Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Health Day in Adampur: Trash Pickers Visit Local Health Facilities

Hannah Wolkwitz, coordinator of health day, spent weeks organizing transportation, supervision, and free check-ups with local hospitals for the Trash Pickers community in Adampur.  The health day was realized several days before her departure from EduCARE. The Trash Pickers community suffer from constant health problems due to poor sanitation, water, and other conditions in which they live. The goal for the health day was to complete a general physical for the majority of the community, numbering around thirty people.
Interns accompanied three to five individuals from the community to two facilities. EduCARE volunteers were responsible for recording health information and ensuring individuals received free medicine.  The Lion’s Club offered free eye examinations and diabetes tests. The community collected basic eye medication and, for those who needed it, spectacles. The Civil Hospital provided a urine test, weight and height measurements, and blood tests for iron, along with iron supplements.  

Civil Hospital employees checking blood pressure.
An English student and friend of EduCARE, Sukhjinder Singh, extended a helping hand, as usual, by transporting, in multiple shifts, the community to both locations. After initial disorganization and delay at the Lion’s Club during the first shift, interns developed a system to oversee that each person would be attended to. At the Civil Hospital the children bravely bared finger pricks. The community’s dog, Tiger, accompanied them for moral support, at times over-extending that support by lounging in the lobby.
The day required the attention of each member of the EduCARE team. As a much anticipated event and one in planning for awhile, it proved to be quite successful for a community plagued by a plethora of health concerns. The information recorded will be of avail to assist the community in understanding its own health and sanitation issues, as well as to go on record for future interns working to improve the general health of the Trash Pickers. Furthermore, the day spent in two health facilities will hopefully spread awareness among the community that there are local resources available to them that should be utilized.

Krishan receives a free eye examination at the Lion's Club.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Things Are A-cookin' in Abhowal

On Sunday, July 24, Girls Club in Abhowal held an event for the entire Abhowal community.  The event showcased artwork by the girls, a skit about nutrition, a dance that promoted physical fitness, and an inspiring song about humans and the Earth! 

Girls Club Abhowal, which began in early June, has focused on the topics of personal hygiene, nutrition, food safety, and physical fitness in its first month.  While the event served as a way to show off what the girls had learned over the past month, it also was a great way to connect with the girls' mothers, siblings, and community at-large in Abhowal.  Taking place at the Gudwara, it began with an introduction of the girls and an explanation of why Girls Club exists. 

After the introduction the girls performed a skit written by our very own Yiwen Hsia, focused on the importance of healthy eating.  The crowd was delighted by the heart-warming tale of five sisters who all had different diets.  One daughter only ate fruit for healthy hair, the second ate only dairy for healthy skin, the third only grains for a strong body, and the forth only vegetables for a good figure.  Only the youngest daughter ate everything her mother prepared.  When all the other daughters suffered from poor health due to their limited diet, the mother asked for help from the wise old women of the village. The wise old woman realized that the girls' picky diets were to blame for their health problems and she decided to teach them a lesson. She gave them two solutions to their problems: to either change their diet or to hop on one leg repeating “dippy dippy doo” three times. While the older sisters hopped and chanted, they envied their youngest sister for her long healthy hair, her strong body, her beautiful figure, and clear skin. They finally realized that she was so beautiful and healthy because of her balanced diet, reflecting on their own poor choices.

The skit ended with an uplifting dance choreographed by the girls. The audience was dragged to the dance floor and everyone joined in on the fun and physical fitness! Volunteers displayed art projects from previous Girls Club meetings, including plates of healthy meals and posters on personal hygiene. The event was a huge success; the Abhowal community took pride in the girls and all they had learned.  The sense of accomplishment the girls felt and the joy they took in showing off to their friends and family was a great step towards empowerment!  Thanks to all who came out to the event and supported the girls!