have performed the first set remember to add five more lines. You can extend the play

as far as you wish, adding five lines each time.


As Tony is being pushed along in his wheelchair by Bill and Richard he starts talking about


Tony: They want to get their claws into you. Think if they get pregnant you have to marry them.

a) Is this true Do girls get pregnant to trap a man

b) Do you think a marriage that happens because the girl gets pregnant will be a happy one

c) Do you know any young parents Do young people make good mothers and fathers Give

some examples to explain your answer.

d) What should happen if a boy makes a girl pregnant

e) Tony says: “You marry them and they start talking, Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Bitches.

Money, that’s all they want!”

What do you think Is this a fair description of women


Imagine you are a single girl who finds she is pregnant. You are terrified of your parents and

what will happen to you. Write a poem about the girl’s feelings.


a) The president of the women’s club says that people need to know about family planning.

What reasons does she give for saying this Do you agree with her Are there more reasons

for planning families

b) Why are the women surprised when the nurse says that even young girls who have no children

can take the pill

c) The nurse says people are afraid to go to the hospital to find out about family planning. Do

you think this is true

d) The nurse says only condoms can protect people against STDs or AIDS. Why is it only

condoms that do this

e) The women want the nurse to talk to the young boys and girls. How old do you think people

should be before they are told about family planning Give reasons for your answer.


Andrew works collecting rubbish. One of the other rubbish collectors says that in some countries

people go on to the rubbish dumps looking for things they can sell.

In some countries people build their houses on rubbish dumps and live off the rubbish. This

happens in the Philippines and also Port Moresby; in Port Moresby a second generation of people

are now living on the rubbish dump.

a) Does this happen in your own country Why

b) Have you ever been to the local rubbish dump What do you remember about it

c) Is it near the sea or river Why would it be bad for a dump to be near these places

d) How many years will it last What will happen when a new one is needed

e) Do people ever take things or eat things from the rubbish dump

f) If people live on a dump what dangers or problems do they face (See photo page 12).


We see in the video the pressures that extended families create. The rubbish collector has a

house full of people. Nettie doesn’t want to took after Tony’s baby. There are many good things

too about the extended family.

In this exercise we look at the good and bad things about the extended family. The first thing

you need to do is to understand the word “freeze!” This is an order, telling you to stay completely

still. You can practice “freezing” by asking your group to stand up and giving them a list

of commands:-

“Run ! Jump! Hop! Walk! Freeze!”

You can continue the game by making up a story “You are an old man or woman, walk around,

imagine your back is sore and you are in pain when you walk. You go and sit down under a tree.

A fly is buzzing round. FREEZE!” Everyone should stop completely still like a group of carvings.

When you feel everyone is staying completely still on the command FREEZE, you can go on

to the second part of the exercise. Now you must divide into groups of six or seven. You must

make a series of photographs or freezes; three showing the good side of the extended family and

three showing the bad side. You can show three different good and bad sides; or you might use

the three freezes together to show only one good or bad side. But the six freezes must show both

the good and bad sides.

‘Each change of position can be signalled by clicking fingers or saying, “Freeze!”

You do all the good sides first and show them to the group, then all the bad sides. You will need

to discuss whether the groups are right about what they show.

IMAGE: In this ‘freeze’ the actors are showing that there is no where left to sleep. It is a bad side of the

extended family.


From the end of the scene with the rubbish collectors to where

Rachel is standing outside Tony’s house with the baby.


Abu Philip says to Tony, “Why do you make me ashamed of you, why”

a) Is it true that young people are becoming more and more disrespectful and wild

b) Are boys more wild than girls Give evidence for your answer.

c) If young people are getting worse, what is making them become this way

d) Would you like to see anything done to change what is happening to the young

e) What in your view do young people need to make sure they are respectful

f) What do you think of the scene where the boys watch video Is it realistic

g) Do you think videos have any effect on people’s actions


What kind of videos do young people watch Make a survey of video shops and young people

to find out. You can ask the video shops which the ten most popular videos are. Ask young

people about the kinds of videos they watch.




The pastor says condoms encourage young people to have sex and that they shouldn’t be given

condoms for this reason. Imagine that two of your group are an elder and a villager - they

against the idea of family planning. They do not want the unmarried boys and girls using

condoms or tablets. Two other members of the group are a health worker and a mother from the

village. They want family planning to be available to everyone because life is hard.

