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 19, 2016

Impact of School Kits!

Group of children with School Kits!
Group of children with School Kits!

Aim for 2016-17; Goonj wants to work extensively in 1000 schools and aaganwadis (pre-primary) across India, impacting 1 lakh children using School Kits as a tool. A Goonj School Kit contains a school bag, water bottle holder, stationery pouch, towel, ball, skipping rope, mat to sit, belt, scarf. Not only are all these things made from recycled material, it also creates wide scale employment and income generation for people from some of the poorest pockets.

Impact; Goonj strongly believes that from a tender age children should not be habituated to charity. Instead Goonj uses the school kits as a motivating tool for behavior change among the recipient children. This not only dignifies giving to children, they perform various activities based on their talents and skills like quiz, fun games, educational games, drawing exercises, singing, dancing, crafts, sketching as motivation. On a macro level we also notice behavioral changes like improvement in attendance, punctuality and discipline among the children.

In some drought affected states where Goonj has been working in the past one year, the burden of school material becomes more exaggerated as the communities struggle for the basics and Goonj’s School kits is an attempt to keep children from dropping out of school. The School Kits thus fill up a critical educational gap by reaching essential school material for a happier learning for these children. The abundance of smiles brought about by the School Kits among the children is a joy to watch. It helps them forget their everyday challenges for a while as they thoroughly enjoy their newly received possessions. On the other hand since our work on School Kits is an on-going work, it ensures regular employment to people working on making these kits.

Your sustained & increased support for ‘School Kits’ (made from recycled material) initiative will be a big support to strengthen our work in remote areas and reach out to many more kids who in the name of schooling have very minimal resources to learn. Do spread the word around and get your friends and colleagues to commit or sponsor a few school kits. 

 
Exploring the contents..
Exploring the contents..
Children happy to use the school kit.
Children happy to use the school kit.
Showing off their prized possession...
Showing off their prized possession...
Children happily posing
Children happily posing
Girls with skipping rope..
Girls with skipping rope..

Links:

Apr 18, 2016

Voices from West Bengal

This year when Goonj’s NJPC (Not Just a Piece of Cloth) initiative work on menstruation reached the remote villages in districts of West Medinipur and North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, we started work with 700 women who are so poor and backward that they don’t even have the means to purchase cloth for managing their menses. They keep on reusing the most tattered clothes for around 5-6 months. Goonj is addressing the three critical aspects or what we term as Triple AAA of this issue; Accessibility, affordability and awareness on the menstrual hygiene issue for these women.

 Goonj decided to work on a year long intervention with these 700 women. Over the year we reached 2800 packs of MY Pads and 2100 undergarments and opened a dialogue through many awareness sessions where women gave some insightful feedback-:

20 year old Nabomi comes from a tribal family from Baksak village, West Medinipur. She and her husband work very hard to make ends meet given her family’s poor economic condition. Managing her periods every month was thus a constant challenge made worse by the fact that no one in her village even discussed about this basic need. She couldn’t even talk/share about this topic to her parents or her husband.

 After attending Goonj’s NJPC menstrual hygiene awareness meetings she feels happy as she was able to share the harsh realities that during her periods she used a old cloth for 5- 6 month and had no panty to use. This severely affected her mobility during periods. She couldn’t go to the market for selling vegetables, which in turn worsened her family’s economic condition.

Now she is happy, having received Goonj’s MY Pads and Undergarments. “The loops in the undergarment hold the pad so it remains in place. This helps me walk and move round comfortably without any fear of staining my clothes.” She says.  She shares that she now understands that this is a health issue and there is nothing to hide.

 Women and young girls from Village Dhoba Gobindopur, West Medinipur come from a community of daily laborers or farmers, with a majority from OBC/ST community.  These women shared their satisfaction around using MY Pads during their menstruation days. Earlier they used any cloth pieces to manage their menses. They would wash their menstrual cloth at night, trying to do it hidden from everyone. This meant unhygienic practices and infections resulting in loss of work and daily earnings.

 These women expressed happiness in using Goonj’s MY Pads. After the meetings they requested Goonj to provide MY Pads at reasonable prices so that they could buy them easily.

 The outcomes of this intervention are satisfying since MY Pads are working as an entry point into the lives of these women, getting them to open up about their challenges on this issue. Earlier they neither had access to market napkins, nor could they afford market napkins while they had little awareness about related health and hygiene issues. We hope Goonj has addressed all these aspects in a comprehensive manner.

Links:

Apr 15, 2016

Impact of School Kit

Children excited with school kits..
Children excited with school kits..

In the midst of their day to day life challenges children in village India also struggle for small things for their learning needs. Goonj's work across the country reaching children & their families in far- flung areas highlights that these little things given with care, dignity & love make a world of difference to these young minds.

Children who received Goonj's School Kits not only cherished them as a close & special companion but this also influenced their interest and motivation towards learning apart from instilling a sense of confidence and attraction towards going to school.  

Instead of giving the School Kits as charity Goonj works with the school managements to give the school material as a reward for personal, social and academic development shown by the students.

Harish Chandra Bera, Head Teacher, Govt. Primary School, Andharisolesaid about initiative - “Material support is necessary to secure student participation & community involvement” He would know since he has played a critical role in the gradual process of behavior change with material as motivation under Goonj’s School to School (S2S) initiative.

Another teacher shared- “This project came up as a good opportunity to enhance their creativity, encouraged them to speak boldly and explore their own talents. Full enthusiasm was seen among children, as they got a platform of their very own interest”. 

Over the past one year thousands of School Kits have been channelized to remote parts of multiples states in India with the support received from individuals, corporate, organizations like Global Giving & others. This year, we want to work extensively in 1000 schools and aaganwadis across the country, impacting 1 lakh children by bringing about behavioral change using these kits as a tool. 

Showing off school kits...
Showing off school kits...
Waiting for their kits!
Waiting for their kits!
Distribution of school kits!!
Distribution of school kits!!
Excited about school kit...
Excited about school kit...
Before distribution..
Before distribution..

Links:

 
   

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