Problem Addressed

Adolescent girls in India do not have access to the knowledge and resources that allow them to practice healthy behaviors related to menstrual hygiene and sanitation. This has an adverse effect on their reproductive health and on their ability to access and complete an education.

Innovative Approach

Population First has considerable experience leveraging the media and strategic communications, bringing an improved focus on a range of gender and social development issues. In its work in WASH, it leverages this experience to develop adolescent girls into ambassadors of change who not only improve their own menstrual health management practices, but also address sanitation and hygiene issues that their villages face.

Beyond Livelihoods

Program Solution

The Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) program, under the Action for Mobilization of Community Health Initiatives (AMCHI), reaches out to adolescent girls aged 13-19 years who are not in school. The program is conducted across 40 villages in Shahapur block, Thane District, of Maharashtra. The program consists of monthly interactive sessions on personal and menstrual hygiene, changes during adolescence and puberty as well as sexual and reproductive rights and responsibilities.

The School in Development (SID) program, also under AMCHI, reaches out to school-going adolescent girls and boys in 21 Zilla Parishad schools in Shahapur block. AMCHI works with School Management Committees to repair and maintain school toilets, ensuring that students, particularly adolescent girls, have access to clean and safe toilets. Students are trained to be ‘messengers of development’ or Vikasdoots, acting as advocates for sanitation and hygiene in their schools and villages. In addition, interactive sessions on menstruation and menstrual hygiene are conducted for adolescent girls in the seventh grade.