Education  India Project #23287

1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child

by RED International
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
1000 days - Education & Support for Mother & Child
Teaching women the importance of vaccinations
Teaching women the importance of vaccinations

Community Health Workers (CHWs) are critical to women and children’s health in India. Here’s one example of why RED International’s partner and your support is so vital:

Shilpa*, a CHW, met a village woman named Deepa* who lives 5 miles away from the School Shilpa’s linked to in East India. Between age 16-22 Deepa had two children. One is two years old and another one is 4 years old.

They live in a small single tiled roof house. Her husband is paralysed and not being able to do any work. Deepa is illiterate but makes nice vine juice and sells it and supports the family.

Since it was vaccine (Polio) time, the Community Health Worker discussed with her the importance of children being immunised. She explained that immunisations have helped children stay healthy for more than 50 years. They are safe. Immunisations can save and protect your child’s life from diseases. Immunisations can save families time and money. Don’t miss giving your child BCG, Polio Drops, DPT, MMR and Hepatitis B (3 doses).

As The CHW was sharing this, Deepa started crying and said, “if you would have come little earlier to speak about this, you could have saved my child from death.” Now I lost my child because I did not immunise him.

The CHW wiped her tears and comforted her.  Then added to take care of her 4 year old child, and immunise him. She assured her saying “I will do and also I will tell the young mothers to immunise and save children from dying”.

Shilpa deepened her understanding of being a Community Health Worker and the need and necessity of teaching about immunisation in Indian villages. She also felt great in being part of the health care department run by OMIF and the Good Shepherd Team in saving children from dying without immunisation.

It is important that CHWs receive ongoing support to encourage their confidence and understanding of the work they are involved in. Consistent (monthly) reporting, a buddying system for new CHWs and additional CHWs starting in October have all benefitted communities over the last few months.

Three months in the life of a CHW

Thanks to your support Community Health Workers (CHWs) have had a significant impact on women and children’s health.  Here’s a snap shot on one district in Mahbubnagar, Central India.

July to September was a busy three months for one district. 8 CHWs visited 10 sub districts and 14 villages. There were 3556 health related contacts by CHWs over these 3 months, distributed between home visits, medical camps and village education programmes as shown below.

Home Visits

CHWs visit community members in their home to deliver one to one health education or tend to the needs of the sick including onward referral where necessary.  In this period there were 1014 home visits by CHWs including 429 to Joginis.  The spread of problems seen (by percentage) are shown in the chart below.  Note gynae includes antenatal care and general women’s conditions and accounts for almost half of all home visits.

Village Education Programmes

There were 65 village education programmes, attracting 1986 people, of whom 755 were Joginis in this period.  These are gatherings in the villages run by the CHWs with the aim of teaching the community about a specific topic.  The topics taught are shown below. Improving overall health is vital for mothers and children. CHWs make use of the antenatal visual aids funded by this project during Village Education Programmes. These tools help CHWs to communicate and highlight a range of issues in relation to pregnancy and childbirth as well as the importance of immunisation etc.

Births and Deaths

There were 40 reported births (of which one child died in childbirth) and co-incidentally also 40 reported deaths in these villages in this time period.  The average age at death was around 40 (median 40, mean 43).  The one Jogini reported to have died in this time period was 35 years old and died of an unspecified fever.

90% of the births were in hospital, all but 1 of the babies are reported to have received BCG vaccine at birth, and only 1 baby was not being breast fed in the week following birth.

Your support is making this happen!

Community Health Workers are a vital resource for these communities. RED International’s partners are planning to train a further 10-15 CHWs in December 2016 with a particular focus on communities of vulnerable women in Telangana State. These are in addition to the 60 CHWs already working with the Good Shepherd Schools and their surrounding communities across India.

Thank you so much for helping to support CHWs and the resources they use through RED International and GlobalGiving. I hope you are inspired to share this with your friends.

To keep on training and supporting those we already have as well as expanding CHWs to other areas requires an ongoing commitment to invest in them. With your support we look forward to updating you with more stories in the New Year.

*names changed

50% Matched Funding Opportunity on 29th November 2016 #GivingTuesday

We would be grateful if you would encourage others to support this project on 29th November 2016 which has been designated #GivingTuesday. All donations will be increased by 50% with matched funding while the funds last. Please consider sharing this project with your friends, colleagues and wider networks.

GlobalGiving US have $500,000 of matching funds and donations of up to $1000 will be match funded.

GlobalGiving UK also have a 50% matched funding opportunity on 29th November with £20,000 of matching funds on donations up to £600.

Problems treated by CHWs July-Sept 16
Problems treated by CHWs July-Sept 16
Topics taught by CHWs July-Sept 2016
Topics taught by CHWs July-Sept 2016
CHWs give antenatal education in the community
CHWs give antenatal education in the community
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CHW's receive training on how to use visual aids
CHW's receive training on how to use visual aids

In our last report we informed you of the successful launch of antenatal teaching aids in March during a 3 day training of 20 Community Health Workers (CHWs).

The teaching aids focus on important topics which are specific to the first 1,000 days including; pregnancy, child birth and care of the new-born. The aids were created in order to enhance the health education role of CHWs in India who spend approx. 10% of their time giving education and support to expectant and new mothers. CHWs mainly reach out to Dalit and low caste communities, many of whom are illiterate and marginalised.

