We have identified the immediate need for balwadis in the villages of Periyapannaparai and Palamarthukollai and we hope to have these two centres set up by the end of this week. The balwadi in Palamarthukollai will be inaugurated on the 22nd of July and in Periyapannaparai on the 24th of July.
From the 14th to the 16th of July, we conducted a training programme for the new balwadi teachers, a group of 11 young women from all the tribal villages where Seb’s Projects works. Over the three days, we gave them information on several important topics such as healthcare for children aged 2 to 5, adolescent girls, pregnant women and new mothers; nutrition; and kindergarten education.
We took them to a model balwadi in Vellore District so that they could see for themselves what running a balwadi involves. The staff at the balwadi explained what their duties were, which included measuring the weights of the children to check for malnutrition, giving out nutrition powder and a midday meal, and doing various activities with the children.
We had a guest speaker from the local government child services unit (ICDS), Ms Shanthi, who conducted a full day of sessions including the importance of a balanced diet, indicators of malnutrition, nutrition supplements and ensuring that these are given out by the government in each village, and ante-natal care.