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...
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:

Apr 10, 2014

Spreading mass scale awareness about menstrual hygiene..

Awareness using different technologies..
Awareness using different technologies..

GOONJ has been working on the issue of menstrual hygiene for the past decade. Our aim is four fold;

  1. To reach Goonj’s MY Pad, a clean piece of cloth as sanitary pad, to the most un-der-served women struggling for the basics of life in the deep interiors of India.  
  2. Initiate a dialogue in urban and rural India, on menses related taboos and myths to help spread awareness about the related health and hygiene issues to women and adolescent girls.
  3. Reach out more cloth to the poorest of the poor communities so that families have more surplus cloth which the women can use for menses.
  4. To highlight menses and sanitary napkins as an ignored basic need (of women) in the development sector and to the government.

Our strategy; GOONJ’s ‘Not Just a Piece of Cloth’ (NJPC) initiative starts with providing a physical product but stresses more on long term change in practices, behavior, education & replication. Developed with indigenous processes, out of old cloth contributed by the urban masses, the clean pad is provided at a reasonable cost while we also teach the user women to make it one on their own.

Goonj’s holistic approach

Goonj initiates discussion among urban masses on the issue; Urban women and masses have instinctive empathy, understand the universal need, they also have have surplus cloth which they need to discard.

Goonj acts as a facilitator; collects clothes, sorts clothes into wearable and unwearable, value adds by making MY Pads out of un-wearable cloth. Rural grassroots organizations help with spreading awareness and distributing MY Pads. Women learn about menses related health and hygiene issues and get MY Pads and undergarments. Women and their families work on their development issues under Goonj’s Cloth for Work initiative to get wearable cloth, which they can use later as sanitary pads…

Why cloth pads?

Because they are;

- Practical

- Easily available

- Cheapest

- Familiar

- Reusable

- Easily disposable

- Biodegradable, environment friendly  

- Easily replicable

- No technological or big financial investment required 

About MY Pad; Instead of trying to introduce a new product or a new design, it’s an improvisation and mass scale replication of the existing usage pattern. We are simply removing the risk elements of the existing practices, improving upon and doing a lot of value addition in terms of cleanliness and awareness.

Latest Update; In 2013 when the scenic state of Uttarakhand faced one of the worst floods in India’s history, Goonj was there to provide large scale relief material. In the second phase we are working on various aspects of rehabilitation, one of the focus areas is to reach out to young girls in schools and women living in far flung parts of the state through the NJPC programme.Organising meetings, reaching out My Pads and undergarments and making them a part of the dialogue around menses related taboos, myths and health and hygiene related issues has been a priority… More on our website www.goonj.org

Our challenges

  1. Changing mindsets around taboos and myths is a time taking work.
  2. Resources are needed primarily to spread the idea widely.
  3. We need more forums to highlight the issue,
  4. Need transport support to spread it deeper,
  5. More volunteers to organize camps.
  6. Need a bigger network of motivated NGO’s and civil sector organizations in urban and rural India to replicate the idea on their own level.
  7. Need to find ways of tapping into vast quantities of cloth sitting idle in urban homes across the country.

Some recognition on Not Just a Piece of Cloth:

  • Feb’12: GOONJ won ‘Edelgive’ award in health & well- being category
  • May’10: ‘Innovation for India’ award by Marico for developing innovative solution by using old cloth and other material.
  • June’09: Not just a piece of cloth won GOONJ’s third Changemaker’s Innovation Award
  • March 2009: CNN IBN’s ‘Real Heros’ award to Anshu Gupta in women welfare segment.
  • March 2008: GOONJ won India NGO of the year award in a nationwide search & selection by Resource Alliance.
  • May 2007: GOONJ’s sanitary pad project ‘Not just a piece of cloth’ won World Bank’s Global Development Market Place Award.
Awareness among school girls
Awareness among school girls
Awareness session
Awareness session
Happy to receive My-PADs
Happy to receive My-PADs
Menstrual Hygiene Exhibition
Menstrual Hygiene Exhibition
Awareness among schools
Awareness among schools

Links:

Jan 3, 2014

" Dignifying Relief !! "

School girls walking on a newly constructed bridge
School girls walking on a newly constructed bridge

Goonj's flagship initiative 'Cloth for work' is a humble act of dignified giving where people receive material with dignity and not as charity. We experimented the same approach successfully after the floods in Kosi, Bihar. Here are some glimpses of “Dignifying relief” in Uttarakhand where our teams from all the three centers of Goonj in Uttarakhand (Rishikesh Hub, Guptkashi and Uttarkashi ) are reaching  out to far away areas on a daily basis.

It is certainly encouraging to see how people have accepted Goonj's 'Cloth for Work'  (CFW) initiative to receive the woolens kits with dignity instead of getting it as simple relief. People of village Naugaon (Bhatwari block) in Sangam Chatti in Uttarkashi area took up various activities to make their village more accessible and clean under this initiative. Over 100 people gathered to make two bridges - of 12x3 feet and 30x3 feet to bring back the connectivity of the village. They also undertook cleaning of road-side bushes, cleanliness drives and repairing of roads. Here are some glimpses of the actions from the field….

Bridge made under CFW in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Bridge made under CFW in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Repair of 5 km stretch from Sangamchetti to Agoda
Repair of 5 km stretch from Sangamchetti to Agoda
Dangerously crossing a high water gorge on a trunk
Dangerously crossing a high water gorge on a trunk
40 people from village Seku make a 6ft high bridge
40 people from village Seku make a 6ft high bridge
CFW - a connect between local wisdom and problems
CFW - a connect between local wisdom and problems
Cleaning of drains in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Cleaning of drains in village Naugaon, Bhatwari
Cleaning of road-side bushes in village Naugaon
Cleaning of road-side bushes in village Naugaon

Links:

donate now:

An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
  • $30
    give
  • $50
    give
  • $100
    give
  • $30
    each month
    give
  • $50
    each month
    give
  • $100
    each month
    give
  • $
    give
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?