How We Connected Education and Health

How We Connected Education and Health

Healthy bodies and minds have a direct bearing on better well-being of individuals and families, the young and the old, men and women. Since we have worked to strengthen communities, we have always incorporated the element of health to make this process more meaningful, along with the element of need for education. For 2 years in 2016 to 2018, EGG conducted a handwashing and school sanitation program across 114 secondary schools in Udhamsinghnagar district (USN), Uttarakhand. This program has positively impacted lives of about 35,000 children directly and their parents/ family members indirectly. Due to EGG's efforts (mainly community mobilization), all of the project schools now have separate girls and boys toilets and a system for keeping toilets and classrooms clean. The program has inculcated a habit of handwashing among students, and the students have been instrumental in raising awareness about handwashing among their guardians and families as well. Students' role is also worth mentioning as due to EGG's intervention and facilitation, students made sure that their schools had provision of soap and handwash for them to use.

Since 2013, EGG has been conducting a massive menstrual hygiene management program in 114 secondary schools in USN. This program is part of Life Skills Training being provided to girl students across all schools. About 23,000 girls have benefitted from this program every year. As a direct result of this program, girls started to use sanitary napkins as a method of menstrual hygiene management versus other unhygienic or unsafe methods. This program has also broken the silence around girls' and women's bodies and the associated shame and misconceptions around menstruation.

Furthermore, an impact assessment of World Food Program's (WFP) Anganwadi feeding program has been conducted by the organization in the thirteen districts of Uttarakhand.

Currently, upon government's request, EGGF is implementing a sanitation and COVID prevention program in 114 schools and creating awareness about COVID, precaution-prevention measures so schools can remain open for students safely. This program is focused on providing COVID-related information to students as well as training on preventative measures like handwashing, wearing masks, and social distancing. Through this program, EGG aims to instill confidence among students through information and training on ways and means to stay safe from COVID with the ultimate goal of making schools a safe space for students.

By: Soma Dixit