Photo by Steve Adams
According to the Global Nutrition Report 2018, 46 million children in India are stunted because of malnutrition, and 25.5 million more suffer from “wasting,” or do not weigh enough for their height. Malnourished children are highly vulnerable to disease and infections and can experience irreversible damage to their brain development and physical growth.
“When I had two children before this, I had no information about anything. I only knew what elders would tell me. … Now things have changed. I want all women of Bihar to become aware.”
— Khushbu Devi, JEEViKA self-help group member
To help ensure women and children receive the proper nutrition and support they need during the critical stages between pregnancy and a child’s 2nd birthday, PCI provided technical support to the Government of Bihar’s Rural Livelihoods Mission known as JEEViKA. Through JEEViKA, more than 9.2 million women living in the most vulnerable and marginalized communities of India meet in self-help groups (SHGs) to learn about microfinance, savings and livelihood activities.
With support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the World Bank, PCI worked with JEEViKA to integrate health, nutrition and sanitation interventions into the SHGs and related community structures. In 2018, these efforts directly reached more than 2.1 million women in 101 blocks of Bihar.