working women

Empowering remote Orissa villages through enabling Adolescent Girls


Smile Foundation has come up with a novel initiative for the women empowerment and adoscelent health and education through it local partner Jyotirmayee Mahila Samiti [JMS] in Kendrapara District of Orissa. The project aims to empower adolescent (out-of-school) girls through education, health care, awareness and income generation programmes in a sustainable model.

About the Partner

Jyotirmayee Mahila Samiti is a registered NGO established in year 1978 with proper certifications (80 G, FCRA etc.). The organization has since been working in diverse areas of education, maternal and child health, family planning, functional literacy for women and self-help group, micro-credit etc. The organization is based in Kendrapara district of Orissa and mostly works in remote rural areas. JMS is administered by a seven-person Executive Body. As many as 1050 Self Help Group members have been formed with the mission to alleviate poverty. The organization also works for empowerment of rural underprivileged children, youth and poor women. JMS provides education and poverty alleviation services to 6,000 disadvantaged children and youth, 11,000 rural poor women, and 250 farmers annually.

The organization has grown over the years. Presently, JMS has been working in the fields of Education, Health for rural poor Children, (RCH), Micro Credit programme for SHG, Non-formal Education, Early Child-hood Education, MCH care, RCH-II (MNGO), Water & Sanitation Awareness, Rural Sanitary Production Centre etc.

About the Project

The Kishori Vikas project of Smile Foundation and Jyotirmayee Mahila Samiti has been started in the four Gram Panchayat areas at Kendrapara District of Orissa. The objectives include enhancing literacy, non-formal education for mainstreaming and empowerment through sustainable Self-Help Groups of Adolescents. Kendra Para district is situated near Bay of Bengal. The project intends to provide basic non-formal education to 30 girls (out- of- school adolescent 10-18 years) – from each of 4 Gram Panchayat villages Bagada, Kalapada, Ostapur and Kansar of Kendra Para block for possible mainstreaming to formal education.

The project also incorporates Life skills and Family life education to adolescent girls aged 13-18 years.

Besides education the project aims to sensitize adolescents on basic health care, sanitation and personal hygiene. As many as eight Self-help groups have been set up. Required training is being imparted on suitable marketable trades such as pickles, coconut–based food products/oil processing, organic compost making, making vermicelli and other food items, book binding etc.

The project has been designed to impart awareness on issues concerning day to day life, influencing attitudes and inculcating values enabling them to make responsible choices regarding their sexual and reproductive health and to exercise their right to gender equality and equity.

Providing promotive and preventive services with education to out /in of school girls and achieve 100% school enrollment & retention has also been taken up in the project. It also helps to generate appropriate atmosphere through motivation for academic and pre–vocational education for self employment. It helps in promoting cultural of reading through open basic education. The beneficiaries girls are being equipped with life skill education through hospitals to reduce anemia prevalence of out of school girls.

In the Project 1 BALIKA GHAR (Adolescent Girls’ Centre) in each of the 4 Gram Panchayat villages has been established. Where following activities are undertaken –

Non-formal and other Educational programmes
Self-help Group Meeting
Income-generating Economic activities
Functional Literacy for Women

Balika Ghar Kishories (BGK) shall be carrying out the following activities from the premises of Balika Ghar

Non-formal education to 30 children aged (6-10 years, both boys and girls).
Functional literacy to mothers (25-40 years)
Health & hygiene education to children and mothers.
Creating awareness about social, environmental issues in community.
Constituting Self-help Groups of adolescent girls (14-19 years)
Involving in identified income-generating activities.

Non Formal Education for children of 6-10 years of age are imparted according to the subjects/ syllabus, as prescribed in the State for nursery and primary level. These children are later mainstreamed to formal schools by each Balika Ghar.

Balika Ghar Kishories constitute 2 Self-Help Groups (SHGs) at each Balika Ghar. Each SHG have 15 members (including the Balika Ghar Kishories. Thus 27 new members (adolescent girls) are recruited for the 2 SHGs at each Balika Ghar. There are 8 SHGs in total taking all the 4 Balika Ghars together. New members admitted into SHGs are at least middle pass.

Thus there are 108 new members (adolescent girls) of SHGs who have passed class VII. These girls are provided Tutorial assistance by Balika Ghar Kishoris –enabling them to study up to class Tenth.

A group of 100 mothers are covered under Functional Literacy classes by each Balika Ghar - provided by Kishories. Functional literacy covers aspects of basic literacy, arithmetic, general knowledge, health and hygiene and social issues such as Gender, age at marriage, dowry system, ill-effects of early-age pregnancies/ too frequent/ too ill-spaced pregnancies.

Balika Ghar Kishories also organize mass awareness programmes (at least once every month) on social issues in respective villages from time to time- issues such as child labour, gender, girl child education, hygiene and sanitation etc. covering males and females alike.

The economic activities taken by SHGs are as follows:

Pickles making
Coconut–based food products/oil processing (Only at 1 Balika Ghar)
Organic compost making
Preparation of Vermicelli (food item)
Book binding
Knitting (woolen garments)

Special Focus

Generates appropriate atmosphere through motivation for academic and for pre –vocational education for self employment. To organize & formation of adolescent girls for suitable socio economic development Involved in identified income-generating activities. Functional Literacy for Mothers.

Smile Foundation and Jyotirmayee Mahila Samiti aim to make this novel model self-sustainable in the society and make the endeavour a case study of its own sort.

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