Empower Girls in India Through Sports

by CREA
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
Empower Girls in India Through Sports
State-level Advocacy Event, Patna, Bihar
State-level Advocacy Event, Patna, Bihar

It’s My Body: Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls through Sports

A community-based program led by CREA and co-implemented with 12 partner CBOs* in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

(1 September 2016 - 30 November 2016)

The last quarter for September – November 2016 has been spent reviewing and reflecting the last phase of the It's My Body (IMB) program and planning for the next phase. By September 2016, CREA along with its partner organisations completed working directly with over 6000 adolescent girls in eight districts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Curriculum based training sessions on issues of gender, sexuality, bodily autonomy and other sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues have resulted in increased knowledge and understanding among adolescent girls.

I am a fat girl. People have always teased me about my body, my weight, my clothes and my style. When I joined the program, everyone said how can a fat girl play football. But, I didn’t give up. I stayed on. I practiced and today I want to tell everyone that I can play and do everything that others can and I am proud to be who I am”.Kishori Manch member from Jharkhand

Use of sports in these sessions has significantly contributed to increased self-confidence, mobility and improved access to public spaces for adolescent girls. Regular events and meetings with community stakeholders (health service providers, school teachers, families of girls enrolled in the program, Panchayat members and other community stakeholders) have enabled a supportive environment at homes, and communities leading to improved participation of girls in the program; to strengthened ability of girls to share, discuss and negotiate with family members on matters related to their education, mobility, relationships, marriage etc.; and their improved access to health centers.

“The traditional way of thinking has always allowed girls to move from their parent’s house to their husband’s house. There is no other public, outdoor space, purpose and need considered for girls and women to access and move freely in. This patriarchal mindset has been challenged by an outdoor sport like football”.  - Pooja, Head of Srijan Foundation, Jharkhand, Partner CBO.

However, lack of space to play football in some of the urban, peri urban areas where the programme is being implemented has remained a challenge. Sexuality remains a taboo topic at the community level and football is seen as a male domain, thus, inviting resistance from parents, families and other community members. If they do manage to cross that hurdle, neighbours and other community members often tease them and taunt them for playing, for being ‘masculine’, running around openly and for being ‘indecent’. Demand from adolescent girls has been created for health services however, lack supply of these services remains an issue (stock, trained providers, judgemental attitudes to deliver SRH services to unmarried girls). Regular meetings with health service providers (HSPs) have bridged the gap between them; partner CBOs and girls to approach higher authorities for providing the services and facilities.

On 8 and 26 September 2016, two state level events were organised in Ranchi and Patna respectively– Hamara Nazariya Hamari Awaaz (Our Perspectives, Our Voices)**: A state event on advancing sexual and reproductive health (SRH), Sports and Human Rights of Adolescent and Young Girls. These events were led and facilitated by over 150 girl leaders from the IMB program and attended by over 250 people from civil society, government officials and other civil society organisations. Issues of domestic violence, caste based violence; witch-hunt and sexual abuse were raised by the girls at these events. The girls also spoke about the lack of health services available for adolescent girls. Girls enrolled in the program at Gaurav Grameen Mahila Vikas Manch shared their experiences of being marginalised not just because of their gender but also because of their caste. The girls also shared that how every girl who is supported by her family somehow needs justification. Some people say that they’re raising their daughters like sons and this alienates the girls and makes them conscious of their gender. The girls should be encouraged to create an identity of their own without always dismissing them by citing their gender as the reason for that.

These state level events held in Lucknow (23 August), in Ranchi (8 September) and Patna (26 September) have allowed CREA and its partner organisations to reach out to other civil society organisations, networks and government officials. 

In addition to these events, CREA and its partner organisations held their quarterly review meeting from 16-18 November in Delhi. As part of the ongoing review and assessment, CREA completed the final round of Endline Survey for the IMB program in September 2016 with support from Nielsen. CREA is currently working on developing a comprehensive evaluation report on the IMB program based on the findings and data collected through the endline survey and through the narrative documentation of the evidence report.

The next phase of the IMB program has begun during this quarter, incorporating feedback, suggestions and assessment of the ongoing work through the various review exercises. CREA along with its partner organisations is currently working with the fourth batch of 1250 adolescent girls from eight districts of Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh.

From 17-21 October, CREA team participated in the Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Learning Exchange meeting organised by EMpower. The meeting brought together organisations working on SRHR issues with young people in South East Asia that are being supported by EMpower.

