Greetings from Seva Mandir!
I have three things to say before we talk about the project you are supporting.
One - we recently participated in a fund raising event on Global Giving UK. The challenge Top 10 wins challenge (1st to 14th March) required the participant projects to raise at least of £ 500 with minimum of 25 donors. Seva Mandir participated with its project “Improving Food Security for Tribal Farmers in India”. This project helps 5000 poor, marginalized farmers in rural Udaipur to have better crops and thus earn more money/food. This is done through a variety of programs including – seed bank program, using organic manure prepared with the help of earth worms (vermin-composting), growing cash crops like vegetables (preparing nurseries) for self sustenance and income generation. You would be very happy to note that this project raised £705 from 31 donors in the Top 10 Wins Challenge and therefore it won a bonus prize of £300. It is a perfect gift on this Holi for our farmers.
Secondly, on the 19th and 20th March we celebrated our festival Holi (festival of colors in India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holi). The festival is also a symbol of celebrating the harvest of winter crop in our region. This festival signifies the end of our winters and beginning of summer. March is also our financial year end and therefore it is wonderful to end our year with lots of support from people like you and having a good harvest at this Holi. And
Finally, this year, at this point of time, Seva Mandir is going through some change. Our ex Chief Executive Ms. Neelima Khetan has stepped down on March 31st. She has spent 25 years with Seva Mandir and the last twelve years as the Chief Executive. The organization excelled during her time and with her leadership marked a number of achievements. Though she has left us due to our constitutional norms, we are very happy to have her as our Trustee on Seva Mandir Board. Her continuing association with Seva Mandir is very assuring for all of us.
Ms. Priyanka Singh has taken over as Chief Executive of Seva Mandir from April 2011. She has spent over thirteen years with Seva Mandir heading Education and Health program and leading Badgaon Block (a geographical unit for our work). She has a post graduate degree in rural development from the same institute as Ms. Khetan did. She is very capable and a great person to work with. With her deep understanding of issues in rural development and support from all our friends like you, we are very much looking forward to seeing Seva Mandir keep doing its good work in the next years to come. At this point of time, we all look for your continuous support and faith for many more years of working together.
The immunization project that you are supporting is going very well. Two stories from the filed are give below my letter. Also a visit note written by North (volunteer at Seva Mandir) is enclosed for your reference. Though a small section from her notes has been pulled out and included in this cover note for your reference –
“The Seva Mandir Immunization camps aim to increase immunization rate in the Udaipur area. They are held monthly across the blocks to make immunizations accessible for local people. The first time that I went to the field was about two weeks after I started volunteering at Seva Mandir. I woke up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast and get to work in order to catch the jeep to the village of Keli in the Girwa block. I was going just as an observer, so that I would feel comfortable traveling alone to the field later in my work in the Health Office. It was a beautiful, cool, sunny morning in Udaipur, as most morning are in October. The jeep ride was through gorgeous hills. I spent some of it learning about the camps from Devrani, the Health-in-Charge of Girwa block, and the rest of the time napping against the window.
The village of Keli, Girwa Block
We had arrived in the village of Keli when the paved road ended in the middle of a grassy valley between rolling hills. It was quiet and pretty deserted. There were a bunch of cows and a few people in the distance, and birds singing in the gentle breeze. We walked up a gentle hill to a small one-room building with a patio were we met Neelam, the nurse, and Govind the para-health worker, who were sitting inside on carpets on the floor. Govind pulled out a hefty medical bag and Devrani and I went through a checklist of all the things that were supposed to be available for the immunization camp. Everything was in order. The village’s Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) arrived with about ten women and their babies. There was also one very tiny and very pregnant lady. Neelam and Govind went through the babies one by one, checking their immunization cards and entries in the records from previous camps in order to give the babies the immunizations that they needed.” You can read the rest of the note in enclosed file.
Immunization is an ongoing program. We are very grateful to you for your regular support. We hope that you will be able to visit/write to encourage our new team and leadership.
