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 has improved 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 has empowered women and helped families achieve financial stability through floriculture cultivation— a low-risk venture with high profit-potential. Seeds, water-drums, and training was provided to 200 women as they develop their land, and WEIF arranged to link these women to fair markets where they receive maximum profit for their products. Seeds and training were first 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. A professional development program to train youth (girls and boys) as healthcare providers and ECE teachers was also introduced in the region.

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 operate in two equal phases of classroom and hands-on training. Classroom training for both programs occurs on campus, while hands-on training for healthcare workers will be conducted at Somaiya Hospital and in remote villages for ECE teachers. Thirty ECE teachers and 30 Healthcare workers have been certified across three years, and these youth have secured gainful employment and provide vital services in the remote, underserved communities from which they hail.

Since initiation, this successful program has been scaled up to numerous other communities. To learn more, please click here.

  • With grant funding from Alberta's Community Initiatives Program (CIP), WEIF has also constructed a two-storey classroom building with the designation "Nareshwadi School" in Dahanu Taluka. Like many buildings at Nareshwadi, the classrooms were small and had been devastated by monsoons. Broken windows, leaking roofs, and water-damaged walls restricted 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's investment in creating a clean, comfortable learning environment has united students under a single roof, making communication between teachers and joint activities more efficient. WEIF also purchased a generator to provide power to the Centre and enable the operation of computer labs for students, along with numerous other additions to the Nareshwadi Learning Centre. To learn more about the Nareshwadi Learning Centre Project, please click here.

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