Education is the foundation of all health protection in that it provides useful information to help clients get the most out of the products and services an MFI or SHG provides or helps the poor to gain access to. Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign has a great deal of experience in helping a wide variety of MFIs successfully integrate health education into their microfinance operations.

It is important to understand the word “education” in its right perspective. Not to be mistaken for a lecture by a health expert, in the context of Freedom from Hunger, “education” conveys delivering health information in an informal and participatory manner adopting adult learning principles.

Education material developed by Freedom from Hunger follow certain key principles, as shown below:

  • Relevance: Content of education material reflects and is determined by the needs and concerns of the clients. It also means that participants are encouraged to share personal experiences.
  • Behavior Change: Freedom from Hunger believes that education is much more than merely communicating information. While the content is simple, it clearly lays out desired practices and behaviors and asks participants to discuss how they might help each other practice what is recommended. Expected changes are attainable and measurable.
  • Enjoyable: Methods used for delivery of education are familiar, safe for participants and encourage discussions. Stories and games assure that illiterate and semi-literate participants can engage fully with the content.

Freedom from Hunger has developed curriculum for the following health topics:

Diarrhea—Prevention and Management

Breastfeeding & Complementary Feeding

Facing Illnesses That Attack Our Children

 Child Health and Immunization

Family Planning

Reproductive Health of Women   

Water and Sanitation (WASH)

Learning Games for Girls

 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care

 Healthy Habits for Life

Health Microinsurance

Malaria Prevention and Treatment 

Planning for Better Health

Diabetes management

 Nutrition for Woman and young child

Using Health Care Services

Most curriculums are available in several Indian languages (Hindi, Bengali, Oriya, Tami, Kannada, Malayalam, Maratha and Telugu).

Components: Freedom from Hunger has developed scripted Facilitator Guides (to guide the field officers to facilitate the lessons along with Trainer Guides, which include all the materials necessary to train the Facilitators—both in the content area and in how to best deliver the education.

Number and Length of Sessions:
 Each topic includes six to eight lessons of about 30 minutes each. This allows the facilitator to go into some detail on the topic and reinforce, over the course of time, important key behaviors and information. However, MCS and Freedom from Hunger have also adapted these lessons into different time spans to suit individual MFIs. Education material for most of the topics is available in 15-, 30- and 60-minute lessons.

Session Structure: All lessons reinforce what was learned in the previous lesson before introducing new information. At the end of the lesson, there is a summary of what was learned on that day. Clients are also encouraged to share what they have learned with their family members and neighbors.

Methods that Create Dialogue: Methods of facilitation of lessons are conceived by Freedom from Hunger to fully engage the adult learners through a dialogue process, thus rendering learning as practical as possible. Participatory activities include stories, role-plays and small-group work, to name a few.

Measures of Success: Each module and session has measurable objective(s) that will be accomplished through the content provided. In addition, Freedom from Hunger provides instruments that enable one to assess changes in knowledge and practice related to the themes.

Our Educational Modules