Imagine that you are all at a village meeting that the chief has called because of this issue. The

elder speaks first, followed by the health worker, then the villager and the mother. They should

have some ideas of what to say and also reply to the speeches they hear. When they have finished

speaking the group can ask questions.

The chief chairs the meeting.

There should be a show of hands at the end to see whose argument is most convincing.


In Kasis Road, most of the family’s food

comes from the garden. Are people in

town happy with the amount of space

they have for gardens Do they grow

enough food for the family Are gardens

on the islands or in rural areas as productive

as they were


You could try to write some questions to ask people about their gardens. Here are some ideas to

help you.

a) Do you have a garden where you can grow food

b) Is it big enough to grow all the food you want’

c) Is it your own land or some one else’s

d) Does everything in the garden grow well

e) Do people steal from your garden

f) How long does it take you to walk to your garden

g) Is it as big as your parent’s garden was

You may want to add some questions of your own. Find out what people grow in their gardens

or if the soil is still good. Each member of the group should interview at least five different

people. This will give you a much clearer idea of what the situation is.


a) Abu Philip says to Jane “What does a girl like you want with school” Is it as important for

girls to go to school as for boys

b) Do you think Jane’s life would be better if she went to school How

c) Do you think Philip is right to bring Rachel to the house

d) If you were Philip, what would you have done

e) What is the difference between a boy who doesn’t work & a girl who doesn’t work


We see the young men in the film filling in time by walking round town. Write a story, a poem

or diary entry about a day in the life of a young person, male or female, who has no job.

Imagine you are the young unemployed person.

Think about other people’s attitude to you, how your friends and family feel about you and what

you do to fill up your day. Am you happy to stay at home or do you want a job What do you do

if you need money Write about all this in your story, poem or diary entry.


Kasis Road is a place where water is not

available to everyone. The only piped

water is through a stand pipe and you

have to pay. When the bill is not paid,

the water is cut and the women have

to use the river water. Water is one of

the world’s most precious resources

and is being used more and more as

the population grows. It is also becoming

more and more polluted. Poor people

usually have less access to clean water

than rich people. It may be interesting

to look at how water is distributed in your area.


a) If you live in an urban area make a rough map showing where water is piped into houses,

where there are stand pipes and where there is no piped water.

b) Where water is not in pipes what methods do people use to collect and keep water

c) Do any of the methods in (b) have problems eg. health hazards

d) What do you feel about the way water is distributed at present

IMAGE: Bitter harvest... a boy from a nearby slum struggles with a sack of yellow maize retrieved from a

dumping site in Nairobi. Slum dwellers scrambled for the hundreds of tons of corn, which is believed to be

contaminated. Droughts have caused a maize shortage in Kenya. PHOTOGRAPH. GEORGE MULALA.


From where Rachel is waiting outside the house to the end of the video.


Tony has a lot of girlfriends. He makes Rachel pregnant but he doesn’t want her or her baby. He

then meets Liz. What does he feel about these women

a) What do you think Tony feels about Rachel

b) What does Rachel feel about Tony Does she love him

c) Why is Tony interested in Liz

d) Why does he buy her the earrings

e) Do you think Tony loves Liz Find some evidence for what you believe in the film.


f) Why do you think Tony has a lot of different girl friends

g) Is there any difference between a boy who has a lot of girlfriends and a girl who has a lot of


h) Can you say what ‘love’ is Does it really exist

i) Can you find an example of ‘love’ in the film

Now write a poem about ‘love’. You can write about feelings of love you have for someone, or

you can write about how stupid people are who fall in love. or you can write about having your

heart broken.

Here are two examples:

Love is bathing

In the warm sunlight

Of his/her smile.


Love is.... a bad joke

You smile for a while

Then you sigh

And wish that you

Could say



In the film we see Stephen breaking Tony’s leg as revenge for his making Rachel pregnant.

