Maternal and Child Health
(2001-2006) Funded by Earthwatch Institute, Boston – In partnership with Earthwatch, Nalamdana undertook a unique partnership to create multidisciplinary teams addressing malnourishment. At the time our organizations teamed up, 47% of Indian children under 3 years were malnourished and 52% of Indian women in the age group of 15 – 49 years were anaemic (Source: UNICEF Reports 1999-2002- Challenges & Opportunities).
Concerned about these alarming statistics, Nalamdana began a Communications Research Project, Food for Thought. The project began with baseline research in the city slums and in villages, to determine the misconceptions and knowledge gaps about nutrition among young mothers and adolescents. This extensive research included information about regional dietary practices, food availability, and household economics. That information allowed Nalamdana to develop alternate solutions in communications strategy and to explore interactive methods of reaching the target audience.
Nalamdana developed scripts and materials for field testing, after which they were disseminated through strategic partners and other NGOs. The Earthwatch Project was unique in that it worked through support from volunteers from across the globe, who signed up for two weeks at a time and worked with the Nalamdana team in the field. Nalamdana continues to work on this very important issue.
Though Earthwatch support was concluded in 2006, Nalamdana continues to mainstream the learning into all funded projects and undertakes specific training material making for partner organizations.
Nalamdana continually seeks funding support for this issue and former Earthwatch volunteers have created a network to help this work and the other needs of Nalamdana. Several city colleges offering nutrition and home science have partnered with Nalamdana in field work, providing their students with practical experience and the opportunity to volunteer on Nalamdana’s urban and rural programs.