Village Improvement in Dahanu Taluka, India

WEIF has committed to improving the lives of women and their families in the remote rural villages of Divshi and and Gadchichala, from which many Nareshwadi students hail. These communities are occupied predominantly by poor marginal farmers and migrant labourers: extreme poverty bars many children from education, and inadequate agricultural resources and training leaves families struggling in starvation. Villagers in these remote communities are isolated from health services and vital health information to ensure their well-being. Drinking water is obtained from unreliable and unsafe sources, leaving villagers exposed to painful and potentially deadly water-borne illnesses.

WEIF will improve the quality of life for families in neighboring villages through income-generating projects, health education, and the provision of clean drinking water to thousands of individuals. WEIF will empower women and help families achieve financial stability through floriculture cultivation— a low-risk venture with high profit-potential. Seeds, water-drums, and training will be provided to 200 women as they develop their land, and WEIF will arrange to link these women to fair markets where they will receive maximum profit for their products. Seeds and training were disbursed in June 2012, with 109 women registered and interest in the program rapidly growing in these communities. Health surveys were also conducted in July to identify key issues to be addressed in health information sessions to villagers on nutrition, water-borne illnesses, hygiene, and maternal childcare practices. Professional Development Programs: A Healthcare Centre and Early Childhood Education Centre will train youth (girls and boys) as healthcare providers and ECE teachers.

The curriculum for the ECE training was designed by K J Somaiya College of Comprehensive Education, while the healthcare training curriculum is accredited to the K J Somaiaya Hospital and Research Centre in Mumbai. The one-year certification programs will operate in two equal phases of classroom and hands-on training. Classroom training for both programs will occur on campus, while hands-on training for healthcare workers will be conducted at Somaiya Hospital and in remote villages for ECE teachers. Thirty (30) ECE teachers and 30 Healthcare workers will be certified across three years, and these youth will secure gainful employment and provide vital services in the remote, underserved communities from which they hail.

  • Construction of New Classroom Building: With grant funding from Alberta's Community Initiatives Program (CIP), WEIF will construct a two-storey classroom building with the designation "Nareshwadi School". Like many buildings at Nareshwadi, the classrooms are small and have been devastated by monsoons. Broken windows, leaking roofs, and water-damaged walls restrict learning opportunities during periods of heavy rainfall. No child deserves to be forced out of their classroom or to sit on a damp floor. WEIF will invest in creating a clean, comfortable learning environment that is worthy of Nareshwadi and the exemplary work it does. The new classroom building will unite students under a single roof, making communication between teachers and joint activities more efficient. WEIF will also purchase a generator to provide power to the Centre and enable the operation of computer labs for students.

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