The National Association of Natural Family Planning Teachers (NANFPTA) was set up in the summer of 1982 with 100 members. Mr Kelly and Dr Flynn had been running since 1976 at the Birmingham Maternity Hospital, but there was no official organisation till then. By the time the first AGM was held on 15 October 1983, there were 200 members. At its height, it had over 400 members. Many more people trained but did not become members, for whatever reason, as happens now. Mr John Kelly became the President of the Assoc. and Dr Anna Flynn the Vice President. They were both gynaecologists at the hospital, Mr Kelly being a Consultant.
The Association headquarters was in the little room next to Mr Kelly’s office and it was manned by Miss Molly McGrath, (a retired Company Secretary who decided to take us under her wing and organise us) and Mrs Sue Burton, who trained on the first course. Together they ran the Association, Molly doing all the admin, answering letters, referring clients and typing up the course material while Sue ran the NFP clinic at the hospital which Mr Kelly started. In addition, she organised the courses, acted as Tutor and trained many of the founder members. Mrs Wyn Worthington, a retired Midwifery Tutor from Liverpool joined the Association later and re-wrote the course along nursing standards, designed the charts and provided the basis of the course used today.
The Association joined the World Federation of Family Life Promotion which sponsored NFP development throughout the world and organised 3 yearly congresses. 1981 Navan (Ireland); 1984 Canada; 1987/8 Kenya; 1991 Liege, (Belgium); 1994 Lublin (Poland). After the World Congress in Lublin, the World Federation closed due to debts and 5 smaller units were formed – Europe, Americas, Asia, Oceana and Australasia. The European group is IEEF of which we are a member. Later, our Association name was changed to NFP Teachers Assoc.(NFPTA)
Spread of NFPTA Method (the “English Method”)
Dr Flynn, Dr Alina Lichtarowicz and her daughter Dr Eva Lichtarowicz held the first NFP Teacher Training Course in Poland in July / August 1988 and trained 50 people, gynaecologists, doctors, nurses and some users, who were all awarded the Association (Birmingham) Certificate. The Polish group then ran 25 more courses themselves, with Alina going back to conduct the Part 2 oral exams. They set up their own Polish Association in 1991 teaching our course and rules and they continued to receive our Association Certificate as it had great value there. In 1991 Dr Flynn and Alina ran a Tutor Course in Warsaw and people from Russia trained on that course, so NFP spread across the old USSR. It was always our course and rules that were and still are taught. The Polish Association soon had over 2,000 trained teachers.
At the same time Dr Flynn was running training programmes in Germany, Belgium, Ireland. They all followed our course and rules and received our certificate for some years. (Ireland eventually set up its own Association and certificate teaching our rules . Germany after a few years changed from our rules and developed its own method which has been adopted by several countries in Europe- it is now called Sensiplan. Belgium continued its link with us and received our certificate until quite recently but has now adopted the German rules. )
In June 1991 the International NFP congress held in Liege, Belgium, by the World Federation led to training programmes extending further afield.
Dr Virgilius Rudzinskas, a young gynaecologist who had attended the congress in Liege, asked for help with training in Lithuania and so Dr Flynn, Dr Lichtarowicz, Colleen Norman went to Lithuania for two weeks and ran a training course there which was a great success as lots of medical students trained as teachers, as well as lay people. Several further trips to Lithuania took place.
Dr Flynn went to various parts of Africa and ran training programmes there which continue to this day.
Colleen Norman kept in touch with the head of the Russian group based in Moscow, Galina Masslenikova, and went over to Moscow to update her on the new rules when we changed them, to fall in line with other parts of Europe. Several more visits took place to speak at congresses. Galina continues to teach our course and rules and spread it to ex USSR countries who speak Russian.
Someone from the Ukraine who trained in Poland, asked for a training programme in Ukraine and so Mr Kelly, Dr Lichtarowicz and Colleen Norman went to Kiev and ran a course there which led to one of the participants founding an association which is flourishing and has now joined IEEF.
An ex USSR country, Galina was invited with Colleen Norman to run a training programme for doctors in Kyrgyzstan which Galina conducted in Russian as all medical training used to be in Russian. The course material has now been translated into Kyrgyz. They use and teach our rules and now have their own Association – Family Harmony. This programme has grown enormously as they have a generous sponsor.
Again, ex USSR countries, Galina has taught a large group in Latvia and is in touch with people in Estonia. We had already taught the Lithuanians, so at least two Baltic countries use our rules.
Throughout the years, NFPTA has been an active member of IEEF and even hosted a European Congress.