Empowering Poor Girls in India with life skills

Jul 5, 2012

Helping Srimati and Her Family Sleep Better...and Safer

Srimati with her husband and daughter
Srimati with her husband and daughter

Reach Global’s work continues at an exciting pace. Since 2007, we’ve equipped more than 1,310,732 adolescent girls and women in community-based savings groups (called self-help groups) with critical knowledge and skills about home-based health practices, livelihoods and money management.

These numbers reflect the importance we place on supporting many women, girls and their families. However, what reminds us most that this work is important are individual stories that bring the numbers to life, and exemplify the smart, important role each of us can play in the lives of others.

One special woman our education supports is Srimati Krisku, who lives with her husband and little daughter, Priya, in a rural village north of Kolkata (formerly Calcutta). Srimati gathered with the other women in her group to tell us about the impact malaria education has had on their lives. "There is an awakening for us,” Srimati said. “We never knew how malaria works. The program taught us a lot and we are grateful."

Since joining her group, Srimati has seen many changes in her life. “Now there are no problems in the house to manage, because of our self-help group,” Srimati said. “The group comes to help if I cannot work in the field. We build houses together. If there is a wedding, everyone helps. We can solve our problems peacefully.”

When Srimati is not working in the field with her husband, she buys and then sells vegetables at her village market. She has saved enough money to purchase a goat. However, she’s pleased to say she’s even prouder of another purchase she made: a bed net. Reach's Learning Conversations education taught her to treat the net with insecticide to protect her family from malaria. Malaria is widespread in rural areas such as Srimati’s village. In one nearby village, 40 people died of malaria in less than a year.

“I use the mosquito net to prevent malaria. I put the ‘medicine’ on the net. We saw the mosquitoes and flies die. We could sleep better and we are happy.”

We know that 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.

As always, your tax-deductible donation made online through GlobalGiving (see link below) or at Reach Global's website is quick, easy and safe. Your support is vital to our continued support to women like Srimati.

Thank you!

Sean Kline

Executive Director

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Reach Global

Berkeley, CA, United States

Project Leader

Sean Kline

Executive Director
Berkeley, CA United States

Where is this project located?

Map of Empowering Poor Girls in India with life skills