Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Fighting Child Marriage Through Hygiene Awareness

by Sylvie Hughes 
5th November 2013

Child marriage in India affects a huge  portion of adolescent girls in the country.  With 47% of girls in India marrying below the legal minimum age of 18,  India has the highest number of child brides than any other nation in the world. 
However, despite its huge  number of illegal marriages, in October India refused to sign the first ever UN resolution against the practice of child marriage – an initiative which is being supported by 107 other countries worldwide.

Child brides face a multitude of serious mental and physical health problems.  Young married  girls face problems of sexual and domestic abuse, causing high rates of severe depression.  Girls as young as 13 drop out of school once they get married, and as a result they are unable to continue their education or seek help. The section of society who are the most in need of education, health and hygiene awareness are unable to access  it. This leads to  an increase in serious health risks caused by early childbirth and lack of menstrual hygiene awareness.
Girls below the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. With over 50% of adolescent girls in India suffering from anaemia, the increased blood supply demand during pregnancy causes even more of a strain on their health. According to the  National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), early marriage and adolescent pregnancies are one of the main causes of anaemia amongst girls in India.
Adolescent pregnancies are also one of the main reasons for infant deaths in hospitals. Children born to adolescent mothers are twice more at risk of neonatal mortality (death within the first month) than those born to older mothers, and the younger the mother, the higher the risk.  Many infants are born underweight due to the mother suffering from malnutrition and anaemia, which further increases the risk of health problems and death for the infant.
Educating girls in Menstrual Hygiene and healthcare can be a crucial element in reducing the number of child marriages in India. Access to Menstrual Hygiene awareness projects provide girls with knowledge on proper nutrition and hygiene practices to avoid suffering from anaemia on the onset of menstruation, as well as educating girls about the numerous health risks that are caused by early marriage. Increased awareness decreases not only the 23% school drop out rate from menstruation-related problems, but  also the number of girls entering into child marriage.
Preventing adolescent births have been proven to significantly lower population growth rates, improving the health of adolescent girls and potentially generating large economic and social benefits for the country as a whole.
HEEALS (Health, Education, Environment And Livelihood Society), is working on a Menstrual Hygiene awareness and Girl Education project in five states: Delhi (National Capital Region), Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Leh Ladakh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana. HEEALS works in slum schools, schools in unauthorised colonies, orphanages and refugee camps.  Through spreading education on Menstrual Hygiene and providing iron supplement tablets through our Free Health Camp initiative, HEEALS is working to eradicate the practice of child marriage and provide better futures for girls across India’s society. Find out more about its Menstrual Hygiene and Girl Education Project at and support our work!
Stats Sources: UNICEF, PLAN India, NCPCR, UNFPA

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

"Learn Hand washing & Hygiene Practice Through Games & Multimedia"

 Water Sanitation Menstrual Hygiene


Girl Education Awareness Project

Learn Hand washing & Hygiene Practice Through Games & Multimedia.

 Promoting awareness among children about Handwash & Menstrual Hygiene through games and multimedia. Games and Multimedia played a very important role in creating awareness among school children about Hand wash and Menstrual Hygiene. We created four different Games for children and we called them as WASH Games. Our Games are as follows : 1.a) Sanitation search,b) Hygiene ladder, c) Wash card ,d) Poster and Quiz., 2).In Multimedia children watch Cartoon Films on Hand Wash & Menstrual Hygiene. 3) Super Wash Drama: 2 children chosen to act as Super Wash stars. It is very interactive for children to learn hygiene practice and Helps children in memorising the techniques about Hand wash and menstrual hygiene. We played four different types of games with children and also showing videos of Hand wash and Menstrual Hygiene. Children enjoy so much while playing these games. They learned a lot about Hygiene Practice. We organised learn Hand washing & Hygiene practice Through Games & Multimedia in 10 schools in Delhi NCR Region. To encourage Hygiene Practice among children we gave prizes to first three children for each and every game activity.
Our Games are as follows :

1. A) Hygiene  ladders
Only 4 sets made. Maximum players per game 6 with the odd 7A board game with
           consequences if you break the hygiene code. The winner needs to get the exact number to reach 66

2 sets of cards Yellow and blue - Both sets should be shuffled before play begins
Yellow good or bad action up or down the board
Dice and counters
The game is played with a dice and counter the players throw a dice in turn the number will        dictate how many squares moved. The dice moves clockwise
Action on landing
White nothing
Yellow take a yellow card read it to the group then do as directed. Put card at the bottom of the pack
Blue - The Blue cards are questions that need to be answered – Some students found reading the cards difficult. It is important to find out from the children who is the best reader in that group. The Blue card holder reads the question out to be answered by the player who has landed on the square
Red - Miss a turn you are off school sick
Green - up or down as directed
Purple- Down snakes up ladders
The winner reaches 66 first with an exact dice number.
Give students 20 mins and see how far they get.

