Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable

by Equal Community Foundation
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Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable
Raise 300 boys in India to be gender-equitable

Thank you for your consistent support to ECF’s Action for Equality programme. While we remain committed to our goal of bringing about gender equitable change in the attitudes and behaviours of adolescent boys in Pune, we are not currently able to accept contributions via our GlobalGiving project page. 

We are deeply grateful for your support, particularly during the COVID-19 situation. Your support has enabled us to reach out to and support adolescent boys from low-income communities as they bring about positive social change within their families, peer groups, and communities. You are welcome to continue to engage with us and follow our work on our official website, as well as on our official Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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Action for Equality Progress Report: March 2020 - May 2020

We appreciate your continued support of ECF’s Action for Equality (AfE) programme, committed to raising Gender Equitable Boys in Pune, India. It is due to this consistent support that adolescent boys from 20 communities in Pune currently participate in our AfE programme. 

National level restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic were implemented from 25th March, 2020 in India. At present, 16 out of 20 of our Action for Equality (AfE) communities are designated as containment zones. 

Hence, between March 2020 - May 2020, we have made efforts to modify our programme activities with regard to the current needs and limitations. These modifications include a switch to remote sessions for our participants and alumni, as well as the inclusion of COVID-19 awareness and other additions to content, detailed below.

 

During this period: 

AfE Leadership Programme (LP): A total of 215 adolescent boys have participated in group call sessions. Out of these, 129 participants have regularly participated in the remote sessions and taken actions for gender equity and social welfare in their households and through social media advocacy.

AfE Alumni Engagement: Over 200 alumni have participated in group call sessions. Out of these, over 60 alumni have taken actions for gender equity and social welfare in their households and communities.

Some programme highlights from this period are: 

Leadership Programme Remote Sessions: The main aim of these group call sessions is to engage and support participants as they cope with the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown. Hence, the topics discussed include: Information about COVID-19; and Discussions of Gender Based Violence and Discrimination (GBVD), particularly forms of GBVD that have been exacerbated by shutdown (domestic violence and inequitable distribution of housework). 

Participants were empowered to address and mitigate issues of COVID-19 misinformation and GBVD in their households and through social media campaigns. As our Leadership Programme participants are minors, their actions have focused on the welfare of their families and spreading awareness through social media. Participants have helped out with housework; provided emotional support to their families; and advocated for others to address gender inequities in their households. 

Alumni Engagement: Alumni have participated in group call sessions to jointly discuss ways in which they can mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic and shutdown in their respective families and communities. 

AfE communities consist largely of daily wage workers, many of whom have faced severe financial difficulties in this period. Our alumni have, in many cases, independently come up with ways to ensure the welfare of their communities. Our role has been, hence, to provide support, to give them contacts to relevant organisations working on health, poverty, etc.; and to give them platforms for fundraising efforts.

Alumni have identified the needs of their respective communities and identified particularly vulnerable groups within these communities; raised funds for low-income communities; provided ration, food, and other basic necessities to people in need; raised awareness about COVID-19, domestic violence and other issues; shared helpline numbers when required; built healthy relationships within their families. Some specific instances of action taken include:

Sagar - Household-Level Action

Sagar found a productive and positive way to support and spend time with his mother: 

“I started  teaching my mother how to read and write. I teach her the basics of Marathi and English letters. This has helped in creating a new bond with my mother and it is fun.”  

Akash - Community-Level Action

Akash identified around 200 people in need of food in his community. He coordinated with community stakeholders and authorities to gather donations of food, grains, or money, so that he could support these people throughout the lockdown. Akash made sure to also feed numerous cats and dogs  in his community during the COVID-19 lockdown. Speaking to a mentor about his efforts, Akash stated,

“We are a part of society. When members of society are in need it is our duty to give them whatever we can. Through my ECF sessions I learnt that I must always try to support my community and community members.”

Future Plans: Problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic persist. Our activities will continue to address COVID-19 misinformation, the increase in GBVD, the mental health and financial effects on our low-income communities, participants, and alumni. We intend to integrate the families of participants and alumni in our remote sessions, as well as continuing to engage and support our participants and alumni.


As of June 2020, with your support, ECF has been able to successfully reach out to and enrol 5,891 boys in the Action for Equality programme. A total of 3,433 adolescent boys have graduated and pledged to ally with women and girls to support gender equality in their communities. 


We thank you for your contribution and for supporting our mission to raise every boy in India to be gender equitable. 

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Foundation Programme - Action Event
Foundation Programme - Action Event

AfE progress update:
December 2019 - February 2020

 

We appreciate your continued support of ECF’s Action for Equality (AfE) programme, committed to raising Gender Equitable Boys in Pune, India. It is due to this consistent support that adolescent boys from 20 communities in Pune currently participate in our AfE programme.

At ECF, between December 2019 - February 2020, we have completed Cycle 25 for two stages of our AfE programme - Foundation Programme and Action Programme. We have also launched Cycle 26 of our Leadership Programme in February, 2020.

 

During this period:

AfE Foundation Programme (FP): A total of 209 participants graduated out of 290 enrolled from 19 communities.

