Since my last report to you, we’ve been busy identifying ways to strengthen our support to girls in India. We've also achieved an exciting milestone. Since launching our flagship program in India in January 2007, Reach has equipped more than 1,183,858 adolescent girls and women in community savings groups with life changing education.
Equipping women and girls with basic knowledge and skills about home-based health practices, livelihoods and family finance, enables them to take greater control over resources to protect their health, improve their families’ income, and manage money. When a woman changes the practices in her household the entire family benefits. Girls, the next generation of mothers and entrepreneurs, absorb these practices and integrate them into their future households. This is the powerful multiplier effect of investing in girls and women.
I know you share my belief that investing in adolescent girls and women is both the right thing to do and smart, and I invite you to support our work this Fall by making a donation that you feel is personally meaningful.
Thank you again!
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We're in India this month exploring new innovative ways to put self-help solutions into the hands of very poor adolescent girls and women—those most vulnerable to, and at the same time, most instrumental in changing the landscape of poverty here and elsewhere across the developing world. A rigorous, independent, three-year study of the impact of our education illustrates how our work supports positive changes in the lives of girls and women:
Girls who participated in Reach education are:
And, of course, across all of our work, we want to see these positive changes for many girls and women. Since our last report, Reach Global has extended its life changing education to an additional 7,662 adolescent girls for a total of 126,413 since launching in India in 2007.
It’s clear that momentum is building and others believe, as we do, that investing in adolescent girls and women is both the right thing to do and smart. We thank you for your belief in our work empowering girls to help break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families and invite you to support our work by making a donation that you feel is personally meaningful via Global Giving or Reach India's website.
Nothing causes more anxiety in a family than when a member faces a life-threatening illness. This is true whether one lives in Europe or North America or in the poorest rural communities of India. There, families often turn to village moneylenders to finance treatment of illnesses at the 11th hour. Consequently, nearly 65% of India’s poor are estimated to fall into debt each year paying for serious health problems, leading them to fall even deeper into poverty. Such poverty impact girls and women disproportionately.
In response, the Indian Government recently launched a nationwide health insurance program—referred to as Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana or RSBY—to provide low-cost health care to millions of families living below the poverty line. The objective of RSBY is to help very poor families protect their household from major health shocks that involve hospitalization. Eligible families are entitled to receive treatment costing up to the equivalent of $700 a year for a nominal fee of just 60¢. The implementation of this health insurance program is an important step toward improving the health security of India’s 100+ million poor families.
However, those who could benefit most from this health insurance are unaware of the program and its benefits. Equipping families with essential information to understand and enroll in the program is a critical step. That’s where Reach comes in.
Reach has partnered with the David & Lucile Packard Foundation to design and disseminate education across 14 of the poorest states of India to equip very poor families to understand and take advantage of this health insurance program.
In 2010 Reach staff members field-tested this important new education among self-help groups of poor women. Women learned how to enroll themselves and family members and access services under RSBY. Reach has just begun training many local organizations to deliver this education to thousands of self-help groups, empowering hundreds of thousands of very poor women with knowledge for a healthier future.
Since our last report, Reach Global has extended life changing education to an additional 14,167 adolescent girls for a total of 118,751 since launching in India in 2006. It’s clear that momentum is building and others believe, as we do, that investing in adolescent girls and women is smart. We thank you for your belief in our work empowering girls to help break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families and invite you to support our work by making a donation that you feel is personally meaningful via Global Giving or Reach India's website.
Since your gift to Reach Global in December 2009, Reach Global's work in India has progressed to extend life changing education to an additional 17,138 adolescent girls. This education has focused on two themes for adolescent girls: health and money management. To provide you a sense of our work in India, I've attached a link to a short video. We hope you enjoy it!
As we end the calendar year, we are working hard to bring our education to a new generation of girls. Specifically, we hope to launch a new effort in the state of Bihar, India, in which we bring new education on early marriage and sexual and reproductive health to girls. We also seek to couple this with greater availability of condoms, HIV testing and health counseling, to provide girls and young women with the knowledge, products and services they need to start their family when and how they want and need to.
It’s clear that momentum is building and others believe, as we do, that investing in adolescent girls is smart. We thank you for your belief in our work empowering girls to help break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families.
To enable Reach Global to continue to extend education to adolescent girls in India, we need your ongoing support. We invite you to support our work by making a donation at our website: www.reach-global.org.
Since your gift to Reach Global in December 2009, Reach Global's work in India has progressed to extend life changing education to an additional 13,904 adolescent girls. This education has focused on two themes for adolescent girls: health and money management.
Investing in girls is the right thing to do on moral, ethical, and human rights grounds. No other segment of global society faces as much exploitation and injustice. Adolescent girls in the poorest countries bear the heaviest burden of work, particularly in rural areas. They care for younger children, carry water, collect firewood and tend livestock. Girls also face discrimination, sexual exploitation and forced marriage. Between 25% and 50% of girls in poor countries become mothers before age 18. The highest fertility rates among adolescents are in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where more than 90 percent of maternal deaths occur. Early childbearing is closely correlated with poverty.
However, as increasing evidence confirms, investing in girls is also smart. If a girl remains healthy and gains knowledge and skills, she will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and invest in herself, her family and her community. A girl’s welfare today shapes her family’s prospects for tomorrow. And the next generation of mothers, caretakers, and household money managers are more likely to invest in the education, nutrition, and health of their children, helping to break the cycle of poverty.
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