B) Wash Cards - this game can be played more than once per session.
4 sets. Maximum players ideally 6 but up to 8
The class is divided into groups.
The winner is the person who collects the most pairs.
Each group is given a complete set of cards.
They spread them out in front of the team.
Players take it in turn to pick one card read out what it says and by picking up one more card make a pair.
If they do not pick a pair the students replace the cards on the table where they found them.
The next player then tries.
As they win a pair they keep it to add up at the end.
Make a note of the students who win the most pairs.

C) Sanitation Search.
The students are given an explanation of how to play the game – Find 3 pictures in arrow to tell the story’
For example – Boy plays with dog does not wash hands he is sick
The 3 pictures are either left to right or up and down. No diagonals or steps.
The students circle the 3 pictures to make up a story
Each students is give a paper face down – They must not look at the front,
They write their name on the back.
Give them a time 4 mins is long enough.
Then all together turn over at ‘Go’.
2 mins –Tell them they are half way.
4 mins pens down.
Get them to swap papers. – They should ‘mark’ in a different colour pen if they have one.
Go through the answers on your large chart awarding 1 point per correct answer.
The markers add up the score.
They do not give back the sheets to the owners.
Ask for hands up 7
Hands up 6 etc.
Take in the ones with the highest score to ‘Check’ them –The children can keep the papers

Mark down who has won.
You may have 6 winners in which case ask them a question first one to get it correct- You will need some questions prepared e.g Who is the president of India or similar

D) Poster& Quiz
Design a hand wash poster for the year below you- as it says set time. They need colours and if possible the chance to bring them in later. Quiz Hour is organised with children, question are focused on Hand wash and Hygiene Practices. Questionnaires are well defined in a set of 20 questions with objective type.

     2.) Multimedia

In Multimedia children watching Cartoon Films on Hand Wash & Menstrual Hygiene .

     3.)  Super Wash Drama
Who is Super Wash: Super Wash is Mythical Cartoon character created by Heeals To   Spread Water , Sanitation Hygiene Practices Among Children.
 In Super Wash Drama Two children chosen to act as Bollywood stars. A girl performing as a distressed girl in tears. ‘Superwash’ arrives  asks what is the problem. The girl explains the man of her dreams will not marry her because she does not know how to wash hands.‘Superwash’ Explains how you wash your hands. Distress girl tries it out and stops crying. Super wash flies off and the dream man arrives. The girl shows and tells how to wash your hands .All live happily ever after.

Initiated & Implemented  By : HEEALS & Catherine Buchanan(Volunteer) 

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Volunteer An Asset For The World

According to Webster’s dictionary, a volunteer is a person who voluntarily undertakes or expresses a willingness to undertake a service and citizenship is the character of an individual viewed as a member of society; behavior in terms of the duties, obligations, and functions of a citizen.
When willingness and character combine, the results are amazing; they create a community RICH in assets.

Volunteering for some work for helping somebody from the time immemorial is considered to be as the work of God , and a volunteer a messenger of the god  According to Great Mahatma Gandhi he said that , " if you feel very sad or very lonely or depressed , help a weeping child to make him or her happy, help a poor mother , help a poor  man , the feeling the happiness you will get is above all else and you will proud of your self ". Not only Volunteering helps a person gaining his confidence , but it also locates his desire ,  his willingness to support , to help to reach out to the needy one who needs his help more than any thing else in this world. There is no big worship then helping somebody ,and there is no big God then the one who helps somebody.
This RICH asset begins with finding your passion for giving e.g. music, the arts, political,women , chidlren , educational, business, seniors,disabled, etc. There are numerous opportunities to VOLUNTEER in your community and abroad in developing countriesd like India , which need your support and help there is a organization where you can find opprtunities matching your interest , caliber and work  HEEALS Volunteer Opportunities is a great place to start to match your giving with a community need.
And there are great rewards for the volunteer:
  • Career opportunities
  • Expanded Proffesional Network 
  • Expanded knowledge
  • Experience on your resume
  • Refine your talents / gifts
  • Sense of Pride
  • High Confidence Level
  • Improve lives in the community
Volunteering will open doors of career opportunities. Employers seek employees with proven dedication and commitment to fulfilling their obligations. And for those who have little or no career experience, volunteer experience is a valuable asset on the resume.
Communities need volunteers and volunteers need to give of their gifts and talents to the community.

