पोषण स्तरोन्नति गर्ने दृढ सोचका साथ ‘सोचाई-पोषणका लागी युवा’

पोषण तथा यस सम्बन्धि जानकारीको अभावले हाम्रो गाँउ–समाजमा गम्भिर समस्याहरु निम्त्याएको महसुस गरेपछि, जनस्वास्थ्य, फार्मेसी, समाजसेवा र मिडिया जस्ता विविध पृष्ठभूमिका ४ युवा विद्यार्थीहरू, बोनिता शर्मा, नेहा मल्ल, मन्जिता राजोपाध्याय र आशुतोष कार्कीमा नेपालीहरूको स्वास्थ्य र पोषण स्तरोन्नति गर्ने दृढ सोचका साथ “सोचाई – पोषणका लागी युवा”, एक सामाजिक अभियानको सुरुवात भयो ।

विश्व स्वास्थ्य संगठनका अनुसार बच्चालाई जन्मेदेखि ६ महिनासम्म आमाको दुधमात्रै खुवाउनु पर्दछ । तर लुभुमा एउटी आमाले यो कुरा नजान्दा आफ्नो दुई महिनाको दुधे बालकलाई काजु घोटेर खुवाइन् । काजुको सानो टुक्रो शिशुको घाटीमा अड्केर अकालमै मृत्यु भएको दुखद् घटनाका बारेमा थाहपाएपछि यस्तो अवस्था फेरी आउन नदिन सोचाइका चार  संस्थापक सदस्यहरुलाई पोषणको क्षेत्रमा डटेर लाग्न प्रेरणा मिल्यो ।

हामी सबैलाई थाहा छ कि रोगको उपचार गर्नु भन्दा रोग लाग्न नदिनुनै बुद्धिमानी हो । यहि मन्त्रलाई आत्मसाथ गर्दै पोषण र स्वास्थ्य सुधारको निम्ति नविनतम सिर्जना, शिक्षा, जनचेतना र पैरविमा केन्द्रित रही सोचाइ समूहले आफ्ना कार्यहरुको थालनी गर्यो ।

सुरुमा यो युवा समूहले के गर्यो त ? – नविनतम सिर्जना

सधैँ समस्याबारे मात्र कति छलफल गर्नु भनेर समाधानको धार प्रति लम्किदै यी युवाहरुले सुरुमा पोषण सिकाउने माला (न्युट्रिबिड्स ब्रेस्लेट) को निर्माण गरे । यस पोषण मालाको निर्माण समुदायका सयौं गर्भवती सुत्केरी आमाहरुसंग पटकपटकको छलफल पश्चात गरिएको हो ।

आमा गर्भवती भएको नौ महिना र बच्चा जन्मेको पहिलो २ वर्ष जोड्दा १००० दिन हुने गर्दछ । बालबालिकाको सुरुवाती जीवनको यो १००० दिन बच्चाको स्वास्थ्य र पोषणको मजबुत जग हाल्ने सुनौलो मौका हो । त्यसैले यी सुनौला १००० दिनमा बच्चालाई कस्तो, कति र कसरी पोषिलो खाना खुवाउने भन्ने जानकारी यो पोषण मालाले दिन्छ ।

 

-हाम्रो कथाको वेभसाइट बाट साभार गरिएको । पुरा पढ्नका लागि तल क्लिक गर्नुहोस ।

Read Full article here: SOCHAI Youth For Nutrition: A movement for health and nutrition 

RED CYCLE: EMPOWERING GIRLS THROUGH MENSTRUATION EDUCATION

-Bonita Sharma

We are the Social Changemakers and Innovators (SOCHAI) and just like Dean Kamen, we believe that, “every once in a while, a new technology, an old problem, and a simple idea can turn into an impactful innovation.”

Since past one and half year, SOCHAI has been working at the grass-root level for addressing the issues of under nutrition through innovation, education and entrepreneurship. We have designed and implemented innovative tools and techniques to tackle the health and nutrition issues of children, women and girls in Nepal. Among the various existing nutritional problems, iron deficiency anemia is one of the most common and serious nutritional problem, affecting 44% adolescent girls in Nepal (NDHS 2016).

