Campaign Update

Taking Menstrual Hygiene Management Awareness Program and Advocacy to Manipur Hills in India

Urmila Chanam
Posted April 27, 2018 from India
Women working in the paddy fields in remote Manipur
The habitation in hills in Manipur
The habitation in hills in Manipur (1/3)

 

'Breaking the Silence', an initiative that focuses on bringing awareness on menstrual hygiene management  began its work in Manipur (India) with the onset of April 2018 after having piloted earlier efforts in Imphal West, Bishenpur and Kakchind Districts in April 2015. This year the focus will be on the hill districts of Manipur including Noney, Tamenglong and Ukhrul districts. The reason why we chose Manipur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manipur) was the need for such an initiative in the region which has seen decades of armed conflict and suffered from the ill effects of insurgency( there are close to 27 militant groups operating in the state), poverty, lack of infrastructure and facilities, unemployment, corruption, disease like HIV/AIDS, rampant drug use and morbidity from over dose, alcoholism and human rights violations. 

We are meeting government of Manipur officials, development partners, organizations working on education, agriculture, rural development, cow farming and community leaders from Noney, Tamenglong and Ukhrul districts and partnering with them to organize these-

  • Awareness program for school going adolescent girls and mothers
  • Awareness program for teachers, non-teaching staff on establishing  infrastructure and facilities to meet the needs of menstruating girls and women in the schools and colleges
  • Meeting government officials of different ministries and departments and discuss what can be done to address menstrual hygiene in the district
  • Meeting with Church leaders to discuss what can be done to spread awareness( the hill districts of Manipur are inhabited by tribal communities and are mostly Christian and Church plays an important role)

The team comprises of me and my two volunteers Pinky Soraisam and Silvia Rimai, my photographer and driver  and will be travelling on a jeep from capital Imphal to all these districts Noney, Tamenglong and Ukhrul, then proceeding to remotest villages from the district headquarters assisted by our local partners.The team will be living in Church guest house or with the village headman, interact with villagers and the community, both men and women, go for house to house visits to assess the WASH indicators in the region, deliver messages on menstrual hygiene management in addition to conducting sessions and seminars for girls and women in the district.The program will be conducted in consultation with the district government so that such initiatives are scaled and sustained.

 

Comments 18

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Jill Langhus
Apr 27, 2018
Apr 27, 2018

Hi Urmila. What an awesome initiative. Very glad to hear about it. So, how long do you plan to travel there, or is it an ongoing initiative, not there far from your home base? Good luck. I hope you are able to impact as many girls and women as possible. Looking forward to updates.

Urmila Chanam
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

Dear Jlanghus,

The biggest barrier is not the travel though driving to the hills through bad roads and high altitude and often on kacha/unmotorable roads is equally tough, but the lack of exposure to organized work or industry and the laid back work styles. Communicating with the community and leaders from the capital of the state where I am stationed is not happening to my satisfaction. Let me try and see what can be done. I am not very optimistic.

Love and prayers

Urmila Chanam

India

urmila.chanam@yahoo.com

Jill Langhus
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

Oh, I see:-( Sorry to hear that. So, you feel like you aren't getting anywhere? How long do you plan on staying there to try to make an impact? Keep us posted, and good luck:) You are probably making more of a difference than what you are thinking, even if it was just starting discussions, it's better than where they were initially.

Olutosin
Apr 27, 2018
Apr 27, 2018

Welldone my darling sister,  you are great. Plowing ground deeper and deeper into the unleashed rural areas, I admire your courage,  may God protect you all and provide all your needs.

Welldone, you deserve every award. Thanks so much for fighting our cause, can't wait to introduce you to my sisters in Nigeria...

Urmila Chanam
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

I love you Olutosin for encouraging me. I am facing several hiccups in Manipur but I have many people who support me and my cause and with their help I am hoping to implement my trainings in the hills. Will keep you updated my precious sister.

