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Meet Alawatu

868 631 The Hunger Project Australia

Alawatu is a midwife in her local health clinic in the Coki village of Boffel.

Before The Hunger Project health clinic was established in Boffel, Alawatu had to deliver babies in people’s homes with no medical facilities or specialty care available to help her. Many women and babies died as a result. The health clinic has resulted in a dramatic drop in maternal deaths, to the point they have almost been eliminated completely!

Alawatu now provides pre-natal care to women in the clinic. When they’re ready to give birth, she then travels with them – by horse and cart – to the nearest hospital. If they go into labour on the journey, she is able to assist them in the delivery of their baby. When they arrive at the hospital they receive any extra medical care they need in order to keep themselves and their babies healthy.

After the women have given birth, Alawatu takes them back to the clinic in Boffel where she cares for them until they are ready to go home. The new mothers and babies get a check-up visit every Monday by staff from the clinic and The Hunger Project organises community discussions, cooking demonstrations and talks on various health, sanitation and hygiene issues.


Clean water and sanitation saves lives

1024 683 The Hunger Project Australia

Unclean water supplies and poor sanitation are still amongst the biggest threats to many peoples’ health in developing regions.  With up to 950 million people worldwide still practicing open defecation and up to 2.5 billion people living without adequate sanitation, vast improvements are yet to be made.

In India, 80% of disease in rural areas can be traced back to contaminated water and poor sanitation.   The government has responded by promising to provide 60 million homes with sanitary toilets by 2019.  However, past attempts to improve sanitation in affected areas, has taught us that simply providing people with sanitary facilities (such as toilets) is not effective in changing deeply ingrained practices (such as open defecation).

The best way to initiate sustainable change is to run community-led programs, where village leaders and volunteers are taught to; research what their community needs, understand the dangers of poor sanitation and integrate new systems within their villages from the ground level.  Village leaders learn how to approach local governments and to work with them toward providing the infrastructure necessary to make the improvements.  They are simultaneously trained to lead educational programs within their communities, that change belief systems and practices to ensure the new facilities are assimilated successfully.

Through training with The Hunger Project, our village partners learn that clean water and sanitary practices are essential to their survival and they become proactive in implementing the necessary changes themselves.  They are empowered to ensure their human rights are being met and in response they learn to;

  • Install water tanks and pumps that provide clean water to families
  • Develop new water sources and conservation practices
  • Build and maintain bathrooms
  • Educate their community about sanitation and associated health benefits