Last week, staff had a 3 day training and practice in the field of delivering the questionnaire using digital tablets. They are now ready to run the questionnaire to 30% of the target groups, all women between 15 and 60, some unmarried, some married, some with children and some menopausal. Results of all this data will not only give us a base line to compare to, once the program has been delivered for some time, but also allow us to adjust the program to most appropriately meet their needs. An added advantage of doing the survey is that we have been raising the awareness of the local women to our presence and to what our program will do to benefit them. Below is a detailed explanation of all these facets of the Base Line Survey (BLS), taken from our monthly staff reports with some additions by way of explanation from us.
*Accessibility & skills of practitioners * Contraception Information * Non Scalpel Vasectomy NSV) and Tubal Ligation myths * Spacing of children * Early childbirth (young age) * Abortion (preference for sons)
Prenatal, Natal and Post Natal
*Pregnancy testing * Pre and post neonatal care * Safe vs unsafe delivery * Early breastfeeding – myths re colostrum not being good for babies * Role of Service Providers
*Menstruation information * Early marriage and early childbirth
*Information re pulse polio programme and other vaccinations
*Spacing of Children (anemia, weakness) * Abortions * Colostrum myth
*Dowry - social pressure leading to early marriage and early childbirth as well as son preference
* Lack of male/spouse support and involvement
Following the Village Mapping and Focused Group Discussions, Village Registers
were compiled by staff members, going house to house and getting the demographic details of each household. Of particular interest for the conducting of our Base Line Survey (BLS) are the details of the women between 15 and 60 in each household: whether they are married, whether they have children, what ages the children are etc. When we come to run the BLS Questionnaire we can then target the households we need to for each sample.
Suman Devi enjoys a laugh with a village woman, while Renu fills in the register
Indu helps woman fill in register details
Some staff faced some challenges from villagers while filling out the registers
- According to the villagers, these types of surveys are baseless and have no benefits
- Male Government agency staff come into their villages and survey but do nothing. They enter the wrong information in their survey registers; as a result of this, the villagers don’t get any benefits.
- They show discontent with all this. They wonder if this is also going to be the same with this organization (WEIV).
Listening to all this, the staff members tell the people of the program that they will be running in future - helping them to have safe delivery, bringing awareness about not marrying the girls before attaining 18 years of age, helping them in having full ANC coverage and complete immunization, giving them information about their health related entitlements etc.
Hearing all this from female staff members, they eagerly wait for their turn to get their family details entered in the staff register. In other words, people rely more on women’s words rather than men.
Lalmani fills in the register in this household Madhuri and Srimanti in Mahuli Village
Sarika and Reeta in Mahmadpur Village, with household all engaged
Villagers are eager to know what are the objectives of the base line survey
- What activities will there be after the survey
- Villagers also share some problems with us regarding health issues like lack of Health Facilities, lack of Health Staff, lack of medicines in Primary Health Centres , Health Sub centres are not functioning well and communication problems, etc
In reply our staff shared the objectives of the survey as well as activities which will be done by WEIV after the survey. Apart from direct educational programs, and running programs to create awareness among them regarding health issues, staff will liase with Government Health Departments regarding the present poor status of Health Services. We have assured villagers that we will help them to mobilize to advocate for and achieve their rights. Eventually they will have the skills and confidence to stand on their own feet.
Renu and Lalmani fill in the details provided by the men of this household
Naresh Jee engages with the men of the household while Suman Devi looks on
The completion of the registers covering so many households has been a huge task requiring careful organisation and teamwork by the staff. Until November, 94 villages have been covered by the staff. Below is a table showing the amount of work covered in November with a tally of households visited.
Household registers completed in this month by the following teams
Base Line Survey Questionnaire
||Village Name In Nov
||No of House
holds in November
|Total Households covered until November
|*Naresh & Sunita
*Naresh & Suman
* Naresh & Indu
Sekhpur and Barorah
|*Rita & Indu
*Indu & Premlata
*Premlata & Suman
Pananiya and Rajabigha nirdhanbigha , Balia.
|*Rita & Sunita
||Mahuain, Sudarshnbigha,Jakariya , Ghatera.
|*Madhuri & Srimanti
|*Taraunchi, Dhanabigha, Aliganj, Ramubigha, Barorah
|Renu & Lalmani
||Malpa, Matukbigha, Bela, Dadnapur, Budhpur, Mathurapur
The aim is to cover a total of approximately 4,000 households, each team of two going to 10 households per day. The questionnaire will be done on digital tablets, two staff members per tablet. This will save the use and expense of a huge amount of paper, especially given that some sections are only relevant to certain members of the sample population. It will also allow for quick and efficient feeding of results to our IT man who can then readily collate and interpret the information received so that a report can be issued promptly. This will enable us to appropriately tailor the health program for each target group. Training the staff in use of the tablets has also given them new skills, for the future.