 

*List of IMB partners:

Bihar:

  1. Akanksha Sewa Sadan, Muzaffarpur
  2. Nari Nidhi, Muzaffarpur
  3. Gaurav Grameen Mahila Vikas Manch, Patna

Jharkhand:

  1. Mahila Mukti Sansthan , Hazaribagh 
  2.  Srijan Foundation, Hazaribagh 
  3. Lok Prerna Kendra, Hazaribagh and Chatra
  4. Nurture Trust, West Singhbhum

Uttar Pradesh :

  1. Gramonnati Sansthan, Mahoba
  2. Mahila Swarozgaar Samiti, Benares
  3. Sakar, Bareilly
  4. Sadbhavna Trust, Sanat Kada , Lucknow
  5. Veerangana Mahila Vikas Manch , Jhansi

**Hamara Nazariya, Hamari Awaaz was conceptualised as a platform for the adolescent girls who have been a part of the ‘It’s My Body’ program to share their experiences. The daylong event sessions of panel discussions and audio-video presentations led by the girls themselves, where they shared their experience of understanding issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights mediated through playing football.

State-level Advocacy Event, Patna, Bihar
State-level Advocacy Event, Patna, Bihar
State-level Advocacy Event, Bihar, Patna
State-level Advocacy Event, Bihar, Patna
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event: Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event: Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event: Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event: Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
State-level Advocacy Event, Ranchi, Jharkhand
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Learning Visit
Learning Visit

Program Update

(June-August, 2016)

It’s My Body

Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls through Sports

 

A community-based programme led by CREA and co-implemented with 12 partner CBOs(please refer to the list below) in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

The period from June- August 2016 was filled with lots of excitement. The programme focused on strengthening capacities of its own team, of the trainers from partner CBOs and of 60 girl leaders who participate in IMB programme through a learning visit (June 2016) and a leadership camp (July 2016). It further included the first state level advocacy event on 23 August 2016 led and facilitated by the girls themselves in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, co-organised with the five partner CBOs from U.P.

The Learning Visit, organised in Delhi from 13-17 June brought together 22 trainers from 12 partner CBOs and six CREA team members to visit, exchange and learn from other organisations, activists and groups on issues of collectivisation of adolescent girls, SRH policies for young people, community mobilisation and education through football and on role of young people in advocacy. As a part of this visit, the trainers visited CEQUIN and learnt from their experience of engaging with girls from minority communities using the medium of football and train them on issues related to gender, health and rights. The trainers also got oriented on the organisation’s holistic strategy of engaging with the community (parents, mothers, adolescent girls and young boys). In addition to this, interactive sessions were organised between resource persons (from Sama Resource Group for Women and Health and The YP Foundation and IMB trainers on issues around collectivisation, policy level advocacy and ways of engaging youth in advocacy.

 “Even though we had some broad knowledge around young people and health, we had no idea about the specificities, especially the ARSH clinic and the provisions of the RKSK. This session has really added to our knowledge and perspective base.”– Trainer, Gaurav Grameen Mahila Vikas Manch (Patna, Bihar).

In our work with adolescents, we also encounter so many young people articulating the issues in their community and the potential to be leaders. As part of our advocacy- related work, we have just started working with them and when we look at these community leaders from YP, it gives us confidence that our girls can also become leaders like them.” – Trainer, Gramonnati Sansthan (Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh).

Two Leadership Development Camps (The camp design, content and methodology has been developed by Dream a Dream, Bangalore) were organised with 60 young girl leaders from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh during this quarter. A selected cohort of 60 young girl leaders from the third batch of IMB participated in the five day residential camps. The camp took them on a journey of self-reflection and provided them with a safe space to explore their strengths, talk about their struggles and think of a plan to achieve their dreams and aspirations.

This is the first time I sat in a train and came this far. I am quite excited to learn new things.”­ Adolescent girl, Mahila Swarozgar Samiti (Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh).

I like to dance but I stopped dancing as my parents often object to it. But after this camp, I will find a way of convincing them and will make sure that I continue to do things which I like.” – Adolescent girl, Sakar (Bareily, Uttar Pradesh).