AfE Action Programme (AP): A total of 148 participants graduated out of 180 enrolled from from 20 communities.

AfE Leadership Programme (LP): Enrollments for Cycle 26 are ongoing and will be shared in the next report.


Some programme highlights from during this period are:

 

Action Events: Foundation Programme participants conducted public debates on gender roles and the necessity of educating girls, within their respective communities. Alumni from our AfE programme participated in these Action Events as well, in several communities.

Action Programme participants raised awareness on inequalities on the division of household labour. These participants spoke about the differences in hours worked by the average man and average woman in the community, making the point that women typically work more hours in a day when unpaid housework is considered in addition to paid work.

 

Action Log: Action Logs are visual trackers of the actions taken by participants to facilitate gender equity in their own behaviour, their families and peer groups, and in public, within or outside their communities. These trackers validate the participants’ efforts and motivate them to take actions.

 

Alumni Engagement: On 2nd February, 2020, we conducted an Alumni Meet - an interaction with some of the graduates of the earlier AfE programme cycles. These alumni spoke about the aspects of AfE that they had enjoyed and the impact of the programme on their behaviours and attitudes. For instance, one alumnus has been successful in preventing a child marriage in his community; another told us how AfE had taught him the imporance of consent and helped him avoid substance abuse.

Alumni have also expressed interest in sustained interaction with ECF after their participation in AfE. We have begun a few initiatives to increase our engagement with alumni - While we conduct informal meetings with our AfE alumni at present, our plans for the next quarter include more formal and intensive interactions.

 

ECF in the news: We are pleased to share that the following publications recently ran articles that featured the importance of working with boys to transform gender norms and showcased ECF's work:

BBC: The boys learning anti-sexism in India

CNN: Indians are right to protest against rape, but the fight must start at home

NZZ: Wie Indien zu verhindern versucht, dass junge Männer zu Vergewaltigern werden

 

As of February 2020, with your support, ECF has been able to successfully reach out to and enrol 5,891 boys in the Action for Equality programme. A total of 3,433 adolescent boys have graduated and pledged to ally with women and girls to support gender equality in their communities.

We thank you for your contribution and for supporting our mission to raise every boy in India to be gender equitable.

Action Programme - Action Event
Action Programme - Action Event
Community members watch an Action Event
Community members watch an Action Event
Action Log for one of our communities
Action Log for one of our communities
Alumni Meet - February, 2020
Alumni Meet - February, 2020
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Participants engaging with the mentors during AfE
Participants engaging with the mentors during AfE

We appreciate your continued support and contribution to ECF’s Action for Equality (AfE) programme committed to raising Gender Equitable Boys in Pune, India. It is because of this constant support that ECF now engages with 20 communities in Pune. 

At ECF, between September 2019 - November 2019, we have launched Cycle 25 of our Foundation programme and Action Programme.

During this period: 

AfE Foundation Programme (FP): Our AfE mentors mobilised and enrolled 160 participants across 19 communities in Pune. The final numbers will be shared in the next report. 

AfE Action Programme (AP): A total of 159 participants were enrolled for the Action Programme from 20 communities in Pune. The final numbers will be shared in the next report. 

Some programme highlights from during this period are: 
A few important cycle updates from cycle 24 which was ongoing in the month of September and could not be shared in the previous report have been added here.

Action events for cycle 24: A total of 134 Foundation Programme (FP) and Leadership Programme (LP) participants actively took part in the action events.  Participants conducted a debate to sensitise people around the topic of girls’ right to education. In their first action event they reached out to 167 community members across 20 communities. The LP participants enacted a street play on the topic of street sexual harassment. In most communities the participants were able to reach out to a large audience by reaching out to a group of religious members during the ganpati festival. These participants reached out to a total of 305 community members across 18 communities. This cycle also had a high participation of girls in focus group discussions and street plays increasing collaborative efforts towards gender equality. 

Big Meet Greet (BMG) cycle 24: A total of 87 out of 104 participants attended the BMG for cycle 24. The theme of the event was ‘peer pressure’. We discussed how peer pressure can have positive and negative implications on an individual and how one should assertively say no to the negative forms of peer pressure. The participants related personal experiences and struggles with peer pressure and how some of them were able to stand up to it using skills of assertive communication that they had learnt during the Action for Equality programme sessions. 

Focus group discussions with Girls: In this cycle we created a safe space for girls in the community to have conversations around their everyday problems that they face.The girls who participated shared and expressed the impact street sexual harassment, early marriage and forced drop-out has on their lives. This conversation motivated our participants to take action and spread awareness in the community. 

Duration for the Leadership Programme: We have successfully completed cycle 24 with the 15 week intervention and we plan to continue with it further.   

Addition and removal of communities: In Cycle 25 we will engage with 20 groups in 19 communities in Pune.  In this cycle we will not be engaging with Vadgaon Budruk for the Foundation Programme due to low number of participants. On the other hand, we have created two groups in Ambedkar Nagar community due to high community interest and support.