Hugs and kisses

Urmila Chanam

India

urmila.chanam@yahoo.com

Tamarack Verrall
Apr 27, 2018
Apr 27, 2018

My dear Sister,

I have looked closely at a map because I like to know where you are, and am once again amazed at and inspired by the journey and work that you have been planning for, and now embarking on. What a powerful travelling group, and to an area where you will no doubt once again bring much needed information and support,  and change lives for the better. I hope that the government and faith leaders are ready to work closely with you, they are so lucky to have you. I wish you well for a safe and fruitful journey.

Much love,

Tam

Urmila Chanam
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

Sister Tam,

I am making efforts to introduce myself to many people especially the Faith Based Organizations as church not just plays a large role in spirituality but also socio-cultural development of community here. Thank you for tracing me on the map. I am in Imphal going to Noney, Tamenglong and Ukhrul.

Love and hugs

Urmila Chanam

Karen Quiñones-Axalan
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

You are such a brave woman, Urmila, to go into hil districts with arm conflicts. Your advocacy and passion is admirable. May you find favor in your partnerships, donors and fundings.

Non-profit organizations usually write project proposals to funding agencies such as Bill and Milanda Gates Foundation. I truly hope you can find  partnerships that could help sustain your initiative.

I am in awe of your courage and determination. I honor you!

Urmila Chanam
May 01, 2018
May 01, 2018

Dear sister,

I am touched to receive your support. I come from this place, I am a native of Manipur a beautiful state but relocated to another state down south Karnataka and been living in one of the fastest growing metropolitan cities, Bangalore since 10 years. In these 10 years I received so much exposure and acquired expertise and now I want to go back and bring the benefit to my community which suffers from lack of infrastructure and facilities. I will keep you updated of the progress my sister. Tomorrow I am going to the press to develop brochures carrying key messages on menstrual hygiene management that I will hand out to girls and women who I will train in these hills.

Love and hugs

Urmila Chanam,

India,

urmila.chanam@yahoo.com

Suh Diviner
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

Hello Urmila.

What an good initiative on mentral hygiene.

I am highly interested in the health of girls .

I wished i were there in India to assist in these sessions. More grease to your elbows

Urmila Chanam
May 01, 2018
May 01, 2018

Thanks my lovely sister your love will help me tide through :)

Love and kisses

Urmila Chanam

India

urmila.chanam@yahoo.com

Suh Diviner
May 06, 2018
May 06, 2018

Hi sister

Sorry about my spelling errors. Love and kisses too from Cameroon

Beth Lacey
Apr 30, 2018
Apr 30, 2018

Urmila, you are doing such fantastic and desperately needed work.  Thank you

Beth

Urmila Chanam
May 01, 2018
May 01, 2018

Thanks Beth. Hope you will keep in touch and see updates on our progress here.

Love

Urmila Chanam

Sister Zeph
May 01, 2018
May 01, 2018

It is not easy to be in travel all the time  but I see you do it and put your life in danger to save lives of thousands and thousands not only in India but your impact is International Love you my sister 

Urmila Chanam
May 01, 2018
May 01, 2018

Zephaniah, I am so happy to read your words here. It is midnight and I was just logging out to go to sleep as tomorrow I am going to the printing press to make brochures I have developed in local language for girls and women I want to train in hills. I am blessed to have an encouraging friend like you who always supports me. I love you back.

Prayers and hugs always

Urmila Chanam

India

urmila.chanam@yahoo.com

Feka
Jul 23, 2018
Jul 23, 2018

I love your enthusiasm and drive. Keep preaching and effecting change.

Erena Bayessa
Oct 14, 2018
Oct 14, 2018

Dear  Urmila,

 Thank you so much for  that incredible  initiative and advocacy efforts to reverse  the challenges ecountering those sisters in need in Manipur district.  From reading your story,  I am empathetic about the girls and women  suffering from lack of security and resources required for their basic needs.  Thanks to you and those working  along your initiative. It such an incredible commitment you and your volunteers demonstrating to reverse the situations.  Well done!  Keep on good work.   Your determination, strategies and  commitment  are highly appreciated and informative.

 With Much respect and appreciation

Bayessa