GOONJ

Re-positioning cloth and other underutilized material, beyond charity, adding dignity and turning it into a big resource for development. Spreading the idea beyond geographical boundaries so that world over people take it as a subject to work on. GOONJ works on 3 levels:material, people & idea Material level: GOONJ started with 67 personal clothes, today dealing with more than 1000 tonnes of material to parts of 21 states of India, every year. GOONJ has over the years painstakingly built vast country wide network;sort of pipeline grid from cities to villages through which material moves continuously. While general clothes, woolens and other household material etc goes to the masses t...
Jul 15, 2014

Urban school children increasingly getting connected with School to School initiative!

Understanding the process...
Understanding the process...

Goonj's initiative ‘School to School’ strives to reach basic amenities of learning and education to children in the far flung villages of India. Alongside it also  aims to sensitise largely cut-off urban school kids on the realities of their counterparts studying in rural and slum India. Please refer the video link (Goonj - Discard to Dignity) for further details.

Urban school children have been getting increasingly invovled with “School to School” initiative. Over the past 18 months, around 90 urban schools have interacted with Goonj and in some way or another contributed to spreading the idea of “School to School” among their friends, families, schools etc. Many schools have visited the Goonj processing centres and were amazed by the process of recycling different kinds of materials. Awareness stalls & sessions have also been put up in schools and children have played an active role in building up the campaign by spreading the word, distributing leafelets etc. These awareness stalls have helped the children to know about how materials collected in schools have had a far reaching impact in lives of children from rural areas. 

Share the Langauge of Love, a co-branded campaign of GOONJ with Johnson & Johnson is all about sharing toys, games etc. of children in urban areas with children in far flung villages of India. More about the campaign in the link attached.

Interaction in the processing centre!
Interaction in the processing centre!
Interaction in school
Interaction in school

Links:

Jul 9, 2014

NJPC-A Million Voices...A Global Campaign by GOONJ

NJPC - A Million Voices...
NJPC - A Million Voices...

A piece of cloth OR a tool to break the silence and shame!!

“Sharm kee baat hai sahab, izzat ka mamla hai..kaun bolega? Saara gaon jaanta hai kee, vo tetanus sey mari thee.. hook key karan..” (It is a matter of shyness/modesty, a matter of dignity; who will speak about it? The entire village knows that she died of tetanus.. because of the hook)

These words still echo.. almost a decade ago we found this ghastly reality of a woman who died of tetanus due to a rusted hook in the piece of blouse, she used during menses !!  This was shocking and unreal and it acted like fuel to go deeper into the non-issues of sanitary pads and menstruation..

An extensive search on Google yielded nothing..  no major research and no solution in this part of the world, hardly a decade back. We started traveling to rural India to understand the realities and what we found this still holds true!! Millions of women use sand, ash, dry grass, rugs, rags to plastic sheets in the name of sanitary pads. Over the years we came across a deep rooted culture of shame and silence around this. Somewhere women are forced to sleep in cow sheds while at many places they can’t enter the kitchen. Suppression, isolation, superstition, rituals, lack of a viable solution.. it’s a saga of indignity and trauma around this most taboo issue.

We started turning small pieces of clean cloth into sanitary pads - now called ‘MY Pad’ and started raising our voice on different national and international forums. Instead of just using these pads as a product Goonj uses them as a tool, as an entry point to open up the subject, create awareness and force people to think and open up.. In the last few years, Goonj has been able to create over 2.5 million environment friendly, re-usable, economic cloth sanitary pads - MY Pads. This hascertainly made a small dent in turning this non issue into an issue. 

To mainstream this non issue, Goonj has recently launched NJPC- A Million Voices’ a global campaign to bring together a million voices from across the globe. The campaign aims to highlight the culture of shame and silence that countless young girls and women face all over the world, around menses. The main element of the campaign is the questionnaire (http://njpc.goonj.org/lets-get-started/), which aims at getting one million men and women from all walks of life to share their thoughts, opinions and practices around menses. YOU too should fill this form. The site also shares a lot of global disturbing facts, practices, case studies and research on the issue. The objective is to mainstream the issue and to shun the taboo around this natural biological process.

Goonj has been working on this issue for almost a decade now. Through the ‘Million Voices campaign’ we want to start a dialogue among the masses, making it a normal thing to talk about…because we feel shattering the silence is the starting point to deal with the taboos, embarrassment and health risks associated with menses. Some disturbing facts highlighting the need for this campaign;

  1. Around 70% of women in India say their family cannot afford to buy sanitary pads.
  2. A study from UNICEF revealed that 1 out of 3 girls in South Asia knew nothing about menstruation prior to getting it while 48% of girls in Iran and 10% of girls in India believe that menstruation is a disease.
  3. At least one in five girls drop out of school when periods begin, according to research by AC Nielsen and Plan India. It is very common (41% and 28%, respectively in Nepal and India, WaterAid survey 2009) that girl students go either absent from school or perform poorly due to lack of facilities.