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Anemia among girls is greatly associated with heavy bleeding during menstruation. However, their nutrition is often found to be neglected during this time.1  

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To address the need to educate adolescents on nutrition, menstruation and hygiene, SOCHAI has already conducted various school based awareness programs.  Last year on Menstrual Hygiene Day, we conducted a superhero themed campaign including adolescent girls to raise our united voices on issues of nutrition, hygiene, menstruation and menstrual taboos in a unique way.

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Although menstruation is a natural process, that is a part of nearly every girl’s life, it is not a topic for discussion in the family. In schools, some teachers tend to avoid chapters related to sexual and reproductive health while students remain absent when such chapters are being taught. Many girls are not aware about menstrual cycle until menarche. It is imperative for women and girls to have an understanding of the menstrual patterns, as they are not adequately aware about the cycle of changes in their own body.

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Being the ‘Social Changemakers and Innovators’ that we are, we constantly strive for the innovative ideas to bring social change. We have discussions in classrooms, we brainstorm ideas in tea shops, we doodle alone in the corner of our work space, we exchange messages in our group chat on how all of us together can foster positive change.

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So, on the occasion of the Menstrual Hygiene Day 2018, we are re-introducing a new innovation and educational tool: The Red Cycle Menstruation bracelet. The Red Cycle is a colorful bracelet that helps learning about menstruation and tracking the average menstrual cycle in a simple, innovative, fun and attractive fashion.  When women are aware about the cycle of changes in a menstrual cycle, they will also be aware about the changes in their body and the need of essential foods and nutrients required to promote balanced hormones and a healthy menstrual cycle every month.Bracelet

The target group of the Red Cycle bracelet is not limited to a specific gender or age group.

  • This bracelet is targeted to younger girls who are just beginning to learn about the unique experiences of the menstrual cycle.32980299_10156475608672148_1594724728554127360_n
  • This bracelet is targeted to women and girls to feel more powerful and comfortable discussing their natural cycle in a colorful and fun way.
  • This bracelet is also targeted to adult women planning to get pregnant to be aware of their most fertile days.
  • With this red cycle bracelet, we hope to empower girls, boys and even trans- men with the information and confidence necessary to manage their sexual and reproductive health.
  • Lastly, everyone can wear (or gift others 😀 ) this bracelet at all times and share the information on menstruation with someone else whenever, wherever possible.

We are hopeful that that the Red Cycle will give us more power to the break the culture of silence surrounding menstruation. It’s time we stop taking about menstruation in whispers. Let there be no barriers in understanding our biological phenomena, let there be no limitations in access to menstrual hygiene. Happy Menstrual Hygiene Day!

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Please click HERE to learn all about The Red Cycle – Menstruation Bracelet.

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References:

  1. World Health Organization/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Worldwide prevalence of anaemia 1993–2005: WHO global database on anaemia. http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241596657_eng.pdf (accessed on 19th May, 2018)
  2. Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2016

 

 

Red Cycle Bracelet: What-Why-How?

The Red Cycle Bracelet i.e. the Menstruation Bracelet is based on the calendar method of fertility awareness. In the bracelet, different colored beads are arranged in a way that helps track an average menstrual cycle of 28 days. The bracelet is developed as an education tool to better understand the monthly menstruation cycle in an easy, innovative and fun way.

  • At the beginning of a menstrual cycle, blood and tissue from the inner lining of uterus is discharged through vagina.13
  • So, the Red Cycle bracelet also begins with red colored beads. The first red bead indicates the first day of menstruation followed by four more red beads in clockwise direction indicating an average of 5 days of menstrual bleeding.
  • After day 5, the beads are colorless and transparent indicating an end of bleeding. In some women, the bleeding may last until 7 days. From Day 1 to Day 7, there is minimum chance of getting pregnant. This window of 7 days is marked by a flowery silver bead.
  • The 8th and 9th day of the cycle is the pre-ovulation phase which are also indicated by colorless beads.

