LEADS Intervention with AWCs: Model Interventions of LEADS
Anganwadi Centre is one of the important institutions to ensure nutrition and pre-school education of the children of age group 3-6 years. Since 80% of the brain is developed by the age of 6 years, so its our responsibility to facilitate AWCs to delivery its services to children of age group 3-6 years and help the children to have quality pre-school education along with health and nutrition support.
Intervention of LEADS
LEADS has been working to facilitate and promote AWCs to provide quality services to children of age group 3-6 years. We have been promoted more than 1000 AWCs in Jharkhand with various strategies. We follow following steps to promote AWCs and support the children of age group 3-6 years.
Step 1- Awareness building about AW services to community:
The community stakeholders like the Mothers Group members, SHG groups and Gram Sabha members are sensitized on the needs of young children. The important components of child development; Health, Nutrition and Education are focused during community level meetings and interactions. Meetings with mothers committee at AW centre level are organized and the expectant mothers, lactating mothers and mothers of up to 6 years child are oriented on the importance of anganwadi services and their roles & responsibilities in AWC functioning.Village health and nutrition day was used as sharing platform and ensuring services through AWCs. We used AWCs Monitoring tools for regular community monitoring of AWCs and their services widely appreciated by local administration.
Step 2- Up gradation of AW infrastructure and facilities:
Community based organizations like Gram sabha and Mothers committee members are facilitated to identify and demand for improved infrastructural facilities in AWCs like new AWC building, building repair works, drinking water availability, WASH in AWCs etc. The AWCs are also provided support in the form of play materials, utility materials like first aid box, hand washing units, teaching learning materials etc. so that the centers becomes more child friendly and attract children to come to the centre.
Step 3- Linkages with different stakeholders to consolidate resources:
To make the different community stakeholders responsive to young child needs and AW center issues, meetings at panchayat level are organized with the Mukhiyas, ward members, traditional village heads and community leaders. Through these sensitization meetings the PRI members are encouraged to monitor and support the service delivery system at AW centers. To make the AW centers more resourceful, the PRI members are promoted to utilize panchayat funds.
Step 4- Training of AW workers and helpers:
The services at AWCs are delivered through AW workers and Helpers. Their periodical capacity building and orientation are necessary for ensuring quality service delivery to the young children and community. Trainings and capacity building are organized for these service providers on topics of Child Health & Nutrition, Growth monitoring & tracking, Pre-school teaching methodologies, Food safety & hygiene practices in AW Centers, Desi Horlicks preparation, preparation of teaching learning materials from local materials, age wise learning assessment of children etc.
Step 5: Linkages with Locally Available Resources/Stakeholders for Better Management and Promotion of Model AWCs:
LEADS identify the locally available resources and various other stakeholders who can contribute in better functioning of AWCs. We mobilize those resources and provide add on services to AWCs and make the centers more vibrant and resourceful and attractive for children.
Step 6- Ensuring 6 services delivery to children and community:
The six services of ICDS are delivered through the combined intervention of Health and ICDS departments. These services are 1) Health Check up, 2) Referral services for malnourished children to MTC, 3) Immunization, 4) Supplementary Nutrition, 5) Pre-school Education, 6) Health and Nutrition Education to Pregnant, Lactating and parents of 0-6 years children. Time to time Interface meetings are organized with department officials and community representatives and issues in service delivery are raised and resolved. Issues that need community intervention are taken up at village level. Community monitoring of Anganwadi services are promoted to ensure that the 6 designated services are being delivered and benefitting the young children and mothers.
Step 7- Results & Impacts:
- Community members monitor the delivery of 6 services by using community monitoring tools.
- More than 85% intervention AW centers are functioning as per departmental guidelines of daily opening and closing and are delivering the package of 6 services.
- Regular Pre-Schooling is ensured in the intervention of AW centers. Activity-based learning is in practice and the AW workers are using TLM and play methods for Pre-schooling.
- The average attendance in Pre-schooling has improved to more than 75 percent in 80 percent intervention AW centers.
- Mothers committees are reorganized and their regular meetings are ensured in 80 % intervention AW centers.
- Community intervention has resulted in coming up of new AWCs building, repairing works and developing model AWCs.