The million voices collected through this campaign will be a part of Goonj’s sustained efforts to bring about a mindset change in the civic society on this issue. This campaign is an extension of Goonj’s ongoing work across India. Six activities that you can do to be a part of this campaign could be accessed at http://njpc.goonj.org/newsletter-a-piece-of-cloth-or-a-tool-to-break-the-silence-and-shame-do-read-and-act/


Please spread the word in your own network. Get as many people as possible to share their thoughts, experiences and opinions through the Million Voices campaign form. Click http://njpc.goonj.org/lets-get-started/

It’s time you make your voice heard…

6 Simple ways to Join...
6 Simple ways to Join...
12% of India
12% of India's menstruating women use sanitary pad
70% of Indian women can
70% of Indian women can't afford sanitary pads
Menstruating women in Nepal isolated in huts..
Menstruating women in Nepal isolated in huts..
23% menstruating girls drop out of school..
23% menstruating girls drop out of school..
No access to safe menstrual hygiene products..
No access to safe menstrual hygiene products..

Links:

Apr 14, 2014

Discarded urban school material as a motivating resource for village schools

Children with School Kits
Children with School Kits

Latest update - Over the years, in our post disaster rehab work we have brought our focus on children dealing with disaster related trauma by bringing in recreation and play into their lives. This we do with material we collect from urban schools. In 2013 whether it was the massive floods in Uttarakhand or the riots hit children in the camps in Muzzafarnagar in Uttar Pradesh its things like soft toys, games, books etc contributed by urban schools from all across that helped nurture the lost childhood of the disaster victims. Our work in Uttarakhand is ongoing and here we are connecting deeply with the gaps in the local education system.

‘School to School’ (S2S) initiative provides a unique solution to a problem faced by thousands of remote village schools, which lack infrastructure and basic facilities, critical for a child to have basic experience of schooling. GOONJ’s S2S initiative is addressing the educational needs of thousands of remote & resource starved village/slum schools by channelizing under-utilised material of city’s affluent schools. While connecting the two extreme ends of the society, it opens a space of interaction between the two as well. Without burdening anyone, ‘School to School’ makes channel cost effective and easily replicable concept, evolved on the basis of prevalent practices in urban schools.

The Process & Social Impact: The idea is to motivate urban school kids to contribute the material that they are not using anymore, as every year most children buy a new set of uniforms, copies, stationery, water bottles, shoes, lunch box etc. when they move on to the next class. The urban children, parents & school authorities are getting sensitized to the needs of their less fortunate counterparts; Materials like old books, uniforms, shoes, school bags, etc. are channelized to thousands of village children, motivating them towards learning. It is not given as charity, but as a reward after a regular monitoring on a series of behaviour, attitude and performance aspects.

Through S2S school materials, toys and educational aids reached children studying in government schools, aagandwadis and chehak centres in areas like Rajnandagaon (Chhattisgarh), Lalitpur, Fatehpur, Farukhpur (Uttar Pradesh), Mehrauli (Delhi), Chhindwara, Rewa, Mandala (Madhya Pradesh), Kolkata (West Bengal), Balangir, Nabarangpur, Bargarh, Dhenkanal, Cuttack (Odisha), West Champaran, Saharsa, Patna, Nawada, Banga (Bihar). The children who received the materials belonged to families of remote villages, slums, migrants, tribal communities etc.

Addressing the educational gap areas in Uttarakhand - A Goonj’s ‘School Kit’ (made out of waste material) has a school bag, pencil pouch, bottle bag and a mat to sit apart from stationary, biscuits etc. These have been reached to over 400 kids.

Shoes, Sweaters, Books and other educational materials were also channelized to various Anganwadi & Schools. Goonj has supported and in some places initiated computer centres and children are trying their hand at new technology and exploring new ways of learning through these centres… Goonj also supports remedial centres for improved quality of learning. Most parents in Uttarakhand take education as priority but most government schools are in bad conditions while private schools are trying to fill the gaps.. Goonj is taking care of teacher’s salary in tuition centers at Sangrali, Sanglai, Hurri & Bhangeli…

Through an international shoe manufacturing company we now have access to a big quantity of new shoes which we are systematically reaching out to the most far flung areas. So far, we have reached over 25000 pairs of shoes to children in Fatehpur, Madhuban, Muzzafarnagar, Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh), Guptkashi (Uttarakhand), Delhi, Gurgaon, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and many other places. 

Computer Centre Initiated...
Computer Centre Initiated...
Feeling warm sitting on a dari...
Feeling warm sitting on a dari...
First Aid Box in school
First Aid Box in school
Interaction with urban schools
Interaction with urban schools
Water bottles - much needed during summers!
Water bottles - much needed during summers!

Links:

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