Nettie beats Jane when she thinks she has been with a boy. In this exercise we will look at

beating and whether it is a good way to punish people or not.


a) What do you feel when you see Nettie beating Jane

Is it funny

b) Does Nettie have the right to beat her

c) Will beating Jane make her understand she is wrong

d) Do you think it is right to beat young people or not

e) Should teachers beat students

f) If you think beating is wrong, what other ways are

there to discipline young people

g) What do you feel when you are beaten


You can have a formal debate about beating. In a formal debate there is a motion like this: -

- Children should never be beaten

- There should be no beating in schools.

- Beating is the only way to control young people.

- Beating is a traditional method of disciplining young people and should be accepted as part

of our culture.


a) Divide your group into 2 : one half for the motion, one half against. They must go and find

as many reason as possible to support the side they are on.

b) 2 speakers from each side must be chosen. They should use the reasons the group has found

and their own feelings and experiences to support their arguments.

c) The group must choose a chair to control the debate.

d) The chair asks the first speaker to speak in favour of the motion. The second to speak

against. The third to support the motion again and answer the second speaker and the final

speaker to answer the points brought up by the first and third.

e) The chair then asks for questions from the rest of the group which the speakers have to


f) Finally there is a vote to see whether the group supports the motion or not.


a) In small groups of 5 or 6 talk about a time when you, or one of your family or friends, were

beaten. Everyone should tell a story.

b) Choose one of these stories to make into a very short play. It should show us what the person

did to get beaten and the beating itself.

c) Try not to make the beating funny. You can do this by using a drum to represent the slaps or

punches. The person being beaten must not laugh. They should try to show the beating hurts

them. The actor being beaten responds to the beating but isn’t actually hit. You can perform

the beating in slow motion to give it a dream like effect.

d) When you have seen all the plays you may want to discuss whether the beatings shown

were the best way to deal with the situations or not.


Tony and Liz meet Richard in the early morning. He tells them that he has just found out that

he is not his father’s son. He was born before his mother married his father. This affects his life

because it means he has no right to any land.


a) Make a list of all the ways a child is affected, in your culture, by not having a father.

b) Is it easy for a mother to bring up a child on her own

c) Are there more children being born outside marriage today Why

d) Do women who have children outside of marriage want the baby or not

e) Is a child born outside of marriage more or less likely to go to school and have a job

f) Richard says “Just another kid without a father, what does it matter” He is echoing Tony’s

words. Do you think it matters or not


You could interview a number of unmarried mothers to find out whether they wanted to have a

baby and what problems they are facing now. You might also want to know if they know about

family planning and if they are willing to use it.



After you have completed your investigation you could produce, as a group, a small magazine.

This could include the results of your research, some of the mothers personal stories and more

general articles. Here are some suggested titles :

- What Future for Fatherless Children

- Should Family Planning be Available for Unmarried Girls and Boys

- Schoolgirl Pregnancy on the Rise.


When Rachel finds out that Tony has been seeing another woman, Liz, she goes and tries to beat

her up.


a) Was Rachel right to go and fight Liz on the street

b) What did she hope to do by fighting her

c) Did she succeed

d) Tony said that Rachel “shamed him”, by fighting on the street. What do you think of his


e) Abu Philip tells Nettie and Rachel that he is the head of the house.” I am the one who

should discipline Tony, not you.” What do Rachel and Nettie think about this

f) Why does Rachel attack Liz rather than Tony


Women Fighting Women.

Use this for a title for a song, a magazine article or a poem. a) In a song remember you need a

strong chorus. It may help you to think of a beat (Rap, reggae. disco) so that the words fit the

rhythm you want. b) In a magazine article, you will need to tell a story of a woman who beats

up another women and why she does it (you can include more than one story) and then make

your own comments. c) A poem might look at the women fighting. Here is an example:

The sisters face each other


They come together

A claw whips across a face

She lifts a hand, feels the blood.

Grabbing her rival

She tears at her clothes

Pulls her down into the mud

The crowd roars!

It’s a great sight

The girls at each others throats

All over some drunk

Who doesn’t give a damn and beats them.



