*We Foundation now Metropolis Foundation
In health related matters, what you know can save you.
The fact is that in the absence of knowledge, tradition reigns. Many of the ills that women suffer from can be sourced to the lack of knowledge and control over their own bodies and inabilities in managing their health.
Knowledge about health and women’s rights can precipitate:
• Delay in marriage age of young women
• Reduction in incidence of teenage pregnancies
• Prevention of sexually transmitted infection.
• Reduction of unsafe abortion.
Providing health related information to women is the first step towards their empowerment. WE foundation does this with an open mind and non-judgmental outlook while keeping confidentiality and privacy concerns of these young women.
We foundation health focus
Our education programs focus and cover physiology and anatomy of the reproductive system, nutrition, sexual and reproductive health, personal and menstrual hygiene, contraception, conditions for non-communicable diseases, substance misuse, injuries and violence (including gender based violence) and mental health. This is eventually expected to improve life skills, knowledge and aptitude of adolescents.
Our outreach program for adolescent girls and young women include:
• Creating and disseminating information on topics related to reproductive health and sexual health
• Question/answer forum where personal questions can posted and answered by experts
• Quizzes to provide the element of fun, competitiveness and interest to keep the users engaged in the app
• Information on relevant reproductive health services available for youth in the city
Outcomes that we work towards
Knowledge will enable adolescents and young women to take better care of themselves and better manage their sexual and reproductive roles.
A half way house for future women and mothers
WE foundation believes that adolescents need a half way house, while they transition from being a pre-pubescent girl to becoming a woman. A half way house is a shelter between two homes – the parental home and the spouse’s home.
Adolescents who are experiencing hormonal and physical changes in their bodies and minds, need a space, relationships, and knowledge that will nurture them in this delicate stage of growth, where the aspirations of a woman are concurrent with the mind of a young girl.
Presenting the youth health centre
WE foundation’s youth health center (yhs) will provide a necessary physical space for learning and interaction for adolescents, where they can talk to other members, peer educators and other resource people on various issues that interest and concern them, and access a variety of books and magazines on education, entertainment, information, sports and employment.
Outcomes that we work towards:
An adolescent girl who is in the midst of hormonal and mental change will find in our youth centre a source of information, nurturing, help and assistance for the various issues they face.
Identifying aliments, deficiencies, and dysfunctions at an early age is key to managing them for life
Physical health care is a necessity that is sadly overlooked in indian women, given cultural preference for the male gender. There is also the contributing factor that most of our health care systems and hospitals are better geared to take care of pregnant women and children as compared to adolescent girls. Given this situation there are many debilitating conditions that impact adolescent girls but are often ignored or given the go by.
• Chronic anemia can be a debilitating condition causing fatigue, tiredness, dizziness, shortness of breath, menstrual disturbances, inability to concentrate and a wide range of symptoms
• It is further complicated when thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism) and thalassemia are involved.
Such conditions are treatable and urgent attention needs to be paid to the health of our female population by ensuring that regular interventions in the form of supplements along with dietary counselling and prophylaxis be given at the right time to improve general health.
The WE foundation health care center will focus on:
• Physical examination: height, weight, body mass index (bmi)
• Blood tests: to identify anaemic patients, type and degree of anaemia, additional anomalies like thyroid disorders, thalassemia, etc.
• Treatment: based on the investigations, treatment programs (medications) to be initiated.
• Information dissemination and counseling: additional information to be given on nutrition, which can influence certain types of anaemia and associated symptoms.
• Focused counseling will also be provided to the families where thalassemia is detected, especially in communities, which encourage consanguineous marriages so that future generations can be saved from the genetic disorder.
• Additional service: if the patient is found to have other disorders (fibroids, endometriosis, etc.) Which could be an underlying cause for anaemia, add on services like gynecological check-ups, ultra-sonographies will also be provided to ensure that the treatment protocol is completed.
Outcomes that we work towards:
Awareness and directed medical, nutritional and other treatments will enable adolescents and young women to grow up healthier and more aware of their bodies and its needs. The primary health care centre will be the first responder to their predicaments.
Facing the growing up pains, pressure and stress with support
Though physically, youth is considered to be the healthiest stage of life, the pressures, and stress of the youth are not to be brushed aside. Growing youth- especially adolescent girls and young women face environmental factors including peer pressure, family demands, group, school and neighborhood policies, and societal cues. Navigating all this can be difficult for an adult at best of times, but it is intimidating for the youth.
Youth exposure to health risks
Youth are also exposed to several health-impacting habits due to environmental influences, personal choices and peer pressures. The wrong social behaviour can lead to getting communicable/non communicable diseases and injuries.
Mental impact of pressures and environmental influences on youth
All these pressures can and do take a toll on the mental health of youth. It is estimated that at least 20 per cent of young people are likely to experience some form of mental illness – such as depression, mood disturbances, substance abuse, suicidal behaviors, eating disorders and others.
The WE foundation solution –trained counselors who are sensitized to issues facing economically disadvantaged youth
Such conditions can be handled well if youth get access to trained and educated counsellors who can reorient their outlook and help them sort out their influences and their desired direction. They are trained and work with empathy to help disadvantaged youth to confront issues they face and surmount them.
Outcomes we desire
We desire to create an enabling environment where the physical, mental and environmental issues of young adolescents will be addressed with various inputs from different experts. This will enable a safety net to these fragile youth and enable them to orient their lives to a healthier, economically brighter and knowledgeable future.