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 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.

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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:

Mar 21, 2016

Some Glimpses of relief & rehab work ...

A common consensus among most of us is that floods are over and life is back to normal is far from truth as daily life challenges are becoming more evident as we are going deep in the flood- affected areas. City life is for sure running smooth, while the worst affected who anyways had very little in the name of their personal belongings are the ones in the remote areas are struggling the most to make their ends meet.

Goonj has been working in disasters for the last 17 years and we were in Chennai last when Tsunami happened. This time when the news of floods in Chennai spread, Goonj activated its urban pan India network to start the collection of relief material at the earliest. Our 4 offices (Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad) were involved in the process of generating and reaching out relief material to Chennai.  On ground, Goonj is operating from its temporary nodal centre based at OMR Thoraipakkam from where we are providing the comprehensive relief kits through grass root organizations based in Chennai & Nellore (Andhra Pradesh), voluntarily group and reaching out the essential supplies to the flood affected areas. We are focusing on the neglected areas, communities and their needs and committed to take up relief & rehab work here for long- term. So far, we have reached out to more than 15000 families in 5 districts, however, given the lack of attention from other stakeholders we understand that these areas would need great attention and supplies in future as well. Our work in disasters is focused on addressing gap areas like material which people are not able to get usually and reaching communities who are mostly left out in the mainstream relief work.

In the 2nd phase, many disaster- hit communities also took up some basic sanitation activities as that was a major threat to their health & hygiene under Goonj’s flagship initiative ‘Cloth for Work’. Here is a Comprehensive report of our ongoing major relief and rehabilitation work in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.

The relief and rehab activities are slowed down a bit now, due to code of conduct (elections in the state) but will be resumed again once the state- level elections are over. 

Note: Please de-activate this project as this page was initially created for people's covenience to contribute through other platforms. 

 

with best 

ruchika

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