As populations get bigger, the pressure on institutions, like schools and hospitals, grows. Class

sizes in schools get bigger. The number of trained teachers is too small. In hospitals a number of

different problems arise. Some of these problems are highlighted in the video.


a) What do the family expect to happen when they arrive at the hospital

b) Why are they kept waiting

c) Why does the nurse leave them in the waiting area and not take them to the ward

d) Why does the doctor say “They always come too late”

e) Rachel was given panadol syrup when she first went with the baby. Do you think she got to

see a nurse or a doctor on that visit and do you think the baby got the right treatment

f) Are you happy with the service your local hospital/clinic gives Tell any stories you know

about people’s experiences at the hospital.

g) Is there anything the family should have done that they didn’t do


How much money does the health service get Does this change as the population grows Find

out from your local health department how much money they have received over the past five or

ten years. Find out what the population figure was for each year. Is the amount of money spent

on the health of each person more or less than it was ten years ago

You can also look at the number of nurses and doctors in the hospital.

a) Are there more or less today than there were five or ten years ago

b) Do patients always see doctors or do they sometimes only see nurses

c) How long do patients wait before they are seen

d) Is there enough space on the wards for the patients

You may want to interview a doctor and ask what problems they face at the moment and if they

think things will get better or worse over the next ten years.



a) Tony hears voices from the past. What do you think

he is feeling

b) Why doesn’t he go to the grave with the family

c) Why does he go to the funeral at all

d) Steven and his wife think Tony is responsible for the

baby’s death. Do you think this is true

e) Abu Philip says they were all responsible. Is he just

trying to protect Tony or is he right

f) Why does Abu Philip say “I’ve been a fool and a

hypocrite I thought I could make everything alright

but I made it worse, much worse.”

g) What does Philip want for Rachel at the end

h) Who do you think is good in the film and who is bad



Write a letter from Tony to Rachel after the baby’s death. Tony wants Rachel to know he is

sorry for what he has done.


The last scene in the film shows Jane telling Bill he has to use a condom.


a) What has Jane found out that makes her want Bill to use a condom

b) She says Bill lied to her. Do you think he lied or not

c) Bill can’t believe that Tony would tell boys to use condoms. Why is this

d) In real life would a girl ask a boy to use a condom

e) What reasons are there for using one

f) If a girl carries a condom or asks a boy to use one what would the boy think Is he right to

think as he does

g) Do you think young people should use condoms or not

h) Are there any bad things about condoms


Write a review of the film saying what happened in the story and what you thought of the film.

Write a story about life in the year 2050. Imagine there are many more people and life is very



Make a poster advising young people to use condoms for their own protection. You can say that

condoms protect you from getting pregnant or getting a sickness that is passed through sex





This part of the booklet looks at the problems growing populations face and it tells you about

men’s and women’s bodies and how they make children. It looks at the different methods of



The world’s population is growing very, very fast. Many cities in the world have 10 or eleven

million people and Mexico city has over 26 million.

Between 1985 - 1990 the population was increasing by 87 million a year. Between 1990 - 1995

it increased by 81 million people a year.



1200 million


946 million

United States:

269 million


200 million


161 million

Russian Federation: 148 million


140 million


125 million


120 million

Nigeria (Est):

115 million

By 2050 the UN predicts another

7 countries will have more than

100 million people.








Most large populations are in poorer or developing countries.


People need space, water, fuel for cooking & food. They also want money and therefore work in

order to buy commodities like mattresses, cars, radios, TV’s, washing machines etc. They want

access to education and health facilities.

For people to have space to live they must compete with forest and animals. Forest is cut down,

animals and birds lose the land they need to survive. More forest is destroyed as people search

for firewood and use wood for houses and furniture.


People need water and as the population grows more water is used for washing, cooking, drinking,

irrigating crops and industry. In order to meet the needs of growing poulations, rivers are

tapped into and very often dams are built using up large areas of land to trap water. Many places

in the world face serious water shortages today, because of diversification and climate change

and the increased need for water that growing populations have.

As countries ‘develop’ and their populations grow, forest is cut down and industry is created.

More roads are created & more and more cars appear. This means there is a big increase in

the consumption of fossil fuels. The burning of fossil fuels has led to a change in the world’s

climate. Many areas of the world are becoming hotter & drier. Sea levels are possibly rising and

the ozone layer that protects the earth from the harmful ultraviolet light from the sun has two

holes in it, one over the North and one over the South Pole. The ultra violet light that comes

through causes skin cancers and could affect plant life.

The holes in the ozone layer are caused by the use of CFC’s, which are used to propel aerosols

and are also present in fridges and air conditioning systems. Green house gasses are also

thought to affect the ozone layer.