Happy Holi to you and your family from all of us here.
Wishing you a very happy, prosperous and wonderful 2011. Thank you friends for extending peace, love and support to all of us in 2010. We look forward to another great year with you. Year by year, our association is getting stronger. Thank you very much for adding happiness to our lives.
A small drawing made by Durga Kumari is presented as a token of our wishes to you.
Have an awesome year ahead.
Happy Holiday Season!
Hope you are enjoying the holiday season. This year the winter started a little later here but it is pleasantly cold right now. We hope it is also nice weather where you are.
Thank you for supporting the immunization for hundreds of children and women in our villages. Please find enclosed a half yearly report on Immunization Program for the period of April to September 2010.
The immunization program of Seva Mandir was posted on Global Giving on November 2007 and since then it has received incredible support from all of you.
During the reporting period (April to September 2010), a total of 1173 children got registered for the immunization. In the last six months, out of the targeted 408 camps, 399 camps were held. Apart from the routine vaccination, 559 children were given treatment for diseases such as fever, cough, cold, measles, eye or ear infection diarrhea and skin infection in the immunization camps. A total of 579 women received one shot of tetanus toxoid and 386 women received both the shots of tetanus toxoid.
Please have a look at the report enclosed. The report also includes the data for the Midline survey and compares it with the baseline survey. These kinds of data analysis are very important as they help us measure the impact of the program as well as decide the areas that need more attention.
We are excited to share the progress of this program you are supporting. Thank you for being an incredible partner to us. It is our pleasure to share the growth with you at the time of holiday season. Please consider donating again to this program at this festivity and also tell about it to your friends.
Thank you once again from all of us here. Happy Holiday Season once again.
With warm regards,
The monsoon has turned out quite good this year. One of the most popular lakes in Udaipur city – Fatehsagar has got filled up fully today with the rain water. It is a double bonus to all of us here with the Eid festival being celebrated in the city.
In villages too some of the streams are flowing and everyone is happy with the monsoon. As indicated above, with monsoon many festivals are being celebrated in our country including Lord Krishna’s birthday (Janmashtami), Ramadan, Eid, Lord Ganesha’s birthday, Diwali (celebrated at the harvest time) and so on. Most of our festivals occur during monsoon and the festivity will last until winters (December to February). All in all, it is a happy time.
In addition to the festivity and a good monsoon, your support to rural children in Udaipur is another reason for us to be happy. So thank you very much for adding to our overall happiness.
With this letter, we would like to share with you a couple of stories written by one of our long-term volunteers from the US - Dodie about the work you are supporting. Below my letter you can find the two stories….
It would be very encouraging if you could provide us with your comments on our feedback reports that we post on Global Giving in addition to your continuing support.
Many many thanks once again for your support and help. We look forward to your continuing support to our rural children's immunization in the coming months too.
We will keep you posted on our progress.
July 2, 2010, Immunization Camp in village Digawara Khurd, Kotra Block
Today, Sampa Bai’s 9-month-old son, Savi, has just finished his final immunization, the measles shot. It is his fifth visit to the Seva Mandir immunization camp, held on the second day of each month on the grounds of the primary school in his village, Digawara Khurd, in Kotra Block. He has now received his full course of immunization and is vaccinated against tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertusis, tetanus, measles and polio. This camp is very close to Sampa’s home, so she and her children are able to walk there easily.
Sampa Bai went to the immunization camp during her pregnancy with Savi to receive her tetanus vaccinations. She has five other children, all of whom have been fully immunized. Since Savi has finished his full round of shots, Sampa Bai will be given a set of cooking utensils today.
Sampa Bai initially learned about the immunization camp from Dhanki Bai, the Seva Mandir-trained traditional birth attendant in her village. After Dhanki Bai performed her last delivery, in Sampa Bai’s home, she encouraged her to take her newborn baby for his vaccinations. Sampa says that she keeps bringing her children to the camp because she knows that the shots will prevent them from getting sick.
