The Project will work both rural & urban communities to improve the lives of women & children, especially of girls, using an innovative Change through Culture approach. This approach builds on community knowledge, experience, empowers communities to promote positive change for the benefit of all. Grandmothers have great influence on their families; experience & wisdom is respected; are culturally responsible for socializing adolescent girls & make lasting changes.
Many programs narrowly focus on changing the attitudes and behavior of girls, sometimes their mothers. a) girls alone cannot end harmful practices which are dictated by collectively-maintained social norms; b) sustained change to benefit girls can come about only when there is change in community-wide social norms. A report by the Interagency Working Group (2007) states that "to ensure sustained positive behaviors among adolescents, the community must support the change"
SCOEN uses a community assets approach that builds social infrastructure and strengthens the internal resilience that all communities need in order to solve problems on their own. The program will train 300 grandmother leaders who will work with 180 adolescent girls:- educate children about their history, culture; ensure they stay in school, Grandmothers are natural leaders, change makers, educate about girls' rights, well-being and work to abandon harmful traditions that hurt girls' futures
Young and adolescent girls face various constraints related to female genital mutilation (FGM), early/forced marriage, teen pregnancy and opportunities for formal schooling. This is a unique opportunity to connect two generations while seeking an indigenous solution to the challenges faced by this community. This program reaffirms the status of the grandmothers in the community and the extended family.