School and Community as Safe Spaces for Rural Adolescents
After the initial ‘Safe Spaces Programme’ of two years with girls and boys in Velhe block, this year we have initiated a two year intervention with more than 300 adolescent girls and boys (5th to 7th std) in 7 middle schools in the same locality with the support of ICRW, New Delhi. Through this effort we expect increased discussions among children and overall community on issues such as gender, division of work, right to choose, abuse, teasing, etc.
The objectives of this intervention are,
1. To encourage personal change among girls and boys to end gender discrimination and abuse through life skills sessions for both in and out of school children.
2. To create a safe and secure environment for girls as well as boys through community based initiatives and campaigns.
3. To encourage schooling and promote better learning through supportive coaching for Mathematics
4. To impart basic computer training as an entry point into newer schools as well as community settings.
This is a 30 session module which will focus on gender, health, nutrition, puberty, sexuality, keeping safe, education and career choices, and violence and abuse. Part of the curriculum will be technical sessions especially computer basics. Beyond Jatha, Mobile Mashal yatra and school activity we are organising a SANWAD series with women leaders, ‘role models’, Anganwadi teachers, from Velhe or around, fortnightly meetings with out of school children of 12-16 age group. An year long campaign against early marriages, and for safe environment and education for girls will be planned.
We will be mobilising out of school children through life skill and computer sessions to have dialogue on issues concerning these boys and girls. Engagement with theses children and community campaign will take the project out of the walls of the schools, which in it self is challenge, to the community we are working in.