The ultra violet rays cooling through the ozone layer have been shown to have damaged the

eggs & larvae of ice fish in the Antarctic.

The growing population has put an enormous strain on the oceans in other ways: over fishing,

chemical pollution, destruction of reefs. Many kinds of sea weed, shellfish and fish have become

scarce or disappeared. In many parts of the world corals, fish, marine mammals, sea urchins,

abalone & sea grass have died without any obvious reason. This may be caused by increased

pollution all over the world. Poisonous red algae blooms are becoming more common, probably

due to increased pollution.

Jane Lubchenco, Professor of Marine Biology at Oregon State University believes the ecological

deterioration of our marine environment is due to the fact that the majority of the earth’s

population live within 80 kilometres of the sea. The sea becomes the earth’s rubbish dump. You

can look round the coast near where you live to see what rubbish can be found.

a) Have there been many recent outbreaks of fish poisoning

b) What caused them

c) Have any seaweeds or shell fish disappeared or declined in numbers

d) Are the corals in your area bleaching (Turning white and dying due to the water get


All of this can be attributed to development and increase in population.

Population can put a terrible strain of the environment.

We can either go on increasing and increasing or we can use Family Planning to limit our




When a boy reaches eleven or twelve years of age his body changes. His penis and scrotum

grow bigger and he grows hair on that part of his body. His voice becomes deeper. His body

begins to make seed in the male’s testes, This means he can make a baby if he has sex with a


A man makes the seed or

sperm in his two testes or

balls. A man’s sperm is

microscopic and cannot be

seen but millions of sperm

are sent by the man into the

woman. Only one sperm

will eventually fertilise the egg.

The sperm moves through

the urethra where they meet

with the males water and

stay there until they are

ejaculated, or sent, into the woman.

If one sperm makes its way to the woman’s egg, she becomes pregnant. A man’s body makes

sperm for the course of his whole life. He can still make a baby at 60 or 70 or 80!


When a young girl reaches eleven or twelve years of age, her body starts to change. Her breasts

start to grow and she starts to grow hair under her arms and of her vagina. Her body is changing

inside too and around this time she will see her first period or menstrual bleeding. From the time

she has her first period she can get pregnant.

Every month an egg comes out of the ovary. The egg is very small. It goes along the fallopian

tube into the womb. The lining of the womb thickens ready for the egg if it should be fertilised.

If a woman does not have sex with a man and no sperm meets the egg, the egg dies and is sent

out of the body with blood and other cells through the vagina. The bleeding can last from 3-7


If a woman is not

pregnant she will bleed

every month and every

month the woman’s

body prepares itself to

have a baby. The egg

comes out every month

and if it is not fertilised

it leaves the body with

the blood. This blood

is not ‘bad’ or ‘dirty’, it

has stayed in the womb

ready to feed the egg if

it is fertilised


If a woman is not pregnant she should have a period every month from the time her period starts

until she reaches her middle forties or fifties when the eggs in the ovary finish.

A lot of women have a period once a month but some have a period every three weeks and some

every five or six weeks. You should only worry if your period comes at a different time each

month, your stomach is very sore and bleeding is extra heavy. If this happens you should go to

see a doctor.


Women are able to have babies from the time they see their first period until they have their last

period. This means that women can have many children in the course of their lives. Although a

woman can produce baby after baby this is not good for her body. A girl’s body is not

really ready for having a baby until it has stopped growing; this is about eighteen years of age.

Producing a baby puts a huge amount of strain on a women’s body, as does looking after young

children. Women who have many children from a very young age often look old and tired

before their time.

During the pregnancy the body of a woman feeds the child. If the mother is doing hard physical

work as well, her body is working very hard. She needs extra iron to replace all the blood the

baby is using or she can become very weak.

She also has to protect herself against malaria. As a pregnant woman’s body is working so hard

to protect the baby it is not as strong as it was before and cannot protect her so well against

disease. Malaria can kill pregnant women or kill or damage the baby she is carrying.

She needs good food and plenty of rest to help the baby grow. If she does not have enough food

this can affect the baby. It can also hurt the baby if the mother drinks strong drinks or smokes.