During this period, CREA also constituted its internal Ethics Review Committee (ERC) to provide external oversight on research and other forms of data collection undertaken as part of the community based programmes and to ensure that robust ethical standards and practices underpin evidence generation by CREA. The first meeting of the ERC was held on 3 June 2016 in New Delhi. CREA shared the endline study design and methodology for the It’s My Body programme and the study design for the situational analysis and baseline study being planned for the Meri Panchayat Meri Shakti programme. Based on these presentations, issues of consent, privacy and confidentiality, risks and benefits and other areas of ethical examination were discussed in detail with all ERC members.

The highlight of this quarter had definitely been the first state level event organised in Uttar Pradesh on 23 August 2016 - Hamara Nazariya Hamari Awaaz: A state event on advancing SRH, Sports and Human Rights of Adolescent and Young Girls. A select cohort of girl leaders from the IMB programme continued to stay in touch with their village level collectives – Kishori Manch even after the completion of their ten month long curriculum based training. This allowed them to identify issues of their concern like mobility, sanitation, access to education and health services and to develop strategies and plan to advocate improved services and their rights. 75 girl leaders from Mahoba, Bareilly, Benares, Jhansi and Lucknow came together at this event to share their experiences, stories, perspectives and advocate for their needs and rights themselves.

Hamara Nazariya, Hamari Awaaz is conceptualised as a platform for the adolescent girls who have been a part of the ‘It’s My Body’ programme to share their experiences. The day-long event sessions of panel discussions and audio-video presentations led by the girls themselves, where they shared their experience of understanding issues of sexual and reproductive health and rights mediated through playing football.

The event was attended by over 60 people from government departments of health, sports, education, livelihood, other NGOs and by local media in Lucknow. The event was led and facilitated by adolescent girls and they used different mediums (presentations, role plays, talk shows, dance and music) and shared their learnings and experience from the IMB programme. The girls also set up exhibition stalls and presented about the work that the partner CBOs does in different districts.

It is great to meet these girls and they have such deep understanding of the issues of patriarchy, gender, SRH and rights– Jaya, Naz Foundation, Delhi.

These girls have changed so much and have undergone a lot of transformation from the first time when I met them. I felt very nice when I saw them on stage today.”–Trainer, Gramonnati Sansthan (Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh).

During the event, one of the guest, acknowledged the efforts made by adolescent girls and made the comment that “these days, girls dominate boys/men in the society.” Responding to this comment, one of the girls from the IMB programme said that “We don’t want to overpower or dominate anyone. If boys/men are ahead of girls, then girls will struggle, on the contrary, if girls are ahead of boys, then boys will struggle. Therefore we don’t want anyone in the society to struggle but we want an equitable society. Infact, we want a society which is just for people from all gender- including men, women, lesbian and transgender.”

 

                                                         ............................................

List of CBOs:

Bihar :

  1. Akanksha Sewa Sadan, Muzaffarpur
  2. Nari Nidhi, Muzaffarpur
  3.  Gaurav Grameen Mahila Vikas Manch, Patna

Jharkhand :

  1. Mahila Mukti Sansthan , Hazaribagh 
  2. Srijan Foundation, Hazaribagh
  3. Lok Prerna Kendra, Hazaribagh and Chatra
  4. Nurture Trust, West Singhbhum

Uttar Pradesh :

  1. Gramonnati Sansthan, Mahoba
  2. Mahila Swarozgaar Samiti, Benares
  3. Sakar, Bareilly
  4. Sadbhavna Trust, Sanat Kada , Lucknow
  5. Veerangana Mahila Vikas Manch , Jhansi
Interactive session with Community Leaders
Interactive session with Community Leaders
Learning Visit: IMB Trainers
Learning Visit: IMB Trainers
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
State Level Advocacy Event: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
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International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand

It’s My Body: Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls through Sports

A community-based program led by CREA and co-implemented with 14 partner CBOs* in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand.

(March, 2016 - May, 2016)

The period from March – May 2016 was a busy quarter at CREA with most of the work focused around program review, reporting and planning for the year ahead commencing from 1 April 2016. During this period, CREA held a review meeting from 2- 4 March 2016 in New Delhi. This meeting was attended by the founders and directors of the partner CBOs, CREA works with. The objective of the meeting was for the group to take stock of the work accomplished so far, identify challenges, reflect on learnings and discuss the way forward.