The body now starts preparing for a new cycle. The follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) stimulates the ovaries to produce a matured egg. This maturing process produces estrogen, which makes the lining of the uterus thicken with nutrients and blood, so that it will be able to provide the egg with the support it needs in case of pregnancy. The estrogen also stimulates release of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) which triggers ovulation and development of the corpus luteum which secrets progesterone to support the early stages of pregnancy, if fertilization occurs.

  • In an average 28-day cycle, the ovulation usually occurs on the 14th day. Bloating, discomfort, or a little pain in lower belly might be felt during this time. (Note: For women who have short cycle of menstruation, the ovulation might occur earlier than the 14th day)
  • The orange bead indicates the release of mature egg by the ovary i.e. ovulation on 14th day of the cycle.

An egg lives for about 24 hours after it’s released (ovulation), and sperm can live in the body for about 6 days after sex. So, women are usually most fertile for around 8 days of every 28 day menstrual cycle: the 4 days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate and 3 days after you ovulate.14

  • The window of most fertile phase is marked by a flowery silver bead on the 10th and 17th day in the monthly cycle.
  • From the 18th day , begins the post-ovulation phase with reduction in chances of fertility which is also indicated by colorless beads.

If the egg is not fertilized, the levels of estrogen and progesterone drop. The uterus does not need to maintain the nutritious lining it built up, so it starts the process to break it down.

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  • From day 20th to day 28th of the monthly cycle, women may feel rise in stress levels, acne and moodiness as the end of menstrual cycle is nearing.

Pms-1Rise in stress levels, acne and moodiness, feeling easily irritated, sad and anxious, sore breasts etc. are the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome which may be observed 3 to 7 days prior to onset of the next menstrual cycle.

  • After day 28th, the blood, nutrients, and tissue flow out of the body through vagina and the cycle will restart all over again.
  • The cute elephant charm at the end of your red cycle bracelet is there to support you in getting through another bleeding phase and deal the menstrual cramp with strength, ease and patience.

 

The Red Cycle Bracelet by SOCHAI is for sale. Please email us at sochai.yfn@gmail.com to get one for yourself.

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Please note that every woman and every cycle is unique!

This concept is NOT an alternative for modern contraception. It is rather an educational and interactive tool which gives a simple guideline to what women and girls can expect during different phases of their menstrual cycle. 

The Red Cycle bracelet, based on the calendar method of fertility awareness can only predict what are most likely to be safe and unsafe days. It CANNOT tell you for sure exactly when you’re fertile or infertile.  It DOES NOT guarantee of protecting from any unexpected pregnancy. If you are avoiding an unplanned pregnancy it is wise to use contraceptives. 

Reference:

Planned Parenthood website accessed on 20th May, 2017 at https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/birth-control/fertility-awareness/whats-calendar-method-fams

Out now! SOCHAI Youth for Nutrition ANNUAL REPORT 2017/2074

“We are immensely happy to reflect on the first year of SOCHAI – Youth for Nutrition through the Annual Report 2017From a simple doodle of a ‘Nutribeads bracelet’ on a paper, to a tangible solution for nutrition education and women empowerment, we came long way! In this year long journey, we worked with golden 1000 days mothers, adolescent girls, youth, students, health workers and community groups. We collaborated with different national and international organizations to create greater health and socio-economic impact.

We are thankful to all our mentors, partners, supporters and most importantly the volunteers who are truly the social changemakers and innovators. We hope to continue working together with the passion and determination to make the Sustainable Development Goals a reality.”

Click on the link below to access the report.

SOCHAI Annual Report 2017

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Nutrition and Youth Advocacy Days

-Richa Neupane, Teach For Nepal

“In our school, younger students come to school with a five or ten rupee note every morning and before assembly, they buy chamcha paun, candy, instant noodles etc. It was a very apt awareness program for our school. The SOCHAI team carried their work impeccably and they very much aligned with the Teach for Nepal values of Excellence, Mutual Respect and Responsibility, Sense of Agency and Sense of Urgency.”

Read Full Article here: https://goo.gl/GB1Ppc

Nutribeads for Making Nutrition Better!