July 17, 2010
Daku Bai came to the Seva Mandir immunization camp, held in the early childhood education center in her village, for the first time. She is a couple of months pregnant with her first child and came to receive her tetanus vaccination and an antenatal care checkup. After receiving her vaccination, she had her weight checked, her hemoglobin level tested, and her blood pressure taken. As she was found to be anemic, with a hemoglobin level of only 9, she was counseled by the nurse to eat dark green vegetables and eggs, and to take iron-folic supplements from the local government health center in order to increase her hemoglobin level and decrease her risk of obstetric complications. She will return to the camp next month for another antenatal care checkup.
It gives me immense pleasure to write this letter to you. The immunization program of Seva Mandir was posted on Global Giving on November 2007 and since then it has received incredible support from all of you. A total of 3743 children and 3163 expecting mothers have been immunized in past three years with the support received from you and other friends. (Please see the enclosed report for more details).
Very big thanks to all of you for helping rural tribal children and their expecting mothers.
Seva Mandir’s model of immunization makes sure that expecting mothers and young infants/children can come to the immunization camp on a fixed date and time at a location in the village which is feasible to all. We hold 68 mobile camps every month at 68 locations. The children and mothers get enrolled for immunization and are provided with an immunization card. The village birth attendants (supported and trained by Seva Mandir) notify the mothers about the immunization camp a day prior and remind them to go for the shots. The birth attendant also spreads awareness about the significance of immunization, since she is from the village and helps women with deliveries; she has good connections with all the mothers.
The mothers receive one kilo of Pulse upon their child receiving each shot. The pulse is a good source of protein for the good health of children and for lactating mothers. In addition, it also provides the mother (attending the immunization camp) an incentive of having missed a significant part of her work-day. When a child completes the entire course of vaccination (which means receiving shots for Tuberculosis, Pertusis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio and Measles) the mother is given with a dinner set (a plate, a spoon, a bowl and a cup). The mother is required to bring the immunization card every time the child/she receives a shot. The expecting mothers receive two shots for tetanus.
As we went along with these camps we realized that a lot of times mothers and children experience various illnesses and given that during the immunization camps, they could access basic health services, we added facilities of providing some treatment and referrals for childhood illnesses. Therefore the team of immunization received trainings and now they treat common, but often deadly, diseases including diarrhea, pneumonia, bronchitis, scabies, malnutrition, and ear and eye infections.
Our association with you, all these years, we have been able to raise a total of $ 51,611 for immunization program to date. A detailed report about how the model evolved and what impact it is making – is presented in the enclosed report. Please do have a look and let us know what you think.
Many thanks for your continuing support. Immunization is an ongoing program and we have integrated various significant aspects in our model to improve the overall impact. It would have not been possible for us to do if you were not with us. We hope to receive your regular support for this program and very much wish to have you with us someday here to show you the program you are supporting.
Thank you once again from all of us here. We look forward to working with you in the years to come. Please do write to us if you have any queries.
A brief story is give below -
Jaruli devi stays in the remote Kaucha village of Kotra block. Her village is very far from the district health center and the local health facilities have much higher than normal rates of worker absenteeism, making access to health care very challenging. Jaruli was in her third pregnancy. In her prior pregnancies, she never got TT immunization, as the government immunization services were not regular in the village. Both the two deliveries were institutional deliveries, but the babies did not survive. During her third pregnancy, she got her antenatal check ups and both the TT shots as Seva Mandir had started an immunization camp in her village. The GNM (General Nurse Midwife) counseled her on nutrition and care during pregnancy, and also encouraged her to take iron folic acid (IFA) tablets, as she was anemic. The GNM continued to check up on her health each month when she visited the village for camp. Jaruli had a safe delivery and, this time, her child survived.
(The report enclosed is compiled by Doddie from the US)
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