The review exercise continued to take place within CREA during March – April.  CREA co-implements the Meri Panchayat Meri Shakti  program in collaboration with seven community-based partner organisations in Jharkhand to strengthen leadership capacities of elected women representatives. During the review process, CREA team worked on developing a comprehensive community-based program strategy and design. The discussion with the partner CBOs in the review meeting, helped to identify points of convergence in the existing work with women and girls in the communities across different programs.

This process was further carried on to also review the internal existing processes, systems and formats that are being used to monitor, learn and evaluate the IMB program. In addition to this, the last three months have also been crucial in finalising the evidence report that CREA has been working on as part of the IMB program. The organisation has also planned a second round of Endline survey and study in U.P, Bihar and Jharkhand to understand and assess the long-term impact of the IMB program. CREA has also been working on constituting an Ethics Review Committee for the organisation, which will have its first meeting on 3 June 2016.

March was also the month of International Women’s day. A day celebrated with pride, strength and enthusiasm all over the world. As part of the IMB program, eight large-scale public football tournaments and events were organised in Bihar, U.P and Jharkhand which were attended by over 2000 people. These events include football matches played by the girls enrolled in the IMB program, short plays and public speaking activities led and facilitated by the girls themselves.

“This was the first time, that the girls from our group were given the charge of negotiating directly with all the vendors for sound, mic, food, lights etc. This was significant, as girls in our community don’t get involved in these aspects of organising an event as they are seen as a man’s job”—Trainer from partner CBO in Jharkhand.

In April, CREA along with its partner CBOs selected a small cohort of 210 young girl leaders to strengthen their knowledge and understanding on advocacy. Small group meetings have been held with these groups to identify issues of concern and collectively think of strategies and actions that can address these issues locally or through a more concerted advocacy effort. The issues shared by the girls in these group meetings include access to quality health care, lack of appropriate sanitation facilities for girls in schools and colleges and lack of locally available training and education opportunities for girls and young women.

A five day residential leadership development camp was also held from 22-27 April in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, which was attend by 28 adolescent girls from Patna and Muzaffarpur who have completed the ten-month curriculum based training sessions.

CREA team continued to visit and participate in the program activities from March – May 2016 in Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. In Uttar Pradesh, as part of the IMB program, CREA works with a select group of young women leaders (17-22 years) to provide them with skill-building and leadership development opportunities. As part of this work, meetings were held with the young women to assess their skills-building and learning needs which included computers, photography, filming and self – defence. CREA and its partner CBOs in Uttar Pradesh will be working to design the training and skills-building course for these young women from June – August 2016.

In addition to the ongoing planned program activities, CREA team also participated in external meetings and workshops. These included:

- Workshop on ‘Perspective Building-Adolescent Girls’ Education’ in Hyderabad from 5-6 April 2016.

- Workshop organised by Street Football World and Slum Soccer in Nagpur from 18-21 April 2016.

- Meeting on “Reducing Child Marriage & Teenage Pregnancy: Evidence to Practice” organised by Young Lives India, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW).

In May 2016, CREA team also attended Women Deliver’s 4th Global Conference, from 16-19 May 2016 in Copenhagen, Denmark to talk about Sexual Rights, Gender and Diversity. CREA in collaboration with Sexual Rights Initiative, Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights, and UHAI EASHRI- the East African Sexual Health and Rights Initiative organised six concurrent sessions that examined different dimensions of SRHR. These include a comprehensive understanding of gender, gender expression, and sexual diversity to advance sexual rights, engaging with heath care systems to overcome stigma and to initiate systemic changes, discussing women's sexual and reproductive freedom in the context of forced intervention, criminalisation and other social practices to safeguard women's rights, health and well- being.

 

*List of 14 partner CBOs in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand:

Bihar: Akanksha Sewa Sadan, Nari Nidhi and Gaurav Grameen Mahila Vikas Manch

Jharkhand: Mahila Mukti SansthanSrijan Foundation, Lok Prerna Kendra, Prerna Bharati, Nav Nirman Mahila Kendra and Nurture Trust

Uttar Pradesh: Gramonnati Sansthan, Mahila Swarozgaar Samiti, Sakar, Veerangana Mahila Vikas Manch and Sadbhavna Trust, Sanat Kada

International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
International Women's Day celebration in Jharkhand
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Community based event organised by SriJan
Community based event organised by SriJan

It’s My Body

Advancing Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights of Adolescent Girls through Sports

(December, 2015 - February, 2016)

The last three months have been particularly significant for the It’s My Body programme that CREA is implementing in collaboration with 13 partner organisations across the three states of Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. In the last three months, CREA actively reached out to other networks, groups and organisations and participated in workshops, consultations and meetings for young people to strengthen the role of girls in advocacy.