PC: Ekantipur (Note: This is not a recent data)
PC: Ekantipur (This is not a recent data)

High prevalence of malnutrition is one of the major public health problems in Nepal. It is one of the leading causes of child mortality & morbidity in the country. Thousands of children miss the opportunity to reach their full potential due to the physical and mental effects of poor nutrition in the critical window of the first 1000 days (period between pregnancy and her child’s 2nd birthday).

One of the reasons behind this is lack of awareness among the mothers about proper nutritional requirement during the golden 1000 days. Other causative factors behind this problem are improper and inadequate practice of 3Es of breastfeeding (Early initiation, Exclusive and Extended Breastfeeding), inappropriate complementary feeding practices, poverty, poor sanitation, taboos and traditional beliefs etc. Children in all rural, semi-urban & urban communities in Nepal are equally affected by malnutrition.

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Nutribeads Bracelet

Realizing the silent emergency of malnutrition in Nepal, we, the Social Changemakers and Innovators (SOCHAI) – a network of youth volunteers, embark on our journey to fight this issue by raising awareness in grass-root communities. Through our Youth For Nutrition Project, we provide nutrition counseling to pregnant and lactating mothers who visit local health center to get their children vaccinated. The unique aspect of our nutrition education and counseling program is our social innovation – the “Nutribeads Bracelet”. This Nutribeads bracelet is an educational tool that is used to make mothers aware about the nutritional requirements of the children in the first two years of life. The Nutribeads bracelet contains a set of colorful beads with numbers. The numbers indicate age interval of the child, whereas each color of the beads represents the specific type of food that much be included in the child’s meal. This colorful bracelet can be worn by the mothers at all time like a beautiful accessory, so that she can remember about the nutritional need of her child at all times.

The Nutribeads bracelet is accompanied by a Nutricard which contains all the information on food type, frequency and additional health promotion messages. Our innovation Nutribeads had won the 3rd High Level Meeting (HLM3) Asia Pacific Youth Innovation Challenge in 2016 organized by the UNICEF in Malaysia. Our ‘SOCHAI – Youth for Nutrition’ project has already provided nutrition counseling to dozens of mothers using the winning social innovation – the Nutribeads bracelet. As a part of this project, we also work with the adolescent girls, school children, youth, local mother’s groups and health workers. Since addressing the issue of malnutrition requires multidimensional approach, we also involve health and hygiene promotion activities in our project.

The contentment of seeing mothers grasp and implement the nutrition information to improve the health of their children has been the most rewarding feeling in this journey. On the other hand, realization of the barriers in breaking the vicious cycle of poverty and malnutrition among the poor is equally heartbreaking for us. So besides awareness and education, we also aim to empower women in the community to become economically independent. By involving women from poor and marginalized communities to make the Nutribeads bracelet and selling it to those who can afford buying, are trying to foster both nutrition awareness and economic upliftment. This way, even the poor families are able to afford nutritious food to make their family happy and healthy.

We are open for collaboration with youth, stakeholders, organizations, institutions from diverse backgrounds to build healthy happy future for our children. You can also be a part of initiative by buying our Nutribeads bracelet. Please can contact us if you are also willing to be a part of our journey to combat malnutrition and poverty in Nepal.

Additional Resources:

Sochai on News: https://goo.gl/gu46ty , https://goo.gl/EvU2rC

Social Media Handles:

YouTube Links

 

 

“We are not just the future, but the change-makers of the present.”

Uniting against Poverty

“After I was selected to attend the One Young World Summit in Bogotá, Colombia, as an OFID-sponsored delegate, I received a message from Nischal Baskota, a young Nepali social entrepreneur based in the US. Nischal is the owner of a tea company—Nepal Tea LLC—and had read about my work in a blog post shared on the One Young World Facebook page. He told me he was very impressed with my Nutribeads idea and wanted to get involved.

At that time, our youth volunteers network SOCHAI was running a fundraising campaign to support pregnant and lactating mothers affected by the recent disastrous flood in the Terai region of Nepal. By collaborating with Nepal Tea LLC, we were able to provide counseling and nutritious food packages to women and children who were living with hunger and poverty in the disaster-affected areas.

Attending the One Young World Summit gave me a platform to…

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