Women’s Education Project provides NGO partners in India our Leadership Academy, a curriculum for marginalized women (ages 15-24) to attain the skills and self-confidence to become leaders, earners and changemakers. Our Women’s Collaboration Lab, a training and resource center, supports the partners, and ensures the Academies remain grassroots and responsive to student need.
An objective of our 2022-2024 Strategic Plan is to update and refine the Certificates of the Leadership Academy. Recently, we piloted our fourth Certificate, the Ripple Effect, with three partners and 30 students.
The Leadership Academy Center, aside from courses, is a space to study and hangout. Gathering over tea in the Academy’s center, students would tell stories of convincing their neighbor to halt their 15 year old daughter’s marriage and enroll her back in school; of asking their parents to decline the loan shark’s offer; and of teaching their mother to grow a kitchen garden, which now was full of fresh tomatoes. From these stories, we knew that our students were changemakers.
During the pandemic, students told Academy Directors that their challenges were increasingly complicated, for instance the unstaffed clinic in their village and the open sewage canal were no longer annoyances, but serious health risks to their community and they asked for help to write petitions to government officials. Knowing the courage and skill required to engage in these activities, we saw the need for a comprehensive training program for our students to safely and effectively make change in their own lives, families and communities.
To design the Ripple Effect Certificate, WEP hired a curriculum developer from Chennai to pilot the program for three-months with 30 students. The Developer formed arts-based activities in which the students learned how to make positive change, develop projects (of any size), and after guidance from local traditional storytellers, tell their own stories. At the conclusion of the storytelling sessions, students planted small trees, signifying growth and change.
WEP PROGRAM 2022 SNAPSHOT
Women’s Education Project provides NGO partners in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan our Leadership Academy - a program for young women ages 15-24 to become leaders, earners and changemakers.
At these partnerships, the Leadership Academy offers students:
Leadership Academy, Madurai, TN (Partner: AIRD)
Enrolled: 96 students, 50 enrolled in Academy sessions
Leadership Academy, Ramanathapuram, TN (Partner AIRD)
Enrolled: 25 students, 20 enrolled in Academy sessions
Leadership Academy, Hyderabad, TE(Partner CWS)
Enrolled: 72 students
Leadership Academy, Kadapa, AP(Partner, Aarti Home)
Enrolled: 4 Batches 100 students
Leadership Academy, Bap, RJ (Partner, WomenServe)
Enrolled: 2 Batches 50 students
WEP, through its Women's Collaboration Lab in Hyderabad, is developing a storytelling focused reporting system. Among other essential data, WEP seeks to gather staff and student stories which can help us to illustrate and quantify how the Academy and Lab upholds our core values (1. solutions come from the community itself and 2. young women thrive in safe supportive spaces with their peers). Directors and students will upload written stories, videos and photo essays which will provide a feedback loop to inform WEP on our successes and challenges.
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