The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal Number 3 is Health; ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. I was a health intern for 12 weeks at GVI Kerala, India whereby I supported different project partners to work towards that goal.
Having a clear objective
One of my main focuses was creating engaging health and well-being workshops at local schools. However, whilst the overall topic was the same, the objective set by each school differed slightly meaning we had to adapt the sessions depending on the needs of the children. For example, at one school we taught oral hygiene and hand washing, and at another we covered healthy eating, exercise, and emotional well-being. For one school, the objective was for the children to have fun, and interact with the topic, whilst at another school, we were asked to work on conversational and written English. Through these workshops, I began to learn the importance of having a clear objective set by the project partner, and how you can teach the same thing in different ways, adapting sessions according to that objective.
The other reason it’s important to have a clear objective, is so that you can track and measure success over time. Another project I worked at was a local relief settlement whereby the primary objective was to stimulate engagement among the residents. In order to be able to measure whether we would meet this objective, there were three supporting objectives; increase attention, improve memory and develop motor skills. Each week we would work on one of the objectives and plan out activities against that area. After three weeks, we would then go back to the first objective and plan slightly harder activities to see if they had improved. After every session we kept a tracker of all of the residents we worked with, writing down how they did in that session, things they struggled with, things that they enjoyed and techniques that helped them. This tracker served as a guide to plan the next session, always trying to take into account the residents’ performance.
This project taught me that to achieve success, it’s key to create a structured plan for every session. However, sometimes the activities might not go as planned and you need to adapt on your feet, but as long as you are working towards the objective, the session can still be a success.
In both of the projects, the evaluation process was as important as the planning process as it helps you understand how the sessions played out in order to plan the next one. A lot of the partners we work with have people with different range of abilities, which is important to consider when planning the sessions.
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development, and I very much enjoyed my time at GVI Kerala, India working towards that goal.