Lifeskill,Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India

by Center for Women's Development and Research
Vetted
Street Play on Eliminating Violence Against Women
Street Play on Eliminating Violence Against Women

Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India (14480)
Update- December  2016

 

Last three months is an important period for us, for Tamilnadu and in fact for the whole of India.  On 8th November 2016, Our Prime Minister Mr.Narendra Modi announced government of India’s policy on demonetization, ceasing the usage of all Rs.500 and Rs.1000 as legal tender in India from 9th November 2016.  The government claimed demonetization was an effort to stop counterfeiting the current banknotes allegedly used for funding terrorism, as well as a crackdown on black money and to reduce corruption.  Nearly 86% of currency used was withdrawn.  On 5th December Tamilnadu’s Chief Minister  Ms.J.Jayalalitha, fondly known as Amma died, made Tamilnadu come standstill for few days.  On 12th December Cyclone Vardha made landfall in Chennai with winds as fast as 140 kilometers, rendered thousands homeless and more than 15,000 trees were lost. For more than a week  no electricity, no telephone, no internet connections.  After Chennai floods of December  2015 people are attempting to erase the dark memories of December deluge of last year and have started fresh but after cyclone vardha families are back to square one amid black future.  People have lost their homes, jobs, all these will affect the girl children.  In economic hardships it is usually the expenses on girls will be reduced or stopped.  They may be taken out of schools, no money will be spent on their need, sometimes they may be asked to go for work. Last year after the floods our struggle was to help and motivate families to keep sending girl children to schools.  We succeed in that no girl children dropped out of schools in our working area, of course their academic achievement were reduced to low creating difficulties for them to get college admissions or scholarships.

During this period we continued our lifeskill and sexuality education activities and more importance was given of recreational activities like dance, songs, plays and games.  Nearly 600 girls from our working area of 85 slums benefitted from these activities. Even in this period of demonetization period we could able to give motivational scholarship support of Rs.1000 to 250 girls; In fact mobilized donations from the local people and friends.  Since we have been expecting the flood like situation like last year we have started distributing this scholarships during the first week of November so not much affected by the demonetization.  The 3 learning centres in Velacherry, Ezhilnagar and Sholinganallur continued providing computer skill training and organizing lifeskill and sexuality education workshops and nearly 180 girls benefitted from these workshops.  Ezhilnagar and Sholinganallur centres were affected by the Cyclone Vardha and stopped functioning, it may take few months to run it again.  During December in collaboration with MagicBus organization we have also initiated Employability skill programme for young people above 18 years, 21 girls and 4 boys are attending this programme. They will be given 3 months training and we will find placements for them.

As usual ‘Snehidhi’ adolescent girls association members were involved in the 16 days campaigns to eliminate violence against women.  The campaign started on 25th November 2016, International day to eliminate violence against women to 10th December 2016, International human rights day.  A team of 25 girls were trained in folk arts like Thappattam and street plays, during the campaign they went around slums and performed plays, dance and songs to educate the public about human rights and the importance of eliminating the violence against women. Even though several days’ programmes were cancelled because of the cyclone and rains, the girls performed in28 slums and nearly 10,000 people participated as audience and involved in the discussions after the performances.

We have also conducted regular parents meeting actually mothers meetings, to motivate them to support the girl children’s education. Even in this difficult situation many women pledged to send their girl children up to 12th standard.  We have also organized teachers meetings in our working area to discuss the ways of helping girl children during the coming board examinations.  Actually during the December itself they had half yearly examinations, even in this worst situation girl children helping their mothers and also studying gave us lot of hope to carry on work to educate and empower girl children. 

Folk Dance by girls
Folk Dance by girls
Campaign to eliminate violence against Women
Campaign to eliminate violence against Women
16 days activism training
16 days activism training
Skill training for young people, group discussion
Skill training for young people, group discussion
Selfie of Spoken English Class by Volunteers
Selfie of Spoken English Class by Volunteers

Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 Girls-India (14480)
Update- September 2016

 

During the last 3 months our focus was more on career guidance and college admissions. In our working area 105 girls passed 10th standard board examinations and are continuing their education. In 12th standard 90 girls passed their board examinations but only out of which only 18 girls could able to continue their college education.  Many of the girls could not go for college because of their low marks and poverty.  Because of low marks they could get only admission in private colleges, there the fees are very high Rs.30000-50000.   So in the coming years we are planning to focus on supplementary education support so that they can score high marks in their 12th standard examinations.  In fact, we were also educating about the different short term skill trainings that they can finish it and get employment easily, but since the training centres are slightly far away from their homes and most of them of first generation school goers somehow they want to become a university graduate.