CREA organised its first SELF Academy from 20 December 2015 to 4 January 2016 for 50 young girls from Jharkhand. The SELF Academy is a residential skills building and leadership development academy that uses sports, art, media and technology to help them realise their full potential. The SELF Academy held in Jamshedpur, Jharkhand included courses in computer, spoken English, football, film and media, art, community radio, theatre and comics. The idea behind using a variety of media was to not only introduce the girls to certain ‘skills’ but to also allow them to choose from various forms and languages of expression, and to eventually help them develop their own. These courses were designed with the faculty to encourage and enable the participants to think, reflect and share their thoughts and opinions about issues related to their body, well-being, desire, mobility and rights.

In the month of December, four facilitators and seven adolescent girls associated with three partner CBOs (based in Uttar Pradesh) participated in the State Level consultation organised by the YP Foundation in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. The consultation titled, Current Landscape and Opportunities for Youth-led Advocacy on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Uttar Pradesh, centered efforts and experiences of young people in the area(s) of SRHR where young people not only speak and listen to each other but also attempt to tie their work with spaces for advocacy and policy formulation.

Sandhya from Gramonnati Sansthan (CREA’s partner organisation in Mahoba, Uttar Pradesh) shared her experience of being part of the IMB programme since 2012 at the consultation. She said that she has gained the confidence and courage to ask questions. “As a girl, who comes from an SC background, I am thrilled to have received the opportunity to be here and it is all because of the confidence I have gained through the course of the programme. Girls are not given any freedom. They are always told,’kuch ho jayega’ (something might happen). I ask them what is it that they are perpetually scared of, what will happen! When I was in class 10, my father asked me to stop studying. I actively confronted him. My mother supported me.”

Young girls associated with CREA and its partner organisations in Uttar Pradesh(Sakar, Mahila Swarozgar Samiti and Gramonnati Sansthan), also spoke about different stakeholders that they had to engage and negotiate with in order to access SRHR related information and services. It was the first time that adolescent girls, associated with the programme, got an opportunity to share their experience in front of a wide range of audience that includes policy makers, government officials, civil society professionals and other youth members.

“I was drawn into the IMB programme, where girls are initiated into discussions on SRHR issues through sports (particularly football). I was excited at the possibility of learning a new game that is otherwise associated with boys.” – Tanu, Sakar, Bareily, Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking about the strategies used under the It’s My Body programme; Avantika (Facilitator, Mahila Swarozgar Samiti, Varanasi, and Uttar Pradesh) shared that:

We get the girls to play sports (in this programme). Not just any sport but especially those that are thought to be associated primarily with boys.  So, our girls don’t play kabaddi and kho kho (games associated usually with girls). They play football and cricket. And since it is a challenging programme, we work at three levels- with the girls, their families/parents, community at large and health service providers.”

In the month of January, CREA and its partner organisations, celebrated the National Girl Child Day (24th January) with great enthusiasm. 11 large scale public events were organised across the three states that were facilitated and steered by young girls who are a part of the programme. Approximately 1000 people from the community attended these events. All-girl football tournaments are organised as part of these events. These events were organised to give a platform to young girls to raise awareness in their community around issues that are related to rights of women and adolescent girls. The young girls engage in a range of issues during these events- for example, safety concerns, participation of girls in sports, education of girls, gender based discrimination, gender roles and norms and accessibility of girls to health services. These events not only aim at increasing the awareness of community members on the aforementioned issues, but also have a significant impact on the confidence level of the participating girls as they independently facilitate and organise these events in the community.

During these three months, CREA and the partner CBOs also organised 7 sports camps to strengthen the skills of adolescent girls on football. In addition to this, CREA with support from its eight partner CBOs organised 3 Leadership development camps with a cohort of 79 adolescent girls.

Sports Camps were organised to strengthen the skills of adolescent girls on football and also increase the visibility of girls playing football in the village. Approximately 280 adolescent girls participated in these sports camps. As a part of the programme, the young girls, get continuous inputs, over a period of ten months, on playing football and technicalities related to the sport. In addition to these inputs, a two day sports coaching camp is organised in collaboration with each partner organisation wherein professional football coaches (from Soccer Foundation) travel to the villages and train a selective cohort of 40 girls on football. The first day of the camp aims at providing focused technical inputs to girls around playing football. And an all-girls football tournament is organised on the second day of the camp. Participating in these camps has not only increased the confidence level of these young girls but by involving community members, it has resulted creating an enabling environment for these young girls.