Having a lot of children puts a lot of strain on the mother’s body, but she also has to look after

them. In most societies a woman has more work with the children than a man, as women are

usually responsible for cooking, washing, cleaning the house and making the garden.

It is also very hard for a mother if she has one child straight after another, because her body

doesn’t have time to recover from the strain of having a baby. Most health departments recommend

that a woman waits two to three years before having another child.


Other problems with having many children are money and land. Money has to be found for

food, clothes and school fees in most communities and land is coming under greater and greater

pressure from the growing population.


Family planning lets families decide how many children they want and when they want to have

them. There are many ways to space your family:


A woman takes the pill every day. If a woman uses the pill correctly she will not become

pregnant. The pill has chemicals called progesterone & oestrogen in it.

There are two kinds of pills. One for women who are breast feeding their children and another

one for women who haven’t had children yet or have bigger children. Women who are breast

feeding can’t take the ordinary pill because it dries up their milk.

The pill works by stopping the woman’s egg from coming out of the ovary. It also makes the

mucus of the womb so thick that it stops the man’s sperm from entering and reaching the egg.

If you take the pill correctly you will not get pregnant. If you want to get pregnant again, you

finish the packet you are taking and then stop. It should only take a few months for you to get



i) The pills makes your period cone at the same time every month, it reduces the bleeding and

pain of women’s periods.

ii) The pill must be taken every day at about the same time, mornings or before you go to bed

are good times, because it is easier to remember. The pill has to be taken every day about

the same time, because it is not a strong medicine.

iii) If you forget the pill for two or three days you can become pregnant. If you forget the pill

for several days your partner should use a condom.

The pill is a very good way to space your family. If it is taken properly it works very well. The

pill can also protect you from cancer of the cervix and the ovary.


The pill is not good for women who are very over weight or who have high blood pressure. The

pill can cause thrombosis in women who have these problems. This means the blood thickens

into a clot and the woman can have a heart attack. Women who smoke are also advised not

to take the pill. A very small number of women find that the pill makes them feel sick, these

women should not take the pill but should use a different method.




i) You can experience “spotting” between your periods. This means you lose small amounts of


ii) Some women feel as if they want to be sick, but that feeling should pass after a month or

two. If you feel sick you should take the pill with food or before you go to sleep.

iii) Some women experience soreness in their breasts and feel as if their breasts have grown

bigger. This should only last a month or two.

iv) Another problem experienced by a small number of women is that they put on weight. If

women find they are putting on weight they should try to eat less for a while. If you gain too

much weight you should talk to a doctor or nurse.


If you want to start taking the pill, you should start on the first day of your period. The pill

doesn’t start working immediately, though. It will not be safe for you to sleep with your partner

for seven days. You will need condoms for protection for the first seven days.

The packets of pills usually have 21 all the same colour and seven of a different colour. You

start with the first 21, taking one a day. When you come to the last seven, these have no medicine

inside and allow you to see your period. As soon as you have finished one packet you start

the next one, if you do not want to get pregnant.

If your partner goes away for a day or two or a week or a month DO NOT stop taking your pill.

If you do stop taking it you will not be protected when he comes back.


There is another kind of pill which only has progesterone in it. This pill is for breast feeding

mothers and women who find the other pill affects their health. This pill can affect your period.

Some women bleed a little between their periods.

Some women do not have a proper period.

Some women have very heavy periods.


The pill works very well BUT these things can stop it from working:

ANTIBIOTICS: This medicine stops the pill form working. If you are taking antibiotics for

sores or fever you must use condoms as well as taking the pill for seven days.

DIARRHOEA AND VOMITING: If you are not keeping anything in your stomach the pill

may not be digested, but you should keep taking the pill all the same, but be sure to use condoms

he next seven days.

IF YOU DO NOT TAKE THE PILL EVERYDAY. It is not a strong medicine and only works

for a day or so, so if you miss some days the pill will not work.


ILLNESS HAS FINISHED to be completely sure the pill is working again.



The condom is only for men. It comes in a packet, and is rolled over the penis when the penis is

erect and before the man goes with the woman.