Selfie of Spoken English Class by Loyola college students

We could able to provide full scholarship supports for 3 girls, one joined for B. Com, another B.Sc.(Bio-Chemistry) and another in B.C.A.  In addition to that we have given Rs.3000 as motivational scholarships for 10 girls who joined for degree courses. During this period, we have opened 3 recreational learning centres in city area.  In Ezhil nagar slum the slum clearance board had allotted a place for our training centre. This is a recognition for our work with flood affected people shifted to Ezhil nagar.  These 3 centres helped us to reach out to more girls.  We have been conducted weekend, life skill and sexuality education workshops for adolescent girls. In both rural and urban area 365 girls participated in these workshops.  Usually we conduct tuition classes for 10 and 12th standard girls from January to March that is 3 months before their board examination.  Since we have 3 new centres and 1 rural centre we have decided to conduct supplementary education classes on regular basis.  We have bought text books and books related to their syllabus and kept it in the centre.  Our field workers are also motivating them to use online resources to learn further. We are also continuing out school based sexuality education programme.  During this period, we have organized sexuality education programme in 2 schools nearly 300 girls and 150 boys benefited from these programmes.  In rural are we have also organized organic kitchen garden programmes for adolescent girls and motivated them to have kitchen gardens in their homes.  45 girls benefitted from this programme and created kitchen gardens in their homes.  In addition to this we have organized painting, drawing workshops, folk dance and street play workshops.  68 girls benefitted from these programmes.  We have organized spoken English classes in Mylopore centre with the help of 2 Loyola college MSW student 35 girls benefitted from this programme.

Girls meeting in Mylapore

We have also organized parent’s meetings in 32 slums and 15 villages mostly to discuss about the girl children’s education.  Most of the parents are disappointed that they could not able to send their daughters who had passed 12th standard to colleges.  Since most of these girls are 17-18 years of age, if they sit at home parents would immediately think about their marriage. In fact, the cost of the one-day wedding function would be more than that of the three-year degree course fees. So We are trying to educate parents about this and the importance marrying the girls at 21 years or after that. We have also provided information about the government schemes and scholarships provided by government and other organizations.  We are also exploring ways of creating a saving scheme or some finance scheme particularly support girl children’s higher education. 

Girls meeting in Mylapore
Girls meeting in Mylapore
Painting Workshop
Painting Workshop
Girls after the inauguration of Velacherry centre
Girls after the inauguration of Velacherry centre
Maheswari now doing her B.Sc Computer science
Maheswari now doing her B.Sc Computer science

Centre for Women’s Development and Research
Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India (14480)
Update- June 2016

 Last 5 months is an important period for us, our working areas were affected by the disastrous rain and floods during November –December 2015, so we could not continue our usual activities and mostly involved in flood relief and rehabilitation activities.  Comparing to our target slums the villages are not affected much. Still schools were closed for more than a month during November-December, our staff members could not travel to the working areas. All these affected our Life skill and Sexuality Education programme.  We were busy addressing the needs of adolescent girls affected by the floods and provided learning materials liked notebooks, pen and pencil and also dresses and sanitary napkins to both rural and urban area girls.  Snehihi-Adolescent girl association members also played an active role in in relief and rehabilitation activities.  They conducted village and slum level surveys to find out the needs of affected people and also organized the distribution of relief materials. After the floods school final examination started and schools were functioning overtime including Saturdays to complete the syllabus.  It is only after the State Elections during May people are back to normal and we also could able to implement the programmes as usual.

We could not able to organize tuition classes before the final examinations that is January to March.  Usually we organized this in collaboration with the school teachers and the tuition classes were conducted in the school premises. So our staff members organized tuition classes for 10th and 12th standard classes in the villages. 42 girls benefitted from this programme. We have  also organised 2 training programme for girls those who attend the public exam about pre preparation of mind, reduce fear and how to get more marks, manage the time, yoga and meditation.  58 girls participated in this programme.  In the rural area 30 girls appeared for the 10th standard examinations and 25 girls passed and Ms.Ravinadevi scored 451/500, and 33 girls appeared for 12th standard examinations 30 girls passed. In the urban area’ out of the 86 girls who appeared for the 10th standard board examinations; 80 were passed and continuing their education.  In the 12th standard board examinations 65 girls appeared and 60 girls passed.

But the floods and school holidays for over a month during that time reflected in their marks, most of them just passed scoring 40-50%, so it is very difficult for them to get college admissions, particularly in government colleges where the fees is low.  We are looking for ways to help these girls continue their education up to graduate level.

