International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made and celebrate acts of courage and determinations by ordinary women, who have played an extraordinary role in their communities.
In India, for example, no one plays a more outsized role in their community than female Frontline Health Workers.
Critical communities in India at great risk
Frontline Health Workers | FLWs provide direct healthcare services in their community. These women have traditionally provided midwifery support to women including maternal care, childbirth, family planning, and more.
But due to the personal nature of their role and the dearth of public health and medical professionals in many communities, the role of women FLW’s has greatly expanded.
As a result, today they are providing more and more community services ranging from immunization campaigns to sanitation advocacy to childhood nutrition work. They may also be serving as organizers, nurses, and educators—or all three at once.
Under the best of circumstances, these workers—all of whom are women—have arduous jobs with high demands. And when the complexities of COVID-19 are added on top of their existing workload and responsibilities, you have a critical population dealing with increasing stress and persistent danger.
Who’s caring for the essential caretakers?
While the Indian government and various organizations have invested significantly in building the skills of frontline workers to strengthen the public health care system, there have been few efforts to build and support frontline workers’ resilience and wellbeing.
Recognizing that FLWs need social and emotional support just as much as the communities they work in, CorStone has partnered with CARE India to provide a comprehensive personal resilience program for FLW’s in Bihar.
With financial support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the goal is to support FLW’s mental wellbeing during this time of significant stress and challenges so that they can continue to support their communities with rising needs.“This personal resilience program has helped me to understand how to use my own internal strengths to overcome difficulties. Previously, I kept thinking that I should resign due to my heavy workload and the feeling of being overwhelmed.”
Female Frontline Worker | CARE + CorStone Resilience Training Participant
This personal resilience program for FLWs kicked off in January 2021. Upon completion, the program will train over 1500 facilitators and 30,000 Accredited Social Health Activists | ASHAs across 14 districts in Bihar, India.
The ASHA’s will receive training in
- | recognizing their internal strengths + assets
- | building strong social skills
- | improving communication
- | planning skills + goal setting
- | improving abilities to deal with difficult interpersonal + professional situations that they face daily
In addition to enhancing ASHA’s wellbeing, this program will also build their skills to navigate relationships in their communities. And, over time, the program seeks to have a positive impact on not just the individual women participants, but also the wellbeing of the communities around them.
Recognizing the frontline heroes making a difference
In support of International Women’s Day 2021, we continue to lift up and recognize the hard work of some of the most essential women in communities large and small.
Whether they are weighing babies, distributing immunizations, or sharing vital COVID-prevention resources, we recognize and appreciate all the hard work these heroes are doing to keep themselves and their communities safe and healthy.
Lend your support in this unique time of need
International Women’s Day presents a special opportunity to support CorStone with a financial contribution.
Your direct support enables us to continue to provide resilience-based training that empowers essential communities at risk with the skills and understanding of how to “bounce back” and thrive despite significant adversity—especially as COVID-19 continues to persist.
With your generosity on International Women’s Day, you can give back and help us support these underserved communities in safe ways that leverage the individual power of generosity to connect and heal as we all get to the other side of the COVID-19 crisis.