The condom stops the man’s seed entering the woman, so the woman cannot become pregnant

if the condor is used correctly. The condom also stops diseases being passed from the man to the

woman or from the woman to the man. We are talking about disease passed through sex (STDs)

like gonorhoea, syphilis, herpes, genital warts and AIDS. (AIDS alone cannot be cured and kills


A condom can only be used once. It must be taken off while the man’s penis is still hard or the

seed can escape into the woman and she could become pregnant. It should never be allowed

to slip off inside the woman, but if it does, she can pull it out with her finger. It cannot get lost

inside her.


Open the packet by tearing in the right place with your fingers. Never use your teeth-this can

damage the condom.

i) Do not open the packet until the man’s penis is hard.

ii) First you squeeze the air out of the top of the condom - the sperm will fill this space

iii) Roll the condom over the man’s penis when is hard. The condom will fit every one.

iv) Holding this place - that you have squeezed the air out of - roll the condom down the man’s

penis to the place where the penis joins the body. Now the man is ready to sleep with the


v) The man must take out his penis while it is still firm and roll off the condom. The sperm

stays in the end of the condom. No sperm goes into the woman.

vi) Now the condom should be disposed of. You can tie the end, flush it down a toilet or bury it.

You CANNOT use it again. Do not leave it lying around for other people to find. Dispose of

it properly.

The condom is a very good method because it stops pregnancy and protects against disease.

Some men say it reduces their feeling but that should be balanced against the risk of the woman

getting pregnant if she has unprotected sex and the risk of catching a disease.


The pill can be used by women who have NOT had children, but the loop is for women who

have become mothers.

The loop is a plastic t-shape with two threads hanging from it,

which is inserted into the cervix by a doctor or nurse. It is pushed

up through the vagina into the womb with a plastic rod.

The threads hang down to the opening of the vagina so that the

loop is sitting straight and has not come out the womb.



The loop is in the womb.

It stops the man’s sperm going

through the womb into the fallopian

tube, so it cannot meet the egg. It also

stops the egg from growing in the


The loop can stay in a woman’s body

for four to eight years. She can take

it out at any time during this period.

Once the loop is removed the woman

can become pregnant again.

If you are using the loop you must wash your vagina carefully every day. This is because dirt

can travel up the threads of the loop into the womb causing infection. If you have poor access to

water, you should not use the loop.

If you notice one thread of the loop is longer than the other or the threads are not there, you

must go to the doctor IMMEDIATELY.

The loop can make your periods heavy. For this reason some women do not like it, but it is good

if you find you forget to take your pill. It is dangerous if you are pregnant, so you should never

have a loop inserted if you think you are pregnant at the time. If you do not see your period and

you are using the loop, you should go straight to the doctor.

The loop is not good if you have more than one partner as sickness can easily spread along the

threads and into the woman.


This is an injection. which works in the same way as the pill. It lasts for 3 months. It stops the

egg coming out each month so a woman cannot become pregnant.

Depo Provcra will not stop you becoming pregnant after you stop taking it, but it may take several

months before you can become pregnant again. Women who use Depo Provera may not see

their periods as it stops blood from collecting in the womb. The period will come back if Depo

Provera is stopped.

It is a very effective method but it is usually only given to women who have had children and

want to wait a long time before having any more.



If a man or woman do not want any more children they can decide to have an operation which

will stop them having children ever again.



Tube tie: - the woman is cut through the stomach wall and the fallopian

tube is cut, so the egg can never come into the womb and grow into a baby.

Both sides of the fallopian tube are cut.

After this the woman will still see her period and she will be as strong as

before, when she gets over the operation, but she will never have children


Vasectomy: - this is a very small operation and the man does not need to

go to sleep. The doctor makes a small cut in the scrotum, cutting the tube

which carries the man’s seed. This means that when the man ejaculates there

is no sperm in the water that comes out. The man’s feelings do not change,

though and everything works as it did before. The man recovers from the

operation very quickly.


This involves studying your body and finding out when it is safe to sleep with your partner. It

is best for a nurse to explain this method to you as it is very important that you are completely

sure of the times when you would not get pregnant. There are some days in the month when you

can not have sex with your partner.

You can find out more about all these methods from:



Activity Notes By: Jo Dorras

Many Thanks for help with

The Information Section to

Save The Children Fund and

Stephanie Grevel.



P.O. Box 1024, Port Vila


South Pacific

Tel: (678) 27464 / 27119

Fax: (678) 25308 (shared line)


Website: www.wansmolbag.org


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