Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls

by Sukarya
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls
Empowering and Protecting Slum Girls

Shaista, 19, lives in a slum with her conservative family of 8. She has been a change agent in her community and is often called “period wali didi.” When Sukarya launched a Gender Equality program in her slum a couple of years ago, it took a lot of convincing before Shaista’s conservative parents finally agreed to let the shy young girl join. Within weeks, the girl’s entire outlook changed, and the demure young woman became a passionate advocate for change. Today, her role as a Corona warrior, hygiene promoter, menstrual hygiene worker, and other social work is recognized across the community. Shaista’s story is an example of how with the right amount of persuasion, the traditional centuries-old mindset can be broken.

Sukarya’s Gender Equality Program is designed for underprivileged adolescent girls to help them realize their potential and rights through education and guidance. With a customized curriculum that addresses adolescent sexual health, menstrual hygiene, nutrition, basic rights, family life skills, and gender knowledge, the program helps them understand gender discrimination and social stigma in their lives. The training instills confidence and leadership skills to fight the economic and social inequalities they face almost daily. This, in turn, helps them inspire other young girls to break free from the shackles of an unfair system and be the change.

Currently, the project operates in 5 slum areas of Delhi and two schools with 3500 adolescent girls.

Summary of the Project Report (June-August, 2022)

The total number of communities intervention -  5

Total number of parents orientations in the communities - 1

The total number of parents who participated in  parents orientation in the communities - 31

Total number of batch formations in the communities - 6

Total number of training conducted in communities - 21

Total number of girls who attended the training (total participant figure) across the community - 1000

Total number of lead girls identified and developed in Communities - 10

Total number of training conducted with lead girls in the community - 3

Total number of schools intervening - 2

Total number of batch formations in the schools - 7

Total number of training conducted in schools - 14

Total number of girls who attended the training (total participant figure) in schools - 660

Total number of lead girls identified and developed in Schools - 10

Total number of training conducted with lead girls - 3

 

 

 

 

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She belonged to Assam but the struggle of her and her family brought her to the Jai Hind camp of Delhi which lacked in basic aemenities on every aspects of life, be it social, economic, healthhygiene or education. The residents of the camp, even today, struggle for daily livelihood and basic needs such as shelter, healthy food, drinking water, medicine, education, and other life essentials. Child marriage has been very common in the community especially for girl child getting married in their early teens.

During a field visit, Anjuma was spotted by the Sukarya team, while she was roaming with her friend in the community. When the team convinced her to be part of the gender equality training program she was initially nonresponsive and hesitant to join and said that she had lots of work at home and looked after her younger siblings. She also shared that her mother was the only member of my family earning a livelihood by working as a housemaid. She hd lost her father many years ago. After multiple meetings and counseling with her mother, she finally joined the training program. 

On the first day of training, she unwillingly came to take part in the training and in one of the sessions, she shared that she wanted to make a career in acting and dancing but she was not very optimistic due to the prevailing condition of life and trend of the slum community she was living in. She thought that the children had no future as the girl-child marriage was very common and the program won't be able to bring any change. The trainer could observe the frustration and dissatisfaction in Anjuma. 

The trainer met her separately after the session and discussed everything in detail about her life, and motivated her to participate and pursue her goals in life. The next session the trainer guided her on time management and suggested watching some motivational videos which she did and shared her feedback in her group.

After three months of journey with Sukarya, once the hesitant Anjum has become a Lead Girl of the training program who motivates other girls in the community to take part in the training program. She is also very focused on stopping child marriage in her community. At the same time, she is also preparing and planning to perform on stage while working hard on her studiesThe way she is progressing, it won’t be too long to see her as a successful leader.

