As I reported last week, thanks to our briefly being the highest ranked project, and some very generous donations, we recently fully funded the project for the current year (2012/13). Here is a short report from the project on the activities of the previous year.
The project successfully recruited a full team of social workers and community leaders through which it delivered its twelve month life skills, health and nutrition course.
Through the life skills course:
- 1,620 girls were educated about the importance of a healthy and nutritious food;
- 1,980 girls learnt about anaemia;
- 1,280 girls attended a courses on the importance of personal hygiene;
- 1,000 girls learnt about the effects of pregnancy in youth;
- 810 girls learnt about anatomy and their bodies;
- 972 girls learnt self-confidence and communication skills;
- 720 girls learnt about sexual abuse.
Without these courses, these girls are unlikely to have ever been able to learn about topics such as these; as such information is not available to them in the community.
This year, an internal evaluation of the project was conducted. The outcome of the evaluation was very encouraging, and on the basis of it, the project has been extended to begin working with some new communities in the Vishrantwadi slum areas. It continues to operate in the older areas three days a week.
Dr Mune and the team are very well acquainted with these communities so they have also been able to respond appropriately to demands as they have emerged. In this regard, this year the project team undertook many ‘unscheduled’ activities. These included: the formation and support of 11 women’s self-help groups; facilitating and supporting the formation of ‘girl parliament’ groups for each community; conducting sex-education and other life skills classes in schools; running some classes for boys in these schools; and collaborating with other NGOs in order to bring awareness to issues of HIV/AIDS.
Perhaps the least quantifiable achievement has been the delight that the girls have experienced in being able to meet with other girls: to talk to them about their lives, to make friends, and to know that they are not alone in their situation.
I shall continue, as always, to keep you posted with stories from the ground.
Thank you to all of you supporters who have made, and continue to make, this work possible.