Girls Glory - Improve Menstrual Health in India

by Reaching Hand
Vetted
Health and Hygiene Classes at Sikkim
Health and Hygiene Classes at Sikkim

Season greetings from Reaching Hand! As November 24th was Thanks Giving Day, our Reaching Hand Team is very thankful for supporters like you who gives wings to our dreams of stopping drop out of Girls from Schools across India.

Last quarter through  constant support  from you through GlobalGiving, we could complete the Toilet construction in three Schools in Jammu and Kashmir, Sikkim and Bellary(Karnataka). We impacted 604 Girls with Clean Toilets, Good water flow, Menstrual, Health and Hygiene education. 

Through Girls Glory project we also constructed 10 more toilets in 3 Schools and created awareness among 1260 Children about Sanitation and Hygiene in the last quarter.

One more step into progress…

Reaching Hand started working with Government Higher Secondary School Devalapura located in an interior village in Karnataka about 3 months ago. The School consisted of 800 Students, 9 Teachers, 1 Principal and 20 SDMC (School Development Committee Members). The School was built more than 30 years ago, and was in a very bad condition in terms of Infrastructure, Sanitation and Hygiene. The drainage facilities ran in between classrooms and the School stinked of the waste water and was a breeding place for mosquitoes. Since the School was located in a remote area, no teacher wanted to teach in the School and there were constant fights among the SDMC as there were people belonging to different political partys. After the intervention of Reaching Hand we are glad to say that we could unite the Teachers and SDMC and the local Panchayat members and bring an awareness in them about the importance of education for the children in the village and thereby every member contributed their best and along with the help of Reaching Hand the drainage facilities were moved out of the School, the School building was fixed and re-painted. This was one of the most memorable achievements for us as a team.

Its #GivingTuesday again…

As we move on forward on this journey we require more financial support and encouragement as we want to really focus on reaching out to remote communities across India with proper sanitation facility and awareness among them about Sanitation, Health and Hygiene. This coming Tuesday i.e 29.11.16 is Giving Tuesday at GlobalGiving.

There will be an unprecedented 50% matching for #GivingTuesday donations up to the first $1 million raised! This is the largest amount of matching funds GlobalGiving has ever had in one day in order to match more donations than ever before!

In addition to this huge matching opportunity, all new recurring donations made from #GivingTuesday through December 31st will be matched at 200% up to $100, on the fourth donation!

Hence we would like to appeal to all our donors and well-wishers to contribute to our cause through GlobalGiving on #GivingTuesday and help us reach out to more communities.

Thank you for your support. The Reaching Hand team wishes all our partners and donors A Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year in advance.

New Toilets at Sikkim supported by Global Giving
New Toilets at Sikkim supported by Global Giving
New Toilets at Jammu supported by Global Giving
New Toilets at Jammu supported by Global Giving
Help us reach more this #GivingTuesday
Help us reach more this #GivingTuesday
Celebration of World Toilet Day on November 19th
Celebration of World Toilet Day on November 19th

Links:

We are glad to acknowledge your contributions over the last quarter and for helping Reaching Hand “Grow and Reach Beyond Borders”. We would like to bring you the good news that over the last quarter because of your contribution we expanded our work to reach the wonderful girls in North Karnataka, Jammu, Sikkim and Goa by providing them Puberty, Health and Hygiene Education and we are also in the process of completing the construction of Toilets in these places.

Measure of Construction done last Quarter

As part of the Girls Glory Project we constructed 28 Toilets in 7 Schools and Renovated 5 Toilets in 1 School. We are in the process of Constructing 15 Toilets and 10 Toilets are under renovation in 5 Schools. As per the availability of funds we will be expanding our project more.

Behavioral Changes

We were able to Conduct workshops for Girls in Goa, Sikkim, Jammu and 5 Schools in Bangalore about Puberty and Health and Hygiene. We were able to educate 1190 Girls over the last Quarter.

What we often notice from these workshops are about how these Girls due to lack of Education about Puberty, go into a negative mode of thinking about themselves as inferior, born to suffer, ugly and unwanted. This thinking mainly arises because of the taboos followed in their homes. We come across Taboos like- don’t enter the kitchen, Don’t mingle with Boys, Don’t Play, Don’t enter the Temple, the menstrual blood is unclean, Only Girls suffer from Bodily changes, etc.

