Each one teach three. That is the motto of the Maa aur Shishu Swasthya (MASS, or the Mother and Child Health) Program. And it’s made all the difference in Ranubala and her family.
The mother of four in eastern India earns very little, making saving on her own difficult. In the past, whenever someone fell ill, she had to borrow from family and neighbors and cobble together what she could to pay for their care.
Illness constantly forced her husband and older son to stop working, meaning less money and food for the family. Treatable ailments grew worse, and medical bills mounted. Now she and her family have another alternative.
Grameen Foundation has been working with partners to make healthcare more accessible and affordable for rural families like Ranubala’s. As part of the MASS, we work through local self-help groups and village banks to provide health education and to connect the women to local health services, in addition to the financial services they already receive. Some self-help groups have started a special health savings program.
Ranubala loved the training on childcare, anemia prevention and family planning, especially now that she has a new daughter-in-law.
She is determined for her family to have the “good life”: eating well, being healthy, being happy and living comfortably in their home. Although health challenges persist, she is thankful and remains optimistic.
Her breakthrough: a goal and plan to turn their lives around in five years.
As of June 2018, MASS has connected more than 170,000 self-help group members to financial service providers, and trained them on topics such as anemia, healthy pregnancies, and acute respiratory infections. Almost 16,000 women had begun saving for healthcare costs. And each one teaches others. See the video here and learn more about program impacts here.