Education  India Project #42451

Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders

by Adolescent Health Champions, Inc.
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders
Train 5,500 Indian youth as peer health leaders

Dear Girls Health Champion,

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to deeply affect our youth. Schools remain closed across India, and remote learning, along with the associated technological and connectivity constraints, have significantly limited access to education. Many of our youth have personally been impacted by the virus, from falling sick themselves to having family members suffer serious cases and, in some instances, passing away. Many of our youth report experiencing additional mental health strain during this time, including feelings of isolation, loneliness, and anxiety. The pandemic continues to remind us of the necessity of quality health education and support for youth.

As an organization, we have prioritized understanding the challenges our youth are facing and how we can best support them through these difficult times. We have spent the past several months working closely with our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) to formulate and develop every aspect of our COVID-19 pandemic response. The YAB is comprised of Champions from our schools and has been instrumental in guiding all aspects of our organizational strategy and execution.

Working with our YAB, we have co-designed a mobile app to help us reach more youth digitally; overhauled our curriculum to include additional relevant information, including COVID-19 content; and transitioned our program to be conducted virtually.

Looking ahead to 2021, we look forward to expanding our youth-led program virtually. If you haven't already this year, please consider donating today and help us provide critical health education and support to several thousand youth during this COVID-19 pandemic!

Stay safe and healthy, and Happy New Year!

With gratitude,

Dr. Priya Shankar & Ricky Sharma
Co-founders, Girls Health Champions

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Dear Girls Health Champion,

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Mumbai hard, with many of our partner schools, youth program participants, and their families deeply affected. First and foremost, we remain committed to supporting our Champions and collaborating schools during these difficult times. We are working closely with school administrators, teachers, and our Champions to address the challenges our youth and their families are experiencing, from mental health burden to food insecurity.

Second, with schools in Mumbai likely to remain closed for at least the next few months, we have been conducting regular online sessions with our Champions to continue our adolescent health education sessions. During this pandemic, health education is more urgent and necessary than ever.

Third, we are introducing additional content into our curriculum focused on COVID-19 and communicable diseases. With so much uncertainty and misinformation around the coronavirus, our youth can play an important role in disseminating accurate and actionable information to support their friends, classmates, families, and communities.

Finally, we are excited to share that we are co-developing a technology platform with our amazing Champions. The platform will not only provide a means to continue connecting with our schools and students during the pandemic, but it will also provide a means to expand our program’s reach and impact in the long-term.

We would love to hear from you if you have any ideas about how to support our youth during this pandemic. Stay safe and healthy!

With gratitude,

Dr. Priya Shankar & Ricky Sharma
Co-founders, Girls Health Champions

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Dear Girls Health Champion,

International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on our progress as we invest in the health and rights of women and girls in India. To date, Girls Health Champions has trained over 750 adolescent girls as Champion peer health educators.

Women and girls in India have tremendous unmet educational needs in sexual & reproductive health, mental health, and violence prevention. Our Champions are stepping in to fill this void, sharing knowledge, driving conversations, and reshaping attitudes in their schools and communities about gender, health, and education! Our Champions have educated 4,000+ classmates in-school and 15,000+ of their friends and family outside school about critical health topics.

One of our Champions proudly told us she had shared what she had learned as part of Girls Health Champions with over 100 out-of-school girls at a nearby community center. Another Champion who was experiencing challenges with self-esteem and depression volunteered specifically to teach the mental health module. She explained, “Sharing this helped me better understand myself and make mental health less taboo to others.” 

International Women’s Day also reminds us that we have a long way to go to build a more gender equitable world and reach India’s 120 million adolescent girls. We need your continued support as we build a movement and train this next generation of India’s female health leaders!

As part of International Women’s Day, we are excited to announce our participation in the GlobalGiving Girl Fund Campaign, which is going on now through Friday March 13! Organizations with the most unique donors (defined as an individual who donates $10 or more) will advance to the final round.

Contribute $10 or more today and help us unlock up to $15,000 in potential additional funding from the Girl Fund Campaign!

With gratitude,
Dr. Priya Shankar & Ricky Sharma
Co-founders, Girls Health Champions

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Dear Girls Health Champion,

We are so grateful for your support in 2019 through GlobalGiving! Together, we can train the next generation of India’s health leaders and transform the health and educational outcomes for tens of thousands of Indian teenagers. We have big plans in store for 2020 and look forward to keeping you posted on our progress!

Since launching our GlobalGiving campaign, we are pleased to share that in November and December we conducted sessions alongside 150 of our extraordinary Champions (peer health educators) in Mumbai, India. In these sessions, our Champions educated over 1,100 of their classmates about critical adolescent health topics such as menstruation, mental health, sexual & reproductive health, and gender-based violence.

Our Champions continue to blow us away with their talents, creativity, and passion for promoting health. It was so inspiring to see our Champions bring our curriculum to life by incorporating creative elements they had developed, such as skits and songs, into their teaching. Our Champions also continually demonstrate the power of our youth-led education model. One Champion, Sakina, told us that she had shared what she had learned about menstrual hygiene through our program with her relatives living in a small village in rural Maharashtra. Because of her persistence, her female relatives have now switched from using cloths to disposable sanitary pads.

With your ongoing support, we look forward to training many more Champion changemakers like Sakina in 2020!

With gratitude,
Priya & Ricky

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Organization Information

Adolescent Health Champions, Inc.

Location: San Francisco, CA - USA
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ahchampions
Project Leader:
Ricky Sharma
San Francisco, CA United States
$28,166 raised of $45,000 goal
472 donations
$16,834 to go
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