In 2014, Ambassador Holly Birdsall set out to Project Kodaikanal for her three month internship. What she didn't realize, was that over a year later, she would continue to improve the lives of community members through her Chimney Initiative.
On site, Holly's project aimed to reduce the prevalence of respiratory illness in the crèche children by increasing the awareness of how these diseases are spread and educating teachers, parents, and children about hygiene, sanitation, and nutrition in the school and at their respective homes.
Holly and the FIMRC team conducted house visits to the homes of new children in each crèche as well as analyzed the data from the house visits of the pre-existing crèche children to determine the common conditions that may contribute to respiratory illness. An educational program was then created to address solutions to improve these conditions.
A common reason for respiratory illness, is the use of stoves with poor ventilation inside the home. Holly knew there was more to be done, so once she got home, she began fundraising for chimneys for the families of Kodaikanal. With the funds, our team at Project Kodaikanal purchased the supplies and, with the help of FIMRC volunteers, built the chimneys this December!
Special thanks to Holly Birdsall and all of the amazing donors for making this project a reality!