CHWs are invited to attend training sessions where they receive a set of teaching aids and instruction on how to use them.

Thanks to YOUR support our partners were able to conduct training in Calcutta during June, equipping 18 Community Health Workers and 4 mentors (who oversee the work of CHW’s) with this knowledge and tools. Participants had travelled from North Eastern States and our partners report that the teaching aids were well received. They gave feedback and as a consequence additional slides have been created and since added.

One slide focuses on engaging mothers in a conversation about the importance of feeding breast milk alone and straight from birth. Two charts were also produced; one to show how much milk a new-born needs in relation to stomach size and a second one looking at how many times a baby should urinate, pass stools including colour and the total number of hours a child should be breastfed for.

A second training took place for a further 5 Community Health Workers who work among the Jogini community.

In a belt across Southern India incorporating Maharastra, Karnataka, Telangana and Andhra ritual prostitution, or Jogini practice, remains a reality despite it having been officially outlawed for more than 30 years. Girls from Dalit backgrounds are dedicated to the goddess, often as a pre or early teen, and then used in the practice of socially and religiously sanctioned prostitution. There are currently around 200,000 Jogini girls. Their precise role varies from place to place but usually involves dancing in celebrations (to bring luck) and giving sexual favours to men, who may consider this an act of worship.

The reasons for their dedications are many and various and include family tradition, poverty, appeasing the gods and lack of other employment opportunities. Joginis face stigma, discrimination, dehumanisation and abuse by society in every way- physically, sexually, emotionally and financially. Some of the reasons for the continuance of this practice are poverty, illiteracy, lack of awareness, desperate socio-cultural conditions, varying and lacking moral value systems, lack of implementation of the law and insufficient rehabilitation programs.

Condom use among this population is very uncommon due to lack of education and social pressures and as a result women often become pregnant. HIV rates are also high and climbing. Few Joginis have access to Government health services because of their social status and usually have no support from family members.

Our partners and Community Health Workers report that the 1,000 day focused visual aids are a great resource. Having these teaching tools helps them to facilitate and promote discussion on antenatal care with women who otherwise would not have access to this vital information.

YOU have made this possible.

Preparations are underway for the next training which will take place later in the year.

Thank YOU for your continued support, we look forward to updating you on feedback from the next training.

CHW's each receive their own set of visual aids
CHW's each receive their own set of visual aids
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A set of the completed visual teaching aids
A set of the completed visual teaching aids

We are delighted to update you on the progress of our partners in India who are making the most of the 1,000 day window of opportunity.

In addition to teaching on basic health and preventable diseases, Community Health Workers (CHWs) in India spend approx. 10% of their time giving education and support to expectant and new mothers. CHWs reach out to mainly Dalit and low caste communities, many of whom are illiterate. To enhance this health education role, we recognised the need to create picture based visual aids which focus on pregnancy, child birth and care for the new-born, so to reach this often marginalised community.

We recognise that it is vital for women to receive antenatal and postnatal education and support during the 1,000 days; therefore each CHW will receive a set of teaching aids and be trained on how to use them. We believe that the materials together with training will equip CHWs to reach a much broader group of women in the communities in which they are already working.

The funds that you have so generously given enabled 20 sets of visual aids to be produced in March and 20 CHWs from North India were invited to receive training on how to use them. During the training, CHWs were asked for their feedback on the visual aids.

Our partners report that the group were delighted with and very enthusiastic about the new materials. They shared that they are looking forward to putting them to use and sharing this knowledge with women in their communities. They also provided feedback on additional images that they wanted to be included; something to allow them to discuss prejudice against girl babies, something to remind them to mention making a plan for delivery, a slide about immunisation and a picture to mention that during pregnancy heavy work is not a good idea.

On receiving this feedback a few alterations have been made to the slides and during the next training in June, CHWs will again be asked to give their feedback.

A further 20 sets of teaching aids have been printed in preparation for the upcoming training, which YOU have made possible.

Thank you for helping us equip CHWs to bring support and education to women during the 1,000 day window.


Matched Funding Opportunity with Global Giving - See your donation increased by 50% on 15th June 2016

We would like to encourage you to share this project with your friends, colleagues and wider networks. Global Giving have a matched funding opportunity in both the US and the UK on 15th of June 2016 when donations will be matched by 50%.

On June 15th, (in the US) will be holding a Bonus Day with $110,000 available in matching funds. RED International has attained the "Superstar" reward status which means donations to our projects will be 50% matched. This is only applies to donations made online between 9:00:01am EDT and 23:59:59pm EDT on June 15th (time in your city).

Also on June 15th will be running their own Bonus Day for UK donors!  There will be £10,000 matching funds available and all donations given to RED International's projects on  will be matched by 50% as long as the funds last. Again this only applies to donations made online between 14:00:01pm BST and 4:59:59pm BST on June 16th (time in your city).

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Organization Information

RED International

Location: Oswestry, Shropshire - United Kingdom
RED International
Andrew Sinclair
Project Leader:
Andrew Sinclair
Oswestry, Shropshire United Kingdom

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