Ten Thousand Villages. Where do we start?

This year, we changed our base of operations in India to the small town of Kachhwa in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  Kachhwa is located an hour west of the sacred city of Varanasi on the Ganges River. The town has a population of about 20,000 and a small hospital.  Kachhwa is surrounded literally by 10,000 villages.  Many of them are the poorest Dalit (Untouchable) villages.

We're making final preparations to continue our work in three of those Dalit villages in March.  How did we decide which ones?   A mix of geographic data science and the human touch:

Mere Saathi project location for 2018 - three villages near the town of Kachhwa in the state of Uttar Pradesh

Mere Saathi project location for 2018 - three villages near the town of Kachhwa in the state of Uttar Pradesh

We used location-based analysis of available data about demographics, economics, and public health outreach by our partners who are already on the ground in Kachhwa.  They have decades of experience delivering human health and social services to women and families in the surrounding villages.  These services include water wells and toilets, literacy and domestic skills training, medical clinics and dairy Self-Help Groups.

Data is useful.  But in the end, we relied most on the Kachhwa team's experience with women and families, language, and cultural sensitivity that cannot be captured in data.  We're fortunate to be working with these professionals who understand the One Health approach to human and animal health, and who value the contribution that Mere Saathi can make to improve the lives of village women and their families.

Our 2018 project in Uttar Pradesh, India, is 80% funded.  You can be part of our story.

 

Partnering with HIT - Building on Decades of Healthcare and Education Service in India

Mere Saathi is now partnering with Helping India Together, a 501c3 NGO with years of experience delivering healthcare and education services to marginalized communities in India.  HIT provides support to Mere Saathi in the areas of in-country transportation and logistics, networking with heathcare organizations in Uttar Pradesh, knowledge of Indian government regulations and economic and social infrastructure.

Precision Dairy Nutrition for Women’s Self-Help Groups in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh

In 2014 and 2015, we worked with village women's Self-Help Groups (SHGs) in Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh to define more dairy nutrition regimens that can be applied using local resources.  Our work was based on our previous 2011-2012 Community and Family Surveys,  animal clinics, and our conversations with women about animal husbandry and economic practices in their villages in West Bengal, Punjab, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.