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15/B Miranda House, New York, US

Reach India, a transformative organization committed to empowering women and young girls, has made significant strides in the realms of education, health, and livelihood across poverty-endemic states of India. The journey began in 2007, with the establishment of service centers that trained over 1,969 self-help group (SHG) animators, reaching an impressive 3,96,100 poor women by 2009.

The subsequent years showcased a steadfast commitment to addressing critical issues for women in states like Assam, West Bengal, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh. The organization conducted a range of trainings, covering topics from Learning Games for Girls to HIV/AIDS awareness. In March 2011, Reach India has reached out nearly one million women and young girls with education on life skills, livelihood, health and finance. Cumulatively, by 2011, Reach India had organized 221 Social Performance Management workshops, impacting 2.8 million SHG members with behavior change education. Over the past year Reach India’s 13 service centres continued to focus 14 states of the east, northeast and central India. Reach India Service Centre Network organized 77 trainings to 1281 participants from 458 SHPIs, of which 333 were trained for the first time. In total these SHPIs support 85,181 SHGs representing 1.2 million members. The highlight of the year was that we reached 24,332 young girls with life skills, health and financial education. Women reached 458 SHPIs cascading Reach India education to 85,181SHGs, having 14 members each on an average. Girls reached 24332 groups of girls reached with an average of 10 girls in each group. Follow Up and Technical Assistance provided by Reach services after the training on request from SHPIs.

By the end of the project period in June 2010, Reach India had organized 221 SPM workshops for 1135 SHPIs serving nearly 2.8 million SHG members. Of this, 712874 very poor members, 611425 women and 101449 adolescent girls – are estimated to be receiving behavior change education on health, livelihoods and family finance topics.

As the years progressed, Reach India’s vision and mission solidified: enabling women and young girls to build futures of health, hope, and dignity through knowledge, life skills, and linkages. The organization expanded its training portfolio to include areas like rural employment under MGNREGA and Four Steps To A Better Business, empowering women to understand their rights and improve their small business planning practices.

In 2012-2017, Reach India set an ambitious target of reaching one million women and young girls. The strategic focus remained on poverty-endemic states, and partnerships were forged with social entrepreneurs to deliver high-quality training. The USHA Silai School Project, collaboration with USHA International, exemplified Reach India’s commitment to providing livelihood opportunities. The project set up 120 Silai Schools, offering training and sewing machines to women, fostering financial independence.

The ensuing years witnessed the organization’s relentless efforts in reproductive and sexual health, evidenced by projects supported by The David & Lucile Packard Foundation and others. Reach India’s educational modules reached over 1,50,000 women and girls in Bihar and Jharkhand, with a focus on improving health outcomes and awareness.

In 2016-2017, Reach India achieved another milestone with the Gram Varta project, providing health and sanitation education to women SHG members. Health interventions, including early childhood development programs, were implemented in Murshidabad, West Bengal, aiming to break the cycle of poor health, low literacy, and poverty.

In recent years, the organization continued its impactful initiatives, addressing COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy through the ASHA project. Pathfinder International and Reach India Trust collaborated to build confidence in the new vaccine, training 1203 ASHA frontline workers and reaching 32,000 unvaccinated beneficiaries.

The collective impact of Reach India’s efforts is substantial, with over 16,97,736 women, adolescents, and youth reached since inception. The organization’s focus on education, health, and livelihood has not only empowered individuals but also strengthened grassroots organizations, community awareness, and women’s leadership.

Reach India’s journey is a testament to its unwavering dedication to creating positive change in the lives of marginalized communities. As they continue their mission, the organization remains committed to fostering a future where all women and girls can make free choices and be agents of change, embodying the principles of health, hope, and dignity.