It takes us quite some time during workshops to build the self-esteem of Girls, but the results are wonderful. We strive to make the Girls realize themselves, their beauty and potential during our workshops.

Our small step to save the environment

In order to stop the issue of Garbage, and water Clogs in School, we decided to partner with another organization who provide free cloth sanitary pads for under-privileged girls which when taught how to properly maintain can be re-used for two years.

Success Stories

Sahana 8th B Anju 8th c

“…Through this Girls Glory Workshop I learned that the menstrual blood is not bad, I learned how to manage pain during periods and how to keep myself clean…”

Mrs. Sarvamangala- Class Teacher of 1st and 2nd Standard

“Reaching Hand Renovated the toilets for our School, it is very much beneficial to our Students. They also educated the children about Health and Hygiene. Now the children have stopped defecating outside in the ground...”

Do continue supporting us as we are trying to take the message of use of Toilets for Defecation and continue breaking the bad Menstrual Taboos is the society and increase the awareness on Health and Hygiene. We would also be really happy to know your feedbacks and views on various issues in the society relating to our Project. We wish you a wonderful Quarter ahead.

After a puberty workshop!
After a puberty workshop!

Hope you are doing well. Our girls here in India also are doing well and happy and excited. Over the last quarter we were able to impact the lives of 1300 Girls by providing them with new sanitation facility in their schools as well as renovating few toilets, drainage system and water pumps. 

The TCS Marathon

This year again we had a fundraiser for the TCS Marathon, we had 15 volunteers raising funds and 120 volunteers running for the marathon for the cause of Girls Glory. All of us had a good fun running the 6k and the 10K marathon. It indirectly forced all of us to be fit and going as well as build awareness among the Bangloreans about the need for health and sanitation. {Photos attached below} 

Girls Glory Workshops

We were able to finalise on our Girls Glory Puberty, Health and Hygiene education book which is under review currenly. We were basically looking for a positive behavioural change in the children in terms of hygiene and taboos and we are happy we could achieve it among the students. We are gonna persist on our endeavour and build the lives of children with your support.

Building of toilets

Last quarter we built 19 New Toilets and Renovated 5 Toilets for the children. All the children were on vacation last two months and would be happy to see the new toilets when they start Schools this month. We are scaling up the project coming quarter to East Karnataka, West Bengal, Jammu Kashmir and Orissa, 

New Plans 

We are looking to conduct free health camps for girls and teachers for this achedemic year to check on health issues. And we are also thinking of helping the school to do rain water harvesting and use the water from the hand wash facility and the rain water to set up a garden in the Schools. We need more ideas on the same and we need your help to do it better, so please do write back your review to us on the same. We look forward to built toilets in 10 more Schools in the coming quarter.

Success story

Manjula{Photo attached below} is studying at 5 th grade in government school, their family is migrated to Bangalore a decade ago. Father works as mason and mother is daily labour at construction site. She has beenstudying in the same school for the past 3 years, initial days of her schooling the school did not have proper toilet facility as there was lack of water facility in toilet therefore some time children were into practice to go outside for the open defecation. During such situation Manjula went through lot of embarrassment as she knows practicing open defecation will cause infection, fear of insect bite or snake and also disgrace on self. She has learned and aware that open defecation is not good for health and also it will dirty the surroundings of school and living place of others in the society, also she is very much conscious about consequences. She deserves appreciation for not practising open defecation and also practicing the same continuously, thus she is with single mind not practice any more open defecation. Therefore Manjula likes having clean toilets at school for the use of children she says it means a lot to all children.

 

Thank you for all your support and do write back your reviews to us. Have a blessed months ahead.

Manjula- Success Story
Manjula- Success Story
TCS Marathon 2016
TCS Marathon 2016
Construction work at Mandya School
Construction work at Mandya School

Links:

A Student
A Student's response to getting new toilets

It's that time of the year when we look back to the last whole year and celebrate the good times as well as work on improving our approaches the coming year. With ‘your’ support we have reached to 2962 Girls and 400 Boys over the last year. We were able to build 51 New Toilets and Renovate 35 Toilets and reach to 28 Government Schools across India. Few more are under construction right now. We were also able to conduct 34 Awareness workshops.

Challenges that we faced!

There were lot of challenges we came across the most glaring one was the crisis of maintenance. In the beginning of the year we were focused on building toilets but later we were awakened to the new issue i.e. of maintenance. So from mid of the year we tried various ways to tackle this issue and finally now be believe we have almost have a fool proof plan. 

