Girls in rural India are given little information about the physical, emotional, and social changes that go along with puberty and adolescence.
Why we care: Proper education and guidance during this developmental phase has critical implications that affect individuals, families and entire communities.
How we're solving this: Providing adolescent girls with a safe place to ask questions, find their voice, and understand their feelings empowers them to reach their full potential and become strong leaders and contributors to their families and communities.
Over the past year, Real Medicine Foundation (RMF) has developed a successful format for implementing an adolescent education curriculum through a close working partnership with district administrators and community leaders. RMF began working in the Madhya Pradesh area of India in 2009, achieving remarkable success combating malnutrition by empowering local women as educators and leaders.
With the feedback of local community leaders, RMF determined a critical lack of adolescent education for girls. With a pilot program already completed, the roadmap is clear, but we need your help to make it happen.
By contributing to this project, you’ll help empower adolescent girls in rural India through an interactive workshop that reinforces the normalcy of puberty and helps create a positive cycle of education from generation to generation, helping transform young women into community health leaders.
This project will:
- Conduct workshops at 50 schools, reaching approximately 1,500 students.
- Distribute brochures and pamphlets on adolescence, nutrition, and maternal health to 1,500 adolescent girls.
- Train an RMF staff of 50 on adolescence and other topics for school workshops.
On September 1, 2012, the first workshop was conducted in the community hall in Bhagyapur Village with 44 girls from the 10th grade attending. The curriculum covered:
- What is Adolescence?
- The Changes in Adolescence - Physical, Emotional, Psychological and Social
- Iron Deficiency – Anemia
- Diet in Adolescence – Importance of Diet
- Menstrual Cycle – Misconceptions
- Personal Hygiene
The highlight of the day was a play enacted by RMF facilitators that centered on a village girl who has reached puberty and experiences stress and confusion about this sudden change in her body. The girl approaches the Auxiliary Nurse Midwife (village nurse) who clarifies her doubts, answers her questions, and assures her that there is nothing abnormal in these changes. The girls could relate to the character of the girl in the role-play and responded very well to the example.
The feedback on the workshops was very positive and the girls’ teacher shared that she had never attended such a workshop where it was possible to talk about the issues openly, and where questions and concerns were handled with such sensitivity.