You can also give some thing back to the community , Why Late , Do It Now : CONTACT HEEALS 

Volunteering is not only good for your soul, it could also stave off heart disease

  • Volunteers have healthier cardiovascular systems
  • Heart health improves after 10 weeks' volunteering
  • The most empathetic see the greatest health benefits
  • Older volunteers are less likely to be depressed


Being a volunteer is good for the heart as well as the soul, claim researchers.
A new study shows even at a young age, people who volunteer have healthier cardiovascular systems that could stave off heart disease.
The study found improvements in several measurements of heart health among volunteers after just 10 weeks of taking part in community programmes.
Even at a young age, people who volunteer have healthier cardiovascular systems
Even at a young age, people who volunteer have healthier cardiovascular systems
Experts say the research adds to evidence that giving time and energy to help others not only makes people feel good, it has a positive effect on physical wellbeing.
Researcher Hannah Schreier, of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, said: ‘The volunteers who reported the greatest increases in empathy, altruistic behaviour and mental health were the ones who also saw the greatest improvements in their cardiovascular health.’
Dr Schreier led the study looking at the effect of volunteering on adolescents’ physical health while working at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
The study involved 106 teenagers from an urban, inner-city Vancouver high school who were split into two groups - a group that volunteered regularly for 10 weeks and a group that was wait-listed for volunteer activities.
Older people who volunteer to help others are less depressed, have a better quality of life and are happier with their lives as a result
Older people who volunteer to help others are less depressed, have a better quality of life and are happier with their lives as a result
The researchers measured the students’ body mass index (BMI), inflammation levels - which affect heart health - and cholesterol scores before and after the study.
They also assessed the students’ self-esteem, mental health, mood, and empathy, says a report published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics (must credit).
The volunteer group of students spent one hour per week working with elementary school children in after-school programs in their neighbourhood.
After 10 weeks they had lower levels of inflammation and cholesterol and lower BMIs than the students who were wait-listed.
Dr Schreier said: ‘It was encouraging to see how a social intervention to support members of the community also improved the health of adolescents.’ 
She said the first signs of heart disease can begin to appear during adolescence, and previous studies show that psychosocial factors, such as stress, depression and wellbeing, play a role in its development.
The study follows a survey last year by the UK charity WRVS which found being an older volunteer is good for your health.
Older people who volunteer to help others are less depressed, have a better quality of life and are happier with their lives as a result.
Those who take part in more volunteering activities, more frequently, boost happiness levels even further, with volunteers gaining improvements in depression levels, quality of life and life satisfaction over the following two years.

Source :

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

GAIA HEALTH U.K. - Program of Hope for India’s Girls

GAIA HEALTH U.K. - Program of Hope for India’s Girls

Imagine having no choice but to relieve yourself out in the open, in front of anyone who’s there? That’s the reality for millions of poor girls in India. HEEALS is a charity that’s working to end that lack of the basic right to sanitation. It’s changing lives. Girls who’d had no chance in life now have a future.

The effects of not having adequate toilet facilities on girls are terrible.
They have no choice but to perform this vital function publicly.

Read The Eye Opening Article by - Heidi Stevenson :

Friday, 1 February 2013

A Documentary Film by HEEALS - Thanks To Our Volunteers

The Role of Sanitation in Girl Child Education - A Documentary Film by HEEALS 

Please Click on the following link to Watch Documentary Film :- 

YouTube :- 
Vimeo    :-

Heeals is a Non Profit Organisation registered under the Indian Government societies act 21 of 1860
A vibrant civil society organization aims to safeguard health, environment, education and livelihood to promote sustainable development of society.

Through The Medium of Documentary Film and Art we are trying to create Awareness Among the Masses about Girl Child Education , Menstrual Hygiene, Sanitation and Safe Drinking Water and trying to relate how Girl Child education is directly suffering due to bad sanitation facilities , unsafe drinking water and lack of knowledge to obtain the same.

For suggestions , feedback related to the documentary please contact us at 
To support our work and help us in our efforts Visit us at:- 
Volunteer Blog :-

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

We Can't Do it Alone , We Need Your Support !!!

We Can't Do it Alone , 

We Need Your Support !!!

To Provide awareness regarding Girl Child Education , Menstrual Hygiene ,Girls Toilet , Sanitation and Safe Drinking Water , to thousands of families to make there lives Healthy and Happier !!!

Please Support Our Fundraising Campaign To Reach Out To 25,000 Targeted Families In 5 States of India