Reaching Hand now not only builds toilet but also vouches for the maintenance. One of the biggest breakthroughs came when we started involving the beneficiaries as well as all the stakeholders in maintenance. We conducted awareness programs and made committees to ensure cleanliness. 

Achievements!

  • The TCS Marathon fundraiser was a huge success as we were able to share our cause with 1000's of people.
  • We were able to create our own and good syllabus for health and hygiene and puberty workshops with the help of volunteers.
  • We could strategize maintenance of toilets.
  • We could empower the teachers and School Management along with students about the importance of toilets.

In the coming year!

  • We will be doing awareness campaigns in the slums in Bangalore along with full-fledged health camps.
  • Research on eco-toilets and its sustainability.
  • We will be reaching out to 50 more schools across India
  • Empower all the Schools about health and hygiene.
  • Release the Workshop material officially as tried and tested.
  • Work on stronger materials to fit inside the toilets as the children or the community tend to break during the after school hours.

Thanks to you for all the progress we could make. We are also thankful to Global Giving UK for the funds they have donated to Reaching Hand for scaling up our projects. We want to scale up our project to the whole of India. Do give us your feedback and suggestions so that we can improve our project. Do continue supporting us and also visit us if you come down to India.

Thanks a ton again.!!!! Few photos have been attached below portraying the accomplishments. Do look into it.

Toilet renovated at Horamavu School
Toilet renovated at Horamavu School
Toilets made to look appealing to children
Toilets made to look appealing to children
Health and Hygiene workshop
Health and Hygiene workshop

Links:

Seasonal greetings to you from Reaching Hand. It’s our pleasure again to update you about the happenings at this part of the world. It wasn't a great three months though, as we are in the process of assessing the menstrual taboos and current knowledge about menstruation in our schools. We are saddened to hear the responses of girls with regards to the seclusion they go through at their home, school, temples and communities during their menstrual time. "I stay in separate room during my period!" was one of the responses. 

Progress report during the previous quarter

Over the last three months we conducted about 13 Assessments in Schools, 2 Puberty Education and 8 Health and Hygiene Education. We also inaugurated 3 renovated toilet blocks and are in the process of building totally 14 new toilet blocks in the coming quarter. The construction was little slow previous quarter due to rains and flood in our neighboring state Chennai.

Information on our Girls Glory Education

Along with the help of amazing volunteers Saldon from Jammu and Kashmir, Rashmi from Florida, Audrey and Danny Forest from Montreal we have put together two manuals one on Puberty Education and other on General Health and Hygiene for the age group of 7-14 years. We are focusing on removing the menstrual taboos and also most importantly explaining the process of puberty and reason behind blood flow, so that girls are aware that menstruation and onset of puberty is just a normal function of the body just like other functions. Through Health and Hygiene Education, we are focusing on educating children on how to keep themselves away from germs to avoid epidemics and viral fevers of various kinds which is rampant here at Bangalore. 

Issues and concerns

Maintenance of toilets that are being constructed is one of the main issues we are facing currently. Many of the schools we are providing additional support by engaging third party agencies for cleaning and also fixing tanks to store water around the toilets to ensure continuous water flow even at times when there are long power cuts. We have also planned to make a WASH Committee in each of these schools including the School Authorities, Local Leaders and Students to ensure on maintenance and daily checks on the cleanliness of the Sanitation Facilities.

Celebration

November 19th being the World Toilet Day, we celebrated the same in our Nagenahalli School with inauguration of renovated toilet and Health and Hygiene Awareness Program.

We at Reaching Hand have made it our motto to remove all menstrual taboos among the children and their communities at Bangalore. Thanks to your support that we can continue our work relentlessly. Do continue supporting us, and join hands with us in making Bangalore menstrual taboo free.

Health and Hygiene Program
Health and Hygiene Program
World Toilet Day Celebration
World Toilet Day Celebration
Toilet blocks under construction
Toilet blocks under construction

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Reaching Hand

Location: Bangalore, Karnataka - India
Website: http:/​/​www.reachinghand.org
Project Leader:
Akhaya Sagar
Bangalore, Karnataka India
2016 Year End Campaign
Time left to give
$32,841 raised of $150,000 goal
 
192 donations
$117,159 to go
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