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Helen Keller International’s extensive experience in implementing health and nutrition programs have shown that achieving sustainable outcomes often requires addressing underlying gender inequalities. Helen Keller Intl thus developed Nurturing Connections©, a gender transformative curriculum used in our field programs that identifies and addresses harmful gender norms while promoting positive behavior change that leads to greater gender equality.

The curriculum engages all household members who influence decisions concerning the welfare of families, such as expenditures on food, health care, education and other necessities. This is accomplished through a range of participatory exercises given over the course of several months. During this process, husbands, wives and elders are able to reflect critically about discriminatory gender practices which lead to food insecurity and malnutrition in their households. Programs using this curriculum have shown dramatic improvements in women’s status and decision-making in the household.

Originally developed by Helen Keller International in Bangladesh in 2013, Nurturing Connections© has since been implemented in multiple countries in Asia as well as adapted to the West African context. The Nurturing Connections© manuals are available here in English and French.