Sexual & Reproductive Health

Adolescent Health and Empowerment

Goal

To empower young girls and boys (11-24 years) with the knowledge and capacity to make informed choices about their health and well being.

Objectives

  • To increase health awareness and positive health behaviours through peer group learning sessions, life skills education and community engagement.
  • To enable economic empowerment through vocational training.
  • To create adolescent advocates in the community.
  • To ensure continued support through formation of parent groups and follow up beyond the program.

How we work

The program covers 5500 boys and girls in the age group 11 to 24 years across 3 municipal wards through the Adolescents Gaining Ground (AGG) project and two community resource centers called Arogyamitra Kendras. The program is delivered by trained facilitators who are women from the same communities as the beneficiaries. The program is located across the vulnerable communities of Dharavi, Ghatkopar, Vikhroli and Kandivali.

Intervention Approach / Design / Methodology

The program takes a comprehensive approach and intervention includes :

  • Classroom based sessions on health and life skills education.
  • Beyond the classroom sessions : field visits to the local Health Post, market, and police station, community events using art, theatre / street plays and sports activities.
  • Vocational training : Computer literacy, Spoken English, Beautician training, Mobile repair, Nurse aide course, Mehendi class and Stitching.
  • Monthly mothers / parent group meetings.
  • Alumni meetings for follow up.

Evaluation is done through pre and post surveys, and a six-month retention survey, and case stories documenting behavioral change. Quality of vocational training classes is monitored by the team on a regular basis.

Uniqueness of the Program

The program is unique in working equally with boys and has received an overwhelming response from the community. The model is highly replicable and has allowed fast expansion and increased beneficiary coverage. Partnerships with local vendors, corporate and private schools has lent itself to innovative volunteering opportunities and exchange programs.

Achievements

  • Scaled up the program coverage from 800 to 5500 beneficiaries per year and expanded from one municipal ward to three.
  • Delivered one of the program's key beliefs that community empowerment and female empowerment is achievable in real terms only if we equally work to empower boys who are going to be future husbands, fathers, fathers in law and law abiding citizens.
  • Trained over 45 community women as facilitators.

Impact

Our data from 1530 adolescents who have completed our program in 2013 shows a steady and significant improvement in knowledge and reported behaviours between the time beneficiaries entered SNEHA's program and graduated from it. Some key impact data is presented below :

  • 34% and 41% improvement in the comprehensive knowledge of common illnesses like T.B. and malaria respectively
  • 22% improvement in the knowledge of tobacco related illnesses.
  • 33% and 35% improvement in the understanding of the causes and prevention of anemia respectively.
  • 46% improvement among girls in the knowledge of puberty in males and 39% improvement in the knowledge of the male reproductive system.
  • 67% of girls understood that menstruation is normal in the post test survey, a 27% improvement from the baseline. 57% were able to report ways to maintain menstrual hygiene in the post test survey.
  • 41% improvement in awareness of HIV/AIDS; 39% improvement in knowledge of modes of transmission and prevention. 17% improvement in knowledge of where one can get tested and treated.
  • 69% beneficiaries were aware of the legal age of marriage for girls and boys in India, a 36% improvement from the baseline.
  • 74% beneficiaries understood the different forms of violence, a 54% improvement from the baseline. 58% knew the different ways of preventing and addressing violence.
  • Over half the beneficiaries reported positive gender attitudes towards education, freedom and contribution to housework at the time of enrolment and showed a 20% improvement at graduation.
  • 78% of beneficiaries reported that the knowledge and experience gained would be useful for their lives and future. Over 70% said they shared the information with their parents and friends and advocated the benefits of such a program to other adolescents in their communities.

Family Planning

Goal

To increase the contraceptive prevalence rate for modern methods of family planning and reduce the unmet need for family planning by enabling women to make informed choices about spacing and limiting their families.

Objectives

  • To increase the contraceptive prevalence rate through a peer educator support base.
  • To improve male participation and support for the women in decisions on family planning.
  • To strengthen municipal services for family planning.

How we work

The program covers over 2500 married women in the reproductive age (15 - 49 years) and 500 married men in Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Dharavi.

Workshops are conducted with the local Health Post to improve community outreach services.

Intervention Approach / Design / Methodology

  • The program follows a peer educator model where SNEHA mobilizes and trains women from the community who deliver the intervention at three levels :
    • Individual Level : Home based intervention, one on one need based counselling, community based distribution of contraceptives, referral for IUD, injectables and sterilization follow up.
    • Group level : Women's group meetings once a fortnight addressing family planning and broader issues of women's reproductive health.
    • Community level : Participatory events and campaigns.
  • Men's group meetings are conducted to discuss issues on family planning, reproductive health and supporting women.
  • Training and workshops with Pilla Bunglow Health Post are conducted to improve service delivery.
  • SNEHA works in partnership with Family Planning Association of India for technical support and supply of contraceptives.

Impact

Increase in contraceptive prevalence rate from 19% to 40% from the time the project began in 2010.

Achievements

  • 100% coverage of married women in the community by peer educators through home based interventions every month.
  • Fortnightly group meetings conducted in the community with consistent membership.
  • Mobilization of over 100 men from the community to participate in men's group meetings and community events.
  • Six workshops with Pilla Bungalow health post and submission of proposal to MCGM for partnership on improving quality of family planning services in Municipal health facilities.
  • Qualitative study with men to study their attitudes and use of family planning methods.

Read our "Stories of Change"