Girls Glory - Improve Menstrual Health in India

by Reaching Hand
Girls Glory - Improve Menstrual Health in India
Girls Glory - Improve Menstrual Health in India
Girls Glory - Improve Menstrual Health in India
Girls Glory - Improve Menstrual Health in India
Bhavana
Bhavana

Greetings from Reaching Hand!

Reaching Hands Girls Glory, WASH interventions have yielded several success storiesThis has been possible by overcoming the challenges through sheer hard work and  dedication of the team members.

The enthusiastic proactive involvement of the teachers and students of these schools deserve a special mention. In most of the schools, the pre-intervention scenario was not very different.

Hear the eighth grader Bhavana, say what the condition in her school in Soorahunase was before the intervention of Reaching Hand.

 Bhavana Says,“My school friends especially the girls lacked proper sanitation due to lack of infrastructure and maintenance in the school. Cases when there were some facilities, absence of awareness clogged in terms of personal hygiene”.

Special requirement of the adolescent girl students was an issue that did not receive due attention. The prevailing social taboos makes it a subject of embarrassment and hesitation among adolescent girl students to vent even before the female teachers.

Lack of sanitation and menstrual management during school hours led to absenteeism among adolescent girls in that school hence affecting regular attendance and studies.

Timely intervention of Reaching Hand with the support of corporate Akamai Technologies constructed 6 toilet blocks for girls in our school on March 19, 2018.

 They also conducted Awareness classes on health and hygiene and menstrual management. This has enlighted girls on how to use sanitary pad, maintain cleanliness during periods and they spread caution and knowledge for the girls who are yet to hit puberty.

Pre and post tests were conducted by Reaching Hand to analyse the knowledge we students have attained through the workshops.

Bhavana adds, “I really thank Reaching Hand from the bottom of my heart for providing basic facilities we lacked in our school”.

Through the workshops students are now aware that menstruation is a natural process and now they comfortable to discuss any issue pertaining periods with their teachers and parents.

SoorahunaseSchool had only 71 % attendance prior to construction of Toilets. After Reaching Hands intervention, in 3 months we saw a rise in attendance to 79%. Now we are making all efforts to raise it to 90% through awareness and workshop sessions for the students, teachers and parents.

 

A quarter gone by: With the end of another Financial years starts another year filled with hope and anxiety to bring about phenomenal change in the life of the young adolescent girls. It is the time of the year we look back and introspect the year gone by. We have made good memories last year and we work towards even better approaches this year.

Reaching Hand in collaboration with different corporate inaugurated new toilets and hand-wash units under "Girls Glory Program" in various Govt schools. The school Administration, village SDMC and Panchayat, local volunteers, parents and students actively participation in these programs. Local media coverage was taken. The toilets are all constructed with proper drainage and disposable arrangements.

These achievements have been possible through your sacrificial donations to the cause. With your support we have touched the lives of more than 8000 girls by constructing 51 new toilets , renovating 71 toilets , conducting 18 Awareness workshops and catering to 93 government schools across Bangalore in the last quarter.

Achievements:

  • We were able to create our own standard syllabus for health and hygiene and puberty workshops.
  • We could strategize maintenance of toilets.
  • Through the intervention of corporate ,13 of our students got educational scholarships.
  • The pass percentage have soared high compared to last year in all our partnered  government schools.

In the following quarter Reaching Hand will complete the work of the assigned projects and start work in new Govt schools. We will be using innovative strategies to involve our students who will be back after Summer vacation.

We will be actively participating in TCS W 10K marathon to raise funds  for “Girls Glory” program stressing the importance of education for girls.

We are thankful to each one of you for your continues support with which we were able to be scale up our program.

Feedback and suggestions are welcome, so that we can improve our programs. 

New toilet block
New toilet block
In paper news
In paper news
Happy Children
Happy Children
Workshop
Workshop
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Navya- Happy Not absent any more!
Navya- Happy Not absent any more!

Greetings from Reaching Hand!

While doing student assessment in Taverekare Govt High School, the attendance register showed Nikita of 9th grade is absent for 3-5 days every month. Curious we approached her who was present that day in school. We were taken back by the startling reality. Navya says, “I stay at home during my periods because of the unavailability of separate toilet for girls in the school. It is very difficult to manage my blood flow and I need to change often.”

 Reaching Hand intervened and built separate toilets in that school for girls. They also conducted workshops on puberty using activity-based method to make girls understand that periods are common, and they should be ready mentally and physically for this process. After the workshop we conducted puberty pre-test among girls by distributing a questionnaire based on set of questions related with puberty to know how much knowledge they have related with puberty and the shocking thing was that most of the girls do not have the accurate awareness about the puberty. Most of the girls failed to answer simple questions related with menstrual cycle.

