In the year 2010, Pakistan experienced extraordinary rainfall, as a result of which one-fifth of the country was under water. Entire towns and villages were washed away, homes destroyed and thousands of acres of cultivable land flooded. The floods caused mild to moderate damage to the country’s public health infrastructure, including BHUs and dispensaries, which suffered the most damage. The various problems that women had to face in the aftermath of the flood made them more exposed and vulnerable to risks than before: destroying their limited assets, worsening their personal security situation, and changing their responsibilities as they were forced to respond to emergency conditions. Women’s health is vital to the well-being of their families as they are the traditional and primary caregivers in disaster struck areas. However, they tend to place their needs last.
FACES Pakistan realized that if not properly addressed, this could considerably exacerbate pre-existing gender inequalities, and increase women’s invisibility in the political and economic spheres. Keeping this in mind, FACES Pakistan in collaboration with Caritas Germany, initiated a project titled- Health Education and Enterprise Development (HEED) targeting the flood affected women of mixed religious communities in the areas of Kashmore, Rahim Yar Khan, Nowshera and Jaffarabad. After the successful implementation of HEED Phase I, II and Phase Out, and assessing the impact of the interventions, FACES Pakistan initiated HEED in Badin. Just like other phases, in the latest phase, a comprehensive program for the provision of viable means of livelihood was ensured along with improving the health, hygiene and educational standards of underprivileged communities of targeted villages in the district.
Highlights of HEED in Badin Phase 1 and Phase Out:
· Workshops were arranged for the creation of incubation centers and business development points in Nowshera, Kashmore and Rahim Yar Khan building the capacity of hundreds of people on organizational management, significance of group work, formulation of work plan, entrepreneurial management, management structure and work ethics.
· A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed between FACES Pakistan and the respective District Health Department of Badin.
· Improved the efficiency and utility of basic women-centric health care services in Badin – both preventive and curative in 3 Rural Heath Centre (RHC).
· 10 reproductive health trainings were conducted with 300 local community women.
· Trained 68 midwives in 6 trainings on reproductive health. This enhanced and refined their skills and introduced them to new and improved techniques of delivering a child while avoiding complications.
· Developed modules for training session on HIV/Aids, Hepatitis, Sexual Transmitted Infections (STIs), Women Rights with respect to Holistic Health, Reproductive Health, Viral Infections, Life Threatening Maladies, Nutrition, Patient Rights and Proper Care for the Ailing.
· Completed 05 Paramedical Staff trainings in the targeted area of Badin.
· Provided primary Health Care Services for pregnant women by educating them and the midwives on the concerns, ramifications and negligence which can be evoked during the gestation period.
· 493 Health kits were distributed among the women of Badin.
· A total of 34 awareness sessions, consisting of 20 participants each were organized separately for female and male participants, on reproductive health conducted in the respective targeted villages where the women and men of local community were encouraged to participate in the sessions and were provided with useful information regarding health and hygiene. Another 51 awareness sessions were organized in which a total number of 1020 persons participated from the targeted villages of Rano Chang, Haji Mehri, Harchand Kohli and Bhagat Lall.
· Identified and developed 08 viable linkages to increase women’s access to the market and to eliminate the role of middle men.
· Organized Measles Awareness Campaign in Punjab and celebrated Women’s Day and other relevant days with women and children.
· 03 workshops were held for 1200 people in Badin to develop their business management skills.
· Established 05 accessible Skill Development Centres for women in Badin
· Training workshops were conducted on Entrepreneurial and Gender Education with 100 women. The workshop aimed at providing the women with basic knowledge regarding the basics of entrepreneurial venture in order to minimize the risk and maximize their profits. The trained women were further strengthened through awareness and information sessions on various aspects of running a business along with detailed and meaningful discussions on various gender issues and their solutions.
· 30 Housekeeping training sessions were arranged for 1491 marginalized women of targeted community.
After five years of trainings on skill development and social enterprises, FACES Pakistan has been successful in reaching a milestone of training more than 5000 rural women in business and financial skills. Some of them are now running their own small enterprises. Setting up skill development centres for the facilitation of our local artisans, was another achievement, where quality assurance and efficiency is ensured, maintained and sustained. Our team has put in immense research and development into ways that highlight the work of our local craftswomen who work with such precision.
Considering the trend of online shopping, FACES Pakistan has now taken the innovative step to launch the ‘Heed Store’, an online portal highlighting and projecting our local products. Catering to the taste of the urban and international market, it is an effort to give an enhanced outreach to the women working in the rural impoverished villages of Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Balochistan.
We consider this a matter of pride in highlighting the efforts of these women and ensuring that they will be earning 100% profit on the sale of their items. Such platforms are essential to help marginalized communities to explore their talents and earn livelihood. To buy handmade traditional shoes, tea cosies and decoration items visit our store http://www.heedstore.com/