We have organized weekend life-skill and sexuality education for adolescent girls, 145 girls from rural area 380 girls from urban slums benefitted from this programme. We have organized sexuality education training for boys, we have organized 4 weekend trainings and 148 adolescent boys participated in these trainings. They learned about gender, sex, sexuality and violence against women and men.   In addition to that we have also organized 3 days life skill and sexuality education programme during school holidays, 67 girls participated in these programmes.  We have also conducted life skill and sexuality education in the schools, nearly 400 girls and 200 boys benefitted from this programme.  During schools holidays we have also organized two street play and folk arts trainings, one in rural area and one in urban area.  48 girls participated in these programme.  They performed street plays and folk dance in the villages and slums educating public about the importance of girl children’s rights particularly girl children’s education and requested parents to enrol children in schools.

Employability skill training for adolescent girls: We have organized two five weekends training on employability skills. More than 100 girls those who are studying 10th -12th and college going girls were benefited from this programme. They learned communication and leadership skills and improved their confidence. As part of the programme we have also provided career guidance to the girls.    

Maheswari (18) is a very active leader in Snehidhi adolescent girls group. Her mother is a single women. She has one elder sister and a younger sister. She is living in Kadapakkam village , In higher secondary , she scored 848 marks and was  good and intested in mathamatics. In her community girls are not allowed for higher education. After finishing 10th, her mother  planned to stop her education because of their poverty and being a single women she is more concerned about her daughters marriage Our staff members and Snehidhi leaders approached Maheswari’s mother motivated her mother to allow Maheswari continue her educaiton. We have also provided Rs.1000 per year as support and motivation to continue her education. Now she has joined for B.Sc computer science in Govindasamy Governemnt College in Tindivanam.  That is quiet far, she travel 3 hours up and down by bus.   We are providing a monthly stipend of Rs.500 per month as a motivation for her to continue her education. 

 

Maheswari

Life skill & Sexuality Education in Government School

Gender training for boys

Sexuality Education in Government school
Sexuality Education in Government school
Gender training for boys
Gender training for boys
Flood relief materials distributed for rural girls
Flood relief materials distributed for rural girls
Ms.Chevanthi, Who joined for B.Com course
Ms.Chevanthi, Who joined for B.Com course

Centre for Women’s Development and Research

Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India (14480)

Update- November 2015

Last 6 months is an important period for us. The 10th and 12th standard board examinations results were announced and all the girls who attended our supplementary classed passed the exam.  We were busy in helping them finding college admissions or skill training programmes.  We were also continuing our life skill and sexuality programme during holidays and weekends.

48 girls have passed their 10th examinations and 34 girls passed their 12th standard examinations in our rural area.  For the first time 11 girls started going to college.  This is huge step forward for them and for us.  The work we have been doing with the adolescent girls and their parents started paying results.   The major problem  we faced was all the girls have scored below 1000 for 1200 marks, it created some hardships to get admission in government colleges where the annual fees is less than Rupees 10,000.  Since they got admission in private colleges they have to pay the fees of Rs.30000-45000 it is a huge amount for them. Usually parent spend money on girls only for wedding dowry. Somehow 11 girls could able to pay their first years fees with their family savings or loans, in the coming years it was difficult for them.  We could able to get support to pay full fees for 3 girls out of that 2 girls joined for B.Com course and 1 in Pharmacy course.  For rest of the girls we are providing a stipend of Rs.500 per month for their travel and other expenses.  We are also exploring the possibilities of getting bank loans so that they can pay their fees in the coming years.  Another thing we want to do is strengthening our supplementary education programme and help the girls score more marks in the 12th grade examinations. We are really happy parents are willing to invest on girl children’s education.

We are also continuing our computer skill training programmes  and 85 girls benefitted from this.  Still we do not have broadband connections in the village so we could not use it fully.  Recently our chief minister announced that the state government will provide free internet though the government cable network.  If that happened that would help the girls.  They can learn both academic subject and general knowledge.

When we right this report the Snehidhi adolescent girls association members are involved in 16days activism to eliminate violence against women.  We have organized one week training programme on street play, fold dance and songs. They developed their own script on women’s rights and violence against women.  22 girls participated in that training.  They have been organizing cultural programmes in the villages and slums to educate the public about women’s rights and violence against women.

We have organized several parents meeting particularly women’s meetings.  In addition to that our field staff also met parents of 12th grade passed girls individually to motivate them to send their children to colleges.  Earlier they usually will not send their daughters to college saying that the colleges are far away.  Now they are sending even to distant places and the girls stay in the hostel.  Most of the girls go to Pondicherry and Tindivanam and travel 2 hours up and down to go to colleges.  Parents particularly mother support their daughters education it is a huge shift and this gives us lot of hope and confidence to continue our work with girls and mothers.