Lately we met Navya and she says, “Now that girls have separate toilets I never miss  school. The puberty workshop conducted in our school, gave me much information about the topic. For me and my friends it was the first time to attend such type of workshop. I am thankful to Reaching Hand for providing separate toilets for girls and clearing many doubts and distributing sanitary kit”.  

Reaching Hand in collaboration with different corporate inaugurated new toilets and hand-wash units under "Girls Glory Program" in different Govt schools. The school Administration, village SDMC and Panchayat, local volunteers, parents and students actively participation in the programs. Local media coverage was done.750 students are benefitted by these toilets. All the toilets are constructed with proper drainage and disposable arrangements. Ayamas are appointed to maintain these toilets.

In this quarter Reaching Hand renovated 14 toilets in different Govt Schools ,constructed New 53 toilet units and18 workshops on Health hygiene and puberty were conducted by which 2500 girls are benefitted. As per the availability of funds we will be expanding our project.

Coming quarter our focus will be on constructing more new toilets in the much needed government schools.

We are also participating in the TCS W10K with the vision of raising awareness and constructing more toilets. You can contribute to this cause by donating through GlobalGiving platform or by spreading the word to your friends and relatives.

Do visit our schools when you are in Karnataka, India anytime. We are excited to show you where your contribution goes!

New Toilets
New Toilets
Toilet Inaguration
Toilet Inaguration
Girls Glory kits distributed
Girls Glory kits distributed
Girls Glory workshop
Girls Glory workshop
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Rakshitha from Kaveri Nagar School- GG Student
Rakshitha from Kaveri Nagar School- GG Student

I want to start by thanking you for your support, contribution and wishes throughout the past one year, as my next letter will be only in the New Year. It’s been a hectic year for us as we got loads of new supports in terms of funds and we are reaching 7500 adolescent Girls now through our Girls Glory Project. We at Reaching Hand are only a 3-people team and executing so many projects was definitely a challenge. We still gave our everything to reach out to as many beneficiaries as possible.

We would like to share a small thank you story with you:

Keeping in sight the vision, Reaching Hand with the support of donors took on to construct toilets for students in Kaveri Nagar, we were stunned that 90% of the students were defecating in the open. Fathima and Rakshitha were 2 such students from Kaveri Nagar School. Rakshitha is studying in the same school from 2nd grade, from the very small age she and her friend used open grounds instead of toilet because there was only one toilet and lack of water facility it was not maintained with cleanliness. As she grew up she used to feel shy and difficult to go in open ground and more over it was a co-ed school, it was very difficult for her and for other children in the school.

Fathima studies in the 7th standard and her parents run a tea shop as well as work as painters. Fathima says that, “Before all of us couldn't go to toilets but instead me and my friends ran home or defecate in the open because we had only 2 toilets and it was not clean and so difficult for so many girls to use esp. during periods.”

When human waste (feces) is not managed well, it pollutes water, food, and soil with germs, and leads to diarrhea and other serious health problems. Using toilets prevents germs from getting into the environment, and protects the health of the whole community. Hence, with the financial support of Donors, 7 new toilets and 4 urinals were constructed for boys and girls at Government Higher Primary School, Kaveri Nagar with an attendance of 300+ Students. Aayammas are being provided to maintain the toilets clean.

Fathima Says.“I feel so happy and privileged to come for school it is so helpful to all the children in the school thanks to our donor and Reaching Hand”.

Rakshitha Says,” I don’t have to feel shy anymore, since we have new toilets in School now.”

Now there is no more Open Defecation at The Kaveri Nagar School.

This being a Thanks Giving month, we like to specially Thank God for supporters like you for the help provided to this School as well as 22 more Schools this year. We wish you and your family the best during this special holiday season.

As the new year begins, we vow to reach out to more Schools esp. in rural Karnataka with your continuous support. We would also want to increase the number of employees to make our reach even more. If you or someone you know is interested to join our team in terms of suggestions, volunteering, video-making, sharing stories on social media or come work as full-time staff, you are always welcome.

Thank you

Local Leader inaugurating our project
Local Leader inaugurating our project
A Toilet under construction
A Toilet under construction
A article in the local newspaper about GG Project
A article in the local newspaper about GG Project
A water saving Hand-washing Unit
A water saving Hand-washing Unit

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One of our Benificiaries at a WASH session
One of our Benificiaries at a WASH session

First, let me just say, thank you!

Your donation means to us that you understand just how valuable having a toilet can be to a child at Government Schools in India. Through your constant financial and moral support Reaching Hand is growing in terms of quality and beneficiaries.

