Tuesday, June 17, 2014

At work in Hyderabad

We're finally here - the real purpose of the trip. It's so good to be back! I don't have pictures at the moment (I left my SD card at home), but I do want to share a bit of the last few days.

We arrived late Sunday after a few flight delays, and then got straight to work on Monday. We had a sweet reunion with Meera and Urmi from HEAL/SAPID, as well as the rest of the staff. These women are so amazing! They have such an understanding of empowerment and are so dedicated to the communities and individuals they work with.

I haven't explained this well before, but Kyle and I have now joined HEAL - an organization that does work in Hyderabad slums. We're on the U.S. team, which helps with all the non-ground work. So this trip is largely to present some findings from the first official community surveys completed last year, and to improve the survey for this year.

The results are really fantastic. Two BYU graduate teams analyzed the data and the results were overwhelmingly positive. For example, HEAL communities have an average of half the needed vaccinations, verses non-HEAL communities that have 29% - and this relationship holds true with constraints and are statistically significant. That's just one of many really amazing things we've learned from this progress report. I'm sure I'll share more on this later, and the website is being updated so I'm sure it will have them as well.

So we spend Monday having discussions about findings, and then today we went and visited a few different communities. First we met with a women's empowerment group. We learned about the successes they've had with loans they've given to each other, and the other ways they support one another. It's all really inspiring. We'll be getting some case studies next week for the website, so if you're curious I can post more info on that later.

Other communities we visited had impressive strengths in gardening, community cohesion, and income generation programs for women. I am amazed at the work being done!

That's all for now. Going to get some rest for the night! Namasgaram! (Telegu form of Namaste)

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