A story of change
Find Your Feet is helping pregnant women in India to demand their right to essential medical support.
With funding support from the EU and other donors, Find Your Feet is working to empower some of the poorest and most isolated people in the world.
In India, around 360 million people are living in poverty. The majority of these people live in rural areas with no support and no source of income, leaving them unable to provide the basics for their families such as food, shelter and medicine. Many of these people have no means of creating change, and so they and their children remain trapped in a continuous cycle of poverty. Find Your Feet works to provide the knowledge and training necessary to empower people like this, so that they can speak out for their rights and demand change.
Beronika was born into a tribal community in the Pakur District of Jharkhand in India. She grew up in a village that was extremely poor and remote, with no medical centres or nearby hospitals. The village’s isolation and lack of resources meant that the people not only struggled to find food, but were unable to access vital government services such as basic medical care.
When Beronika found out that she was pregnant, she was overjoyed at the thought of having a new baby boy or girl, but she and her husband knew that both the pregnancy and the birth could be dangerous.
Sadly, with such limited medical care, Jharkhand has a considerably high maternal mortality rate of 219 women per 100,000 births, and Beronika and her family faced months of uncertainty and worry.
In 2014, Find Your Feet set up a support group in Beronika’s village. The support group engages with local people and provides them with important information about the government services that should be available to them. It was at this support group that Beronika learnt about her right to free medical support throughout the pregnancy and birth, as well as her baby’s right to regular health checks and the necessary vaccinations. Having been completely unaware that these services were available, on receiving this information, Beronika was given the chance to speak out and ask for the help she needed. A weight was lifted from her shoulders and she felt happy and confident that both she and her baby would make it safely through the birth.
On top of this, the group also helped to connect Beronika with a community health worker, who was able to guide her through her pregnancy. When the time came for the birth, she was taken by ambulance to a hospital where she gave birth to a healthy baby girl called Meenu.
Funding from the EU and other donors has helped to support pregnant women like Beronika, ensuring that they and their babies recieve the care they deserve.
Support groups set up by Find Your Feet allow individuals from remote villages to demand their rights to many different government services, from health checks to livelihood projects to vocational training.