Last quarter also we were able to support another 920 girls with the much needed toilets. We also were able to raise 9000 $ through various events for our cause. It makes us sad that even now there are many Schools with a strength of 300 + students with no toilet facilities thereby practicing open defecation. Hence, my team and Reaching Hand as an organisation is trying to reach out to more and more beneficiaries across India with the solutions to stop open defecation as well as to bring about the behavior change in them about Menstrual taboos.

I would like to add in few opinions of our beneficiaries about our intervention below:

“Thank you, Reaching Hand. This is so helpful to girls who have not reached puberty and those who already have. We learned so much about ourselves and are lucky to have gotten this opportunity. I feel more confident after the workshop and will teach others now.

                                                            -Vahida, 8th Standard, GHS Jeevan Bhima Nagar

“I always thought that period blood was ‘bad blood’ - that is what everyone says at home. But now I know that period blood is ‘good blood’ and that I should not pay attention to all the taboos that are spread.”

                                                                               -Nikita, 10th standard, Sandoor School

 

“Now I feel like I understand everything about my periods. There is no reason to be afraid anymore.”

                                                                              -Shruthi, 9th standard, Bannihatti School

 

“I learned a lot about periods and puberty today. It was good to understand some of the changes that are happening in my body right now. Thank you so much for coming to my school. I would not have learned all this if you did not come.”

                                                            -Tejaswini, 9th Standard, GHS Hebbagodi

“Things are very different now that Reaching Hand has built us toilets - it has been a huge help!”

-Sahana, 9th Std, Sidhartha School

 

Everyday when we hear these responses it boosts our will power to help more and more girls. I have also attached a link below where you can read more such stories.

 

In the coming quarter, we are going to focus more on the sustainability part where we want to slowly withdraw our support from Schools we have been working from more than 2 years in terms of maintenance and make the School take complete ownership of the toilets. Do write to us if you have any suggestions as we value your feedbacks.

 

Reaching Hand staff wishes you and your family the best in all your endeavors. Thanking you again for your continued support and making dreams of many of our little girls to have a Toilet into reality. Do visit us on your trip to Bangalore.

 

Sneha* telling the audience the benefits of WASH
Sneha* telling the audience the benefits of WASH
The local MLA inaugurates toilet by planting trees
The local MLA inaugurates toilet by planting trees
A inside view of the handwashing unit in toilet
A inside view of the handwashing unit in toilet
Bidding Farewell to 9 volunteers last quarter
Bidding Farewell to 9 volunteers last quarter
One of our newly constructed toilets
One of our newly constructed toilets

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Hand washing unit to promote healthy habits
Hand washing unit to promote healthy habits

Hoping that you and your family are well.

As March was end of another financial year and April the beginning of another wonderful year in touching lives of young adolescent girls for Reaching Hand along with wonderful donors like you, we want to let you know that through your support along with Global Giving we have been able to better the Schooling experience of 6780 young Girls across India. We were able to build more than 100 toilets, distribute sanitary kits to 3200 Girls along with awareness workshops for more 10000 students. We would like to thank and appreciate the faith and trust you put on us by donating to Reaching Hand.

Last 3 months we spent on finishing up our annual reports, assessments and brainstorming on our journey last financial year and also making new and improved plans to reach out to more number of Schools across India. Meanwhile, our wonderful School children were on vacation and will return to school on 2nd of June.

Some of our much-celebrated successes last year were an expansion of Girls Glory project across India through GlobalGiving donations and behavioral changes on breaking cultural taboos among the Girls. Some of our failures were the lack of enough experience with detailed impact measurement due to lack of man power. We have taken that up as a challenge for this financial year and finding out various ways we can involve volunteers or agencies to help us.

We also aim to increase our reach into Government Schools in unreached interior villages of India. Do keep supporting us with your feedbacks and motivation.

The coming July 12th is GlobalGiving Rewards Bonus Day. All the donations to Reaching Hand on that day will be matched 50% by GlobalGiving. So please do spread the news around for us and also we suggest all further donations be done on July 12th as per your convenience, so that we can avail the benefits of the Bonus Day.

With the amount raised on July 12th, we would like to conduct Health and Menstrual Hygiene workshop in slum communities in Bangalore around the Government Schools we work with.

We would like to again thank you very much for your support and request you for feedbacks on our projects so that we can improve our program.

Summer Camp for Children at School
Summer Camp for Children at School
Volunteers engaged to conduct WASH workshops
Volunteers engaged to conduct WASH workshops
Women's Day program for teachers and parents
Women's Day program for teachers and parents
New toilet construction in progress
New toilet construction in progress
Inauguration of Hand Washing Unit
Inauguration of Hand Washing Unit
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Organization Information

Reaching Hand

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website:
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Project Leader:
Akshay Sagar
Chief Operating Officer
Bangalore, Karnataka India
$59,187 raised of $150,000 goal
 
543 donations
$90,813 to go
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