One of Child Havens goals is the upliftment and empowerment of women. We strive to do this in several different ways. We employ destitute and disabled women in our children’s homes as caretakers and helpers. Often these women also have their own children who need help too. Mother and child both come to Child Haven where they receive plenty of healthy food, a safe place to live, quality education (often for the first time) and a new family to grow up with.
Child Haven also strives to raise the young girls in such a way as to instill a sense of worth and equality. Following the gandhian principle of equality of sexes, the girls grow up knowing they will have the same opportunities as the boys. They grow up into strong young women who know that they deserve fair treatment and who have the courage and wisdom to demand it.
I have worshipped woman as the living embodiment of the spirit of service and sacrifice. - Mahatma Gandhi
Another way that Child Haven supports women is through an outreach program for women in Ghaziabad near New Delhi. The Manav Vikas Parishad (MVP) program has several aspects that help better the lives of the women in this very poor area of the city.
It is a small NGO that helps local impoverished women with training, medical care, and child education among other things. Most recently they added a sanitary napkin making machine to employ several women, to raise revenue, but most importantly to offer a low cost and hygienic option for women in the surrounding neighborhoods.
We at Child Haven were very fortunate a couple of years ago to hear of a man in Coimbatore, India who invented a low cost, environmentally friendly machine to make sanitary napkins for women. This article in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper -“India’s women given low-cost route to sanitary protection” written by Lakshmi Sandhana, tells the story.
A startling number of women in India and many other countries of the world still lack access to or the means to purchase hygienic products to use during their menstrual cycle. They use rags or newspaper instead and shame and stigma are passed from one generation to the next. The inventor, Arunachalam Muruganantham, wants to change this and Child Haven would like to help.
Here is a video of the inventor accepting the ‘Made in India’ award.
Last year Bonnie Cappuccino was able to visit Mr. Muruganantham on one of her quarterly visits to the Child Haven homes. They met at his factory in Coimbatore, India. She was able to see the machines in action, get some answers to how they worked and how much they cost, and decide whether it might be a good fit for CHI.
Since that trip, Child Haven has purchased one of these machines for the MVP project in Ghaziabad. These machines are incredibly beneficial, producing a stable income for the women of MVP and providing hygienic products and education for the local community that they live in. The machine was just recently installed this past fall and three young women underwent the training process. On our visit, they took us through the process step by step, showing us their new job with pride and happiness.
If you are interested in helping to fund this project or any of the Child Haven projects please visit our website and pledge your support today.
Until next time,