“When I was in school, often I used to observe that boys used to play football. And although I wanted to run around and play football, but it was not allowed for girls to play the sports in school. But after I got in became a part of the collective, I got a chance to play football. Now I regularly attend the session meetings and play football.” – Anjali, Mission Kishori Samooh, Nari Nidhi, Muzaffarpur, Bihar.

CREA and its eight partner organisations, organised 3 Leadership Development Camps for a select cohort of 79 girl leaders from Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. These camps were organised for a selective cohort of young girls from the second batch after they completed the training on the curriculum. The five day residential camp focused on taking the young participants on a journey of self-reflection and aimed at providing a safe space to girls so that they could explore their strengths, speak about the challenges and their aspirations.

 “When I came to this camp, I didn’t know that I will get to learn so much. I also got the space to learn to talk about the pleasant-unpleasant memories of my life. Earlier I used to think that it is very difficult to achieve my dream & aspirations but after coming to this camp, I feel more confident and feel that I can fulfill my dreams.” – Karina, Damini Kishori Samooh, Lok Prerna Kendra, Chatra, Jharkhand.

“I am very happy that I got to learn new things here. People in my community always try to snub and stop us from achieving our dreams. Having recognised that, now, I don’t pay much attention to what the community members say. I made a lot of friends here.” – Sangita, Nayi Asha Kishori Samooh.

In January and February 2016, trainers and young girl’s leaders from CREA’s partner organisations in U.P, Bihar and Jharkhand further participated in external forums to share their experiences of being part of this programme.

In January 2016, four trainers and 1 young girl leader participated in the Adolescent Girls Learning Community event organised by EMpower in Mumbai on 28 January 2016.The Adolescent Girls Learning Community in Mumbai is a network of girl change makers who are working in 10 wards of Mumbai to lead change in their own communities; to prevent gender-based restrictions, discrimination and violence.  The adolescent girl leaders shared how they have conceptualised, executed and measured the impact of community interventions around the issue of Public Safety, Mobility and Restrictions. Participating in this event has been a huge learning experience for the trainers and girl leaders. CREA will work with them to see how some of the strategies and ideas can influence the ongoing work with adolescent and young girls.

In February 2016, trainers from three partner organisations along with CREA co-facilitated a session on: Working with young girls and women on sexuality at CREA’s 10th Sexuality, Gender and Rights Institute. This session was planned at the Institute to introduce the participants of the Institute to practical and strategic ways if working with young girls on Sexuality, Gender and Rights at the community level.

The last three months have been full of opportunities, learnings and exploring new ideas of work for CREA and its partner organisations.

Sports Camp organised by Nari Nidhi
Sports Camp organised by Nari Nidhi
Sports Camp organised by Nurture Trust
Sports Camp organised by Nurture Trust
Sports Camp organised by Akansha Seva Sadan
Sports Camp organised by Akansha Seva Sadan
Sports Camp organised by Gaurav Grameen Sansthan
Sports Camp organised by Gaurav Grameen Sansthan
Sports camp organised by Nari Nidhi
Sports camp organised by Nari Nidhi
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Last three months have been very exciting for the It’s My Body program, that CREA implements with its 13 community based partner organisations across the three states of Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. During these three months, CREA completed their ten-month curriculum with the second batch of adolescent girls, organised a Refresher Training program for trainers we work with and organised sports camps to strengthen the skills of adolescent girls on football. Significant updates from the program are as follows:

