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FMCH Blog

Rashtriya Poshan Maah – Setting an Example of Convergence

FMCH, Government, Partner non profits and community members come together for one vision – Nutrition Awareness in Community

Poshan Abhiyaan launched by Hon’ble Prime Minister in 2018 is a massive program addressing the nutritional challenges of the country. Nutrition being one of the prime focus for the Hon’ble Prime Minister Poshan Saptah/Nutrition Week (1 – 7 September) was celebrated as Rashtra Poshan Maah/Nutrition Month throughout the country.  Smt. Maenaka Gandhi, the Minister of Women and Child Development urged the Ministers of partner Ministries and all the Members of Parliament to extend full support to Rashtriya Poshan Maah with outreach activities. Mobilization of communities being one of the main features of the program, FMCH too like other partner organisations participated in the Poshan Maah.  Several outreach activities like cooking competitions using local nutritious food sources, awareness talks, community meets, rallies etc. were planned. All the activities conducted on field received support from Department of Women and Child Development and Department of Health And Family Welfare. The government officials shared that the events were very impacting and promised to extend their maximum support in future events. The convergence was not limited just to government departments. Rashtriya Poshan Maah in Bhiwandi also received great support from international and national non-profits working in Bhiwandi like WHO and Sneha and also from community members. This support also resulted in a massive awareness march across Bhiwandi Nizampur.

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Creating a Warm Chain of Support for breastfeeding mothers –  International Breastfeeding Week update

World Breastfeeding Week went with a bang and kept our team at toes. The 7 days of World Breastfeeding week (1 – 7 August) have been very focussed and in line with the International theme of “Breastfeeding: Foundation for life”. The FMCH team participated with great enthusiasm and made sure that they were able to reach maximum members of community through rallies, nukkad nataks, awareness sessions, support group meetings and various other field events. Their efforts reached in all to 3000 people.

Since the major decision-making power in Indian families is mostly limited in the hands of a husband in a nuclear family and with elders of the house in joint families. Several events focused on engaging with grandmothers and fathers and sensitize them for importance of breastfeeding for not only for mother and child but for society at large also. Fathers and Grandmothers shared that they had never thought how a breastfeeding child can break the cycle of poverty for family. The community organsier’s motivated fathers and grandmothers on how can they support breastfeeding mothers not only in family but in their neighbourhood and community also, thereby creating a warm chain of support for breastfeeding mothers. This was not only limited to fathers and grandmothers but also shared with support group mothers.

The efforts of team resulted in World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action recognizing efforts of FMCH and awarding us with certifications.

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Volunteer Speak: Xzavier

If a child does not receive proper nutrition during the first 1000 days of existence, beginning from conception to the age of 2 years old, he or she will not reach their full physical or intellectual potential and is at risk of malnutrition.

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Dorothy Wagle

Hear our Advisor and (former) Chair of the erstwhile FMCH Managing Committee speak about her journey with the organisation and how she sees us today.

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Volunteer Speaks : Rinske Blomendal

Our volunteer and (former) Management Committee member Ms Rinske Bloemendal sharing her experience with FMCH.

 

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Priyanka Athavale : My FMCH Story

In Mumbai, waking up to the sweltering Mumbai heat and sound of pigeons chirping and religious bells in a local temple was a familiar morning for many. As a brief visitor, for just 9 months, I quickly became accustomed to taking the local trains to and from Mahalaxmi, where I was working closely with the FMCH team.

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Rita’s Story

Rita is a young mother who lives in Phule Nagar community. She visited FMCH during her second trimester of pregnancy, after being identified by the FMCH Field Officers during their field visits. She moved to her village for her delivery but returned to the Mumbai with her newborn. The FMCH team spent a lot of time with Rita once she was back.We made repeated home visits, counseled her several times to explain the importance of our First 1000 days program. But all this didn’t quite work. Rita was skeptical about the program and wasn’t sure if she really needed the support.

The FMCH team then decided to introduce Rita to another mother, who has been a regular participant of all FMCH programs. She shared her experience with the FMCH team, and what she felt was benefiting her by joining the 1000 Days’ program.

Rita was partially convinced and agreed to come to the community center for one week, provided she and her child benefited. The FMCH team counseled her on on breastfeeding, and her own care during lactation. We focused on her nutrition intake and ensuring she is staking care of both herself and her child. Very soon we found Rita to be a regular at all FMCh activities. In her words – “I didn’t know anything about health and nutrition and for my older children I had to run a lot to hospital and ended up spending a lot of money. I didn’t believe what I was doing for my child was wrong as I was following village remedies. After I visited FMCH for a week and saw changes in child’s weight, my husband and me started trusting them. After coming to FMCH, I gained information and stopped giving gripe water and other things to my child. Now that I see changes I tell other women from community, they refuse but I still continue to visit FMCH as prevention helped to fewer hospital visits and save money”.

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Sarita’s Story

In the year 2012, FMCH launched the first Community Support Volunteers initiative in Dhobi Ghat, a step towards bringing sustainable change within the community through change agents from within.

Sarita was one of the first CSVs engaged with FMCH, who took over the responsibility of spreading the word on good heath, hygiene and nutrition practices in her neighbourhood, and also providing support to mothers and families for their ante-natal care visits, FMCH clinic visits or referral visits.

Sarita, a mother of two young adult boys, moved to Dhobi Ghat, Mumbai after her marriage. Due to family issues she had not been able to complete her formal education. However, she had always been interested in working for her community, and when the opportunity to be a CSV came up, she grabbed it with great enthusiasm. She spent an entire year as a CSV with FMCH before the opening for a paid position was announced. And it was enthusiasm and tremendous faith in FMCH’s work that made her the obvious choice for the position.

Since then, Sarita has not just been working with FMCH as our Field Officer but also investing in her own development. She completed a Para-Professional certificate course, a counseling certificate course as well as an English-speaking course and finally her Higher Secondary education (12th standard) while managing the full-time job and family. Extremely popular both in the team and the community for her sense of humour and devotion to her work, Sarita has been an inspiration for the FMCH team.

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FMCH Clinic Management On Salesforce

FMCH Clinic Management On Salesforce was custom built by Vera Solutions after reviewing our requirements. Vera works with social impact organisations to create affordable, powerful, and flexible technology solutions that put real-time information in the hands of the people who need it.

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