100 Women Transforming the Lives of Women in India

_Nisha and Remma smallYou may remember previously reading about how your donation has helped Zonta House Refuge and the Global Development Group improve the health, safety and empowerment of women, both here and abroad. But there was also a third recipient of the inaugural 100 Women grants in 2014.

Here follows the story of the difference your contribution has made to the future of women and children living in poverty in northern India.

In 1989, Opportunity International began operations in India, home to the largest global concentration of impoverished people. This non-profit organisation meets the unique needs of women in India through targeted financial services and products that make a practical, holistic transformation in their daily lives.
Last year, Opportunity International received a 100 Women grant of $40,000 towards its Build Healthy Futures Program. This program trains women in rural communities to be health leaders and agents of change. The training is having a significant impact on the lives of these women and their families in northern India.

Ahilya Devi CHFThe Build Healthy Futures Program provides valuable information on simple preventative health measures such as boiling water, adding chlorine and using clean utensils to protect from waterborne disease. Families are now more aware of basic sanitation issues and 8,148 households have built a toilet as a result. This has helped improve community health standards, while giving children a safer environment to grow up in.

The benefits extend beyond health education though.

The women who are trained as health leaders report that they are given more respect and their self-confidence is strengthened through their new status in the community. They are also becoming more financially independent by engaging in activities such as selling sanitary napkins, conducting eye camps and facilitating toilet building loans. This means they do not need their daily expenses covered by the men in their families and they are more empowered to make their own decisions.

With your help, 2,353 women in India have now received health leader training through the Build Healthy Futures program, with the aim to achieve 3,300 by the end of next year. These health leaders have reached over 484,000 families with life-saving knowledge about health issues and better hygiene practices.

Want to do more?

Opportunity International extends an invitation to host a Food for Thought event this October to help families leave poverty behind. It is fun and easy to take part – just host an event, such as a pot luck lunch at work or a good old fashioned BBQ, and encourage your friends, colleagues and family to support the cause! Visit https://au.opportunity.org/food-for-thought to find out more.

But for now, Opportunity International thanks you for your contribution to helping nearly half a million people. Your generosity is changing the lives of women and children in northern India for generations to come.

Want more? Further information on the impact of your donation is available through video interviews with health leader, Nisha:
•    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HrpkIEYPpVg
•    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwncFrw2MLc
•    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fkXodxWzvp0
•    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3u5bsY__JQ



Article by Tamara Findlay, 100 Women Grants Subcommittee 

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