  • 1271 adolescent girls (12-16 years) from 9 districts of U.P, Bihar and Jharkhand completed their ten–month curriculum based training program on Gender, SRHR, Life Skills and Rights through football. This was the second batch of adolescent girls CREA and its partner organisations worked with as part of its ongoing program. These training sessions use football as a medium to build understanding among girls on issues related to bodily autonomy, choice, consent and leadership, strengthen their skill and abilities to take decisions for themselves related to their bodies, health and lives and demand for SRHR information and services. Over a period of ten months, adolescent girls from the second batch, have developed a deeper understanding on gender, gender norms, son preference and gender – based discrimination. Most of these adolescent girls have now begun to question and challenge oppressive norms and have started asserting their rights. This is especially evident as girls have started negotiating with their families on a range of issues like playing football, attending the training sessions and the kind of clothes they wear (jeans/t-shirt/shorts). Around 29% of adolescent girls have managed to negotiate with their families to continue with their education and an estimated 13% adolescent girls have managed to negotiate with their parents to delay their marriage on grounds of completing their education and becoming financially independent. In addition to this, the demand for health related services have also increased. Around 53% adolescent girls have now started demanding for Iron-folic acid tablets, 34% have started demanding for Sanitary napkins and around 14% of adolescent girls have now started demanding for other health related services like Haemoglobin testing and TT immunization.

“Now I know that it is my right to get educated and pursue studies. I want to exercise this right than follow the plans my parents have for me.”- Adolescent girl, Kiran Bedi Kishori Samooh, Gaurav Grameen Mahila Vikas Manch, Patna, Bihar.

"My parents wanted me to get married this year, but I have told them in strict terms that I want to pursue my studies and want to take up some work before I get married.”- Adolescent girl, Jyoti Kishori Manch, Nav Nirman Mahila Kendra, Madhupur, Jharkhand.

  • Training of Trainers: CREA successfully completed its refresher training with 23 trainers from its 13 partner organisations in Delhi from 5 -10 October 2015. The objective of the training was to strengthen the facilitating skills of the trainers and refresh their understanding on issues related to sexuality, gender, health and rights. Using the platform of this training, CREA drew attention of the trainers and strengthened their understanding on the intersections and linkages that exist between adolescents’ SRHR and the issue of disability and caste. CREA along with its trainers also explored ways of including these issues in our broader arena of work while working with adolescent girls. 
  • Sports Camps: In order to further harness the skills of adolescent girls on football and increase the visibility of girls playing football in the community, CREA with support from its partner CBOs organised 6 Sports Camps across Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Around 250 adolescent girls participated in these sports camps. On the last day of the camp, an all-girl football tournament is organised that is attended by the local media, community members, local health service providers and family members of the participating adolescent girls. Girls who participated in these camps expressed interest in pursuing football at a professional level. One of these camps that was organised in collaboration with Sakar (Bareily, Uttar Pradesh) was covered in the local newspaper (followed by the photograph of the news clipping).

"We like watching cricket on the TV, but are able to do so only when our brothers are away. We have not had the opportunity so far, but would like to play football. We still face many challenges due to the patriarchal practices, but being part of the group has helped us look at possibilities beyond the confines of our villages." - Kishori Samooh (adolescent girls group), Varanasi, supported by CREA and Mahila Swarozgaar Samiti.

  • Supporting field visits: During the three months, the CREA team also planned supporting field visits to 6 partner organisations in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar and supported them in co-facilitating sessions with adolescent girls and meeting with parents and health service providers. In addition to these supporting field visits, two state level review meetings were also organised with 6 partner organisations based in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. During the review meetings, the partners shared the challenges they experienced while implementing the program and they also shared about the positive changes they have observed in some of the adolescent girls, their parents and community members. During the review meeting, organised in Uttar Pradesh, CREA along with its partners also brainstormed about ways of engaging another cohort of young girl leaders and strengthening their capacity on a variety of vocational skills like videography, basic computer skills, self-defence etc. 
  • Other Highlights: In November 2015, Jyoti Bajpai, Program Coordinator, It’s My Body Program, participated in the Young people’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights: Perspectives and Strategies, a workshop organised by Sama: Resource Group for Women and Health (18 - 21 November, New Delhi) as a panellist. She shared CREA’s work under the It’s My Body program with community based organisations from Jharkhand, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Odisha. These CBOs work with the adolescent population on a variety of issues related to nutrition, health, rights and legal issues.

Sanjana Gaind from CREA participated in a training on "Creative Dialogues on Violence Prevention" organised by WISCOMP on 25 November 2015 in New Delhi. Sanjana shared CREA’s work with adolescent girls through sports as part of the session on Alternative Pedagogies, New Capacities. This session was attended by  school, college educators program and training staff of NGOs who work with young people in Delhi-NCR; and selected students of law and social sciences.

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CREA

Location: New York - USA
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Twitter: @ThinkCREA
Project Leader:
Anuradha Chatterji
New York, New York United States

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