 

 

Case Study

Ms.Chevanthi, 1st Year B.Com

Chevanthi is 18 years old and this year joined for 1st year B.Com course.  She has been a Snehidhi member for the last 6 years.  Her father and mother both are agricultural workers.  During dry season her father goes to nearby city or town and work in construction; So their income is not steady,    She has a brother studying in 10th standard.  She is calm person and good student.  She has been attending all our trainings like life skill  sexuality education and leadership skills.  She is also an active participant in our dance and song trainings.  She says that only helped her to build her confidence and now goes to college.   She shared how she could able to handle the ragging during the initial days in the college.   There is no need to say that she is the first graduate student from family.  In India only 10% of students goes to college, in that only 3-4% of girls only go to college and most of them are from the cities.  She joined for B.Com(Bachlor or commerce) in Rajeswari College, Bommayapalayam,  Pondicherry, that is 45 kilometers away from her village.  She travels by bus every day to go to college.   This year onwards we are providing Rs.500 per month for her college studies.  She has to spend Rs.25000 to 30000 every year; it is really difficult for them. 1st year they could able get loans and spent all their savings for her college studies.   She has been looking for scholarships we are also helping in this regard.  We are really happy to see a Snehidhi member going to college.  This would change her and her family’s life in a big way.

Photos:

Scholarship Cheque is given to Ms.Divya, Her mother is a single woman

Lifeskill session

Scholarship Cheque is given to Ms.Divya, Her mothe
Scholarship Cheque is given to Ms.Divya, Her mothe
Lifeskill session
Lifeskill session
Study Smart Workshop
Study Smart Workshop

 

Centre for Women’s Development and Research

Life Skill and Sexuality Education for 1000 girls-India (14480)

Update-May 2015

Last 3 months our focus was more on supplementary education support for 10th and 12th standard girl students.  It was board examination time for 10th and 12th standard students and final examinations for other students; mostly we were involved in supplementary educations like tuition classes and also organizing workshops to build their confidence to face examinations.  This year we have organized tuition classes in the schools itself that helped us to reach out to more girls. Snehidhi-Adolescent girls group members also organized International women’s day in the villages and slums and educated public about women’s and girls’ children’s rights.

Life skill Sexuality and supplementary Education:  We have organized tuition classed during weekends in 3 schools and nearly 280 girls benefitted from this programme.   The schools teachers also involved in this programme, it is also easy for the girls to  attend these classes because it is organized in their schools.  So in the coming years we wish to continue this programme from the beginning of the academic year particularly for English, Science and Mathematics subjects.  We have also organized 3 study smart workshops to build the confidence of the girls to face the board examinations, 116 girls participated in these workshops. From the coming year onwards we are going to initiate G2G-Girls to Graduates programme that is to support higher secondary class passed girls to continue their university graduation. In this regard we had organized parents meeting and also Snehidhi adolescent girls’ association meetings, to explain the programme and also to identify the potential girl students. By April 10th both 12th and 10th standard board examinations were over, after that we had organized folk arts training programmes and career guidance programme for girls.  65 girls participated in these programmes.   In addition to the supplementary education classes we were also continuing our life skill and sexuality education programme, 98 girls benefitted from this programme. We have also organized a cancer awareness programme for girls and mothers in Chennai city, this programme was organized in collaboration with Loyola colleges social work students and Pink foundation Chennai.  Since there are only 2 computers in the village and 2 in the slum area only 36 girls learned computer skills.  We have also used DVDs in the supplementary education programme for high school girls.

We are renovating our training centre in Panaiyur village that is changing the thatch roof to concrete roof.  This would help us to extend our activities further like we can add more computers, can have residential programmes for small group of girls.   In general it is an important period for us, we have made preparatory work for the G2G programme that will be launched once the Higher secondary and high school board examinations come out.  We are happy that all most all the girls in our working area are continuing their education, earlier they discontinue once they reach puberty or when they fail in a class or after 10th standard because there is no higher secondary  schools or college nearby.  Now parents are willing to send their girl children to distant places and continue their education by staying in hostels.

Tuition Class in School
Tuition Class in School
Women
Women's Day Cultural Programme
 

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Organization Information

Center for Women's Development and Research

Location: Chennai, Tamil Nadu - India
Website: http:/​/​www.cwdr.org
Project Leader:
K. R. Renuka
Director, C.W.D.R
Chennai, Tamilnadu India

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