There will be random sampling of 30% of the target group in each category.
Target groups are:
Adolescent girls, Young married couples with baby under 12 months, Married couples with children 12 to 24 months, Menopausal women, Unmarried adolescent girls from 15 years
- Family Planning
- ANC Delivery
- Reproductive Tract Infections
- Adolescent Health
- Quality of Care for newborn and mothers
- Functioning of Anganwadi (mother/child support centres)
- Vocational Training
The survey questionnaire is available on our website www.ard-india.org
if you would like to look at it.
A follow up survey using the same questionnaire will be done in about 3 years’ time, (depending on the progress of the Reproductive and Child Health program). It will be of the same percentage of each target group (but not necessarily of the same people as they or their children will have aged, died, moved etc).
All staff present at their meeting in Guraru Office
Staff meet fortnightly at the office to report on their work, discuss any problems and plan for the coming fortnight.
WEIV staff are making connections with other agencies working with health in the area. On 22/6/2014 they went to the offices of LSSK
(our financial auspicing organisation, which also works with Women’s Empowerment) in Pariya. Pariya is a town near Guraru, where our office is. They attended a training where they discussed/learnt about following points:
1. How to freshen our mouth and teeth (dentist department)
2. Gynaecological issues.
3. Blood sugar problem.
4. General health problems regarding fever, cough, headache, pain in knee.
Again all staff of WEIV went to Pariya on 30/06/2014 and met UNICEF Staff.
Spiritual Visit and Staff Connection
- 9th August, staff members took a trip to Vindhyachal a holy site in Uttar Pradesh. Everyone enjoyed the trip very much. Vindhyachal
, a Shakti Peet, is a center of pilgrimage in Mirzapur district. It is 70km from Varanasi. A renowned religious city it is dedicated to goddess Vindhyavasini. Mythologically goddess Vindhyavasini is believed to be the instant bestower of benediction. There are several temples of other deities in the surrounding area, the most famous ones being Ashtabhuja Devi, Sita Kund and Kalika temple.
Indian Independence Day
August, an auspicious day, all the staff members met in the office premises and celebrated Indian Independence Day. The flag hoisting ceremony took place followed by the National Anthem Jana Gana Mana. Later they had sweets.
A sign has been made (with appropriate misspelling) for the outside of the office.
Although LSSK is not ‘organising‘ the program, and merely auspicing our financial arrangements, (WEIV staff in combination with Graeme and Wendy do this), somehow this is how it was printed up. Ah well, sometimes some things fall through the cracks when they travel across the seas.
The Carboot Market continues to be a wonderful source of income for us, with donations of clothes, books, cds, dvds, jewellery and various precious bric a brac being gratefully received. We have quite a few new members on the team: Naomi, Meg and Patrick. Gertrud has returned to help out and together with our trusty long term supporters: Bruce, Linda, Jozie and Nicky with an occasional helping hand from Micky, we pull it together really well and make between $700 and $1,000 each market. Simon of Organigrow regularly donates up to 45 dozen organic free range eggs, which get snapped up at $6 a dozen and we received 200 cakes of lemon myrtle soap from Refresh. We are so grateful for the support from these two companies.
Naomi selling Organigrow eggs and Wendy with our wares, the tv running photos of the program
We ran a successful film night called 'Journey in my Mother’s Footsteps' at the Lismore Library on 15th
August. Those attending also learned more about our program and one generous woman signed up for a monthly donation. We have about 60 people doing this and together with the markets and an organisation called Buy1 Give1, which supports donations to us (see their website www.b1g1.com), we are able to send about $1,800 to India to pay the wages of our 13 staff plus administration costs. On top of that we send regular amounts for staff trainings and recently sent money to buy the digital tablets.
Thank you to all of you who donate time, money and goods. Without you, the wonderful work of empowering the women of Guraru would not be possible. We hope you have enjoyed this newsletter. Could you please pass it on to at least one other person you know? In this way, the word will spread and maybe some more generous donors will come our way.
Graeme and I head for India in mid January and will spend some time with the project, both getting reports of all the work done and planning for the coming year. If you would like to meet us there, or talk about anything to do with the program, you are most welcome, please contact us.
Wendy & Graeme