40 hour trek for a pencil in the ear

Padeng is a rural agricultural community in the Darjeeling region of India, and one of Broadleaf's CHIP partner communities. Padeng is also home to Yenten, a nine year old boy.

Recently, Nima, a School Health Activist (SHA) from the Padeng community, was performing her annual hearing screening. When Yenten strode up to have his ears checked, Nima quickly realized that Yenten had something stuck inside his left ear. He shared that his ear had been feeling itchy and he was using the sharp end of a pencil to scratch his ear.

Nima walked Yenten home and talked with his parents about the fact that he most likely had a piece of pencil stuck in his ear in such a way that he would need to see a doctor. With the support of Yenten’s parents, Nima helped arrange for Yenten make the 40-hour trip to see an ENT specialist.The physician recognized that the pencil tip had caused a traumatic rupture of the ear drum; fortunately he was able to remove it before it caused any permanent damage.

About a week later, Yenten approached Nima at school and asked if he could share his experience with his classmates. He wanted them to learn from his “pencil in the ear” issue! Nima was delighted to see his eagerness to share his learning and first hand experience with his peers and helped him create a poster to use at his school. Yenten proudly gathered several friends and together they designed a poster to help them teach the other students at Padeng Primary School the importance of keeping objects out of your ears.

Nima and Yenten exemplify how a community-led intervention can help recognize acute medical issues, promote access to care, and empower children as health champions.

As the days continue to pass by and malls swarm with crowds trying to find the perfect gift, please continue to remember that your donation to Broadleaf empowers children and communities in the Darjeeling region


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