It was an amazing 2 days learning experience to all of us when the kindergarten teachers from the rural area in Kerala and Tamil Nadu (South India/ATTAPPADI) started the devices, learned how to handle it, how to write emails and got access to Internet for the first time in their life. Probably one of those moments I will never forget…
How it started
While discussing with the teachers in spring 2016 about their “dream kindergarten” and daily work challenges I learned that that their biggest dream was about building a real community among themselves, having easy access to other teachers, exchanging ideas and being easily connected to local people and more information. The idea to build a digital community was born.
The mymmh platform – general information and inspiration for all and local discussion groups
The mymmh.org platform offers both – it is a hub for information and ideas, open to all interested people who are working in the kindergarten sector (English language). At the same time the teachers can also register and form/become part of their own closed local Facebook group: here they can share – just among themselves and in their own local language – their thoughts, experiences, upload and download creative materials and communicate in their local languages. If anganwadi teachers from other regions are interested they can form their own local closed Facebook groups, too. In this way a general information hub for the teachers (in English) and local community building can be done at the same platform.
“It is easily scalable and it ensures that general information exchange as well as local group activities are linked to each other.”
This platform is an open container for all anganwadi teachers who are interested to improve their skills. From here Internet research and Email access is just a click away, and besides the “all in one point” offers, the teachers can find a creativity corner and regular health information that helps them in their daily work. The content will be delivered by local stakeholders, such as local doctors who run also face to face workshops with the teachers, a social entrepreneur in Bangalore. The training is part of a bundle of additional activities the project managers from the Karl Kübel Institute and MMH team run together in the Attappadi area.
How the training was set up
During the first day the teachers received tablets and learned how to use it. On the second day the kindergarten teacher platform http://www.mymmh.org was launched.
During the distribution (tablets) ceremony Ms Dr Rajishwari CDPO, Attappadi and Selvaraj N, the local project manager from the Karl Kübel institute for development and education (kkid.org) participated and encouraged the women to learn on how to use the digital devices and how to set up their own community while using the mymmh.org platform.
“This will help the anganwadi teachers to connect and to learn from each other, to transfer data in an easier way to the anganwadi supervisors. The digital knowledge will be a decisive step to contribute in a simple and direct way to make more health happen. This will be a huge benefit for all our children,” Dr Rajishwari explained.
In the past under the umbrella of this initiative two kindergarten buildings including a very interesting rain water harvesting system have been set up and several health awareness workshops with the anganwadi teachers have taken place.
And the next steps?
Now it’s up to the teachers themselves to build their community. The first posts in their group have already been posted.
In March 2017 we will organize a next Training. Because digital knowledge is simply the key to ensure that the gap between rich and poor can become smaller.
Because making more health happen is more than just medicines.