During 2017-18, CMC’s Rural Unit of Health and Social Affairs (RUHSA) implemented a new school program for girls in five schools. Nearly 700 girls aged 14-15 benefited from four sessions which covered menstrual and reproductive health, relationship and career guidance. Following its success, this program is being expanded to all government schools in the local area and to include boys also. RUHSA is developing a training module for the teachers so they are equipped to deliver the material themselves.
Adolescence, the period of development between childhood and adulthood, is a challenging time when major life decisions are taken. The project aims to educate and empower young people to discuss the issues they are facing and lower the suicide rate in this vulnerable group.
The school-based sessions include physiological change and reproductive health, relationships with peers and family, and life coping skills, including problem solving, coping strategies, time management and decision making.
In addition to the school-based program RUHSA is providing counseling services and career guidance sessions for young people. One-on-one, need-based counseling for adolescents and family members if needed is available at RUHSA with a psychologist, psychiatrist, social worker or nutritionist. The career guidance sessions will help the young people to select and pursue a career. They will be given help to complete forms and apply for grants.
Friends of Vellore sent a grant of £2801 to cover the costs of this programme in 2019.