Alumni Meet:  A total of 14 AfE alumni attended the alumni meet. They shared that AfE programme played an important role in shaping them to become the individuals that they are today. Skills such as communication, leadership, and mobilisation skills learnt through the programme helped them in their personal and professional spheres. Since their graduation from AfE they have taken several individual actions including creating safe spaces for women at their workplace, taken actions against ragging in their college, spoken up on sex education  in college and conducted menstrual hygiene campaigns for girls in the community. We are proud to share that our alumni have continued their journey towards becoming more gender-equitable and are actively contributing to change within the society.  

Intensive Team Training (ITT): ECF conducted an Intensive Team Training on the theme of Sexuality and Identity. The objective of the ITT was to build the knowledge and skills of team members on issues and themes in gender and gender-based violence.

  • This training took place from 14th - 17th October 2019. The sessions focussed on linking the conceptual understanding of sexuality with personal experiences of team members. Through conversations on intersectionality and dispelling myths around sexuality team members were able to reflect on the impact that the social norms have had upon them as individuals.
  • During the other sessions such as ‘collective wisdom’ and ‘alumni voices’ the team members shared their experiences from the field and achievements from the cycle.  

As of November 2019, with your support, ECF has been able to successfully reach out to and enrol 5,601 boys in the Action for Equality programme. A total of 3,224 adolescent boys have graduated and pledged to become allies with women and girls to support gender equality in their communities. 
We thank you for your contribution and for supporting our mission to raise every boy in India to be gender-equitable.
 

Girls supporting participants during action event
Girls supporting participants during action event
Picture from the Alumni meet, 2019
Picture from the Alumni meet, 2019
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Girls participating in an FGD with LP Participants
Girls participating in an FGD with LP Participants

We appreciate your continued support and contribution to ECF’s Action for Equality (AfE) programme committed to raising Gender Equitable Boys in Pune, India. It is because of this constant support that ECF engages adolescent boys across 20 communities in Pune.

 

At ECF, between June 2019 - August 2019, we have launched Cycle 24 of our Foundation programme and Leadership Programme (15-week intervention)

 

During this period: 

AfE Foundation Programme (FP): Our AfE mentors have mobilised and enrolled 262 participants across 20 communities in Pune. These participants will graduate in September for the second stage of the AfE programme. 

AfE Leadership Programme (LP): A total of 131 participants were enrolled for the leadership programme from 18 communities in Pune. They will graduate as leaders in the month of September. 


Some programme highlights during this period were:

Addition and removal of communities: In Cycle 24 we have successfully engaged with 20 communities in Pune. We feel happy to announce that we have recently partnered with Ummeed. With their help we have launched our intervention in a new community called Vadgaon Budruk in Pune.We have discontinued our intervention in Bibwewadi community from this cycle as the number of participants has constantly been declining in this community. 

Duration for the Leadership Programme: In the last quarter we had noted a significant decline in the attendance of participants in the Leadership Programme. Hence we held consultation meetings with the participants and the alumni to understand the reasons for this. It was noted that the participants dropped out because of exams and festivals. Some participants also found the sessions to be content heavy and the 30-week engagement to be tedious. Therefore, considering the feedback we decided to decrease the duration of the intervention to 15 weeks. We also plan to review the curriculum to ensure that the modules are accessible. 

As part of the team development, we have been conducting regular mentor training for mentors every week.  We will conduct our intensive team training for all staff in the next quarter where we will invite an external resource person to deliver sessions on various topics related to Gender. 

Focus group discussions (FGD) with girls: We have been trying various strategies to include the voices of girls in our programmes and to normalise interactions between girls and boys. During this cycle we invited adolescent girls to FGDs with our participants to discuss gender-related issues faced by women and girls in the community. Many girls talked about the negative effects of street sexual harassment on their lives and boys were able to hear first hand how girls get pulled out of school as their parents fear for their safety. This experience reinforced our participant’s zeal to take action against gender-based violence.

Action Events: From this cycle our Leadership Programme participants will conduct 4 action events in their respective communities. The Leadership Programme participants have decided to perform street plays on the issue of ‘Street Sexual Harassment’. The action event is ongoing in all the 18 communities. Our Foundation programme action events will begin in the month of September. The topic decided by our participants is gender-based discrimination. We will provide an update on this in the next report. 

Big, Meet and Greet (BMG) event: We will be hosting our BMG for Cycle 24 in September, at the end of the Leadership Programme. From this cycle on we have decided to discontinue BMG events for the Foundation and Action Programmes.

 

As of August 2019, with your support, ECF has been able to successfully reach out to and enrol 5339 boys to Action for Equality programme. A total of 3037 adolescent boys have graduated and pledged to become allies with women to support gender-equality in their communities. These numbers will be updated in the month of September after the completion of Cycle 24. 


We thank you for your contribution and supporting our mission, to raise every boy in India to be Gender Equitable.



Participants during an AfE session at Kashewadi
Participants during an AfE session at Kashewadi
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Organization Information

Equal Community Foundation

Location: Pune - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ECF India
Project Leader:
Christina Furtado
Pune, Maharashtra India

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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