                                  February –April 2022 

 

This quarter the project has completed the preparatory works to begin the new academic calendar [Project cycle] and achieved the following tasks:

 Identification of community locations 

 Situational analysis 

 Meeting with community stakeholders 

 Parent’s orientation sessions 

 Enrollment of girls into the program 

 Making of the batches across the community 

 Rolling out of training for girls 

 Meeting with Schools authorities to seek permission to begin training in the schools 

Key Satistics:

Number of community locations identified - 5

Number of Community’s Situational Analysis done - 5

Number of meetings organized with community stakeholders - 5

Number of Parent’s orientation sessions conducted  - 

Number of Girls enrolled in the program - 250

Number of batches made in the community - 

Number of training conducted for girls - 10

Number of Lead Girls identified and developed - 10

Number of exclusive training conducted for Lead Girls - 1 

Number of meetings conducted with School authorities - 

 

 

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Nisha, The Hero
Nisha, The Hero

 

                                                              NISHA, THE HERO OF MAHIPALPUR

“Earlier, whenever I needed to go outside home, I used to take my younger brother along. There was a fear about eve-teasing and safety. But now, I am aware of POCSO Act which instilled confidence in me to deal with any adverse situations. I have memorized the child and women helpline numbers to safeguard ourselves”. – Nisha, the graduate of Sukarya’s 2021 Gender Equality Program.

Nisha, 15, the resident of Mahipalpur Urban Slums in Delhi, became a hero for the entire slum community when she rescued one of her friends from being sexually abused by a vegetable street vendor living nearby. The victim was too scared to speak about the sexual advances made by the man to her parents but shared it with Nisha. Nisha immediately talked to her mother, and they called the helpline #1098, and the police arrested the accused. This episode made Nisha more confident and a strong advocate for gender rights and equality.          

Nisha aspires to study and acquire vocational skills to ensure economic support to the family. Initially, Nisha’s father resisted her enrolment into Sukarya’s adolescent program, saying that it was against their culture to promote and equate girls with boys and provide freedom to them. Today, he feels proud of his daughter. 

                                                                            QUARTERLY PROGRESS REPORT

The total number of adolescent girls enrolled in the program- 400 (in 8 batches)

The total number of training conducted- 48

Number of sessions (training) conducted on Adolescent health, Menstrual Hygiene, Reproductive & Sexual Health, Family Life Education, Gender Rights, Safety & Coping Skills - 8

Number of Lead girls developed & trained- 16

Number of exclusive training conducted for lead girls on Leadership and Gender- 3

Current status and future course of action - The strategy planning and preparatory work are underway for the new session. The fresh batches and enrollment of girls will be done for recent locations, and training sessions will begin for the new calendar year. 

The latest batch of Gender Equality program
The latest batch of Gender Equality program

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“I always knew I would never stand up to injustice or atrocities committed on women particularly. But now I know how to win my battles and what to do to make a difference. The training at Sukarya and all our conversations on gender, empowerment, equity, and justice have made me stronger because I can now confidently step out in the world and protect myself from the exploitation of any kind.” - Priya, one of the Lead Girls of Sukarya’s Gender Equality program.

 

Mid-June to Mid-September 2021

In spite of COVID challenges and uncertainties, the project has been successfully achieved the set target. It has all been possible with a great deal of planning, innovative strategies, and a strong dedication from the team. The activities were executed with adherence to strict COVID safety protocols and standard guidelines as set by the government authorities and Sukarya.

Digitalization has become crucial and we have learned that the use of technology can help to a great extent under dire circumstances. Technology and digital health interventions have already proven to be "connectors". Community members have adopted them too, given access to smartphones, and improved internet connectivity. This has helped Sukarya introduce COVID appropriate strategies to ensure continuity and up-gradation of services with respect to adolescent empowerment, and capacity building of youth leaders along with other grassroots functionaries, and staff members.

Key deliverables 

  • 400 girls were enrolled in 8 batches for the program
  • 48 module-based sessions of training conducted based on 6 themes ( Adolescent health, reproductive & sexual health, menstrual hygiene, Family life education, Gender, and coping mechanisms/safety measures .)
  • 16 new “ Lead Girls “ were identified to be coached as change agents.
  • 3 exclusive sessions of training were conducted for the” Lead Girls “ on Gender and Leadership.

In addition, the project has continuously sensitized the community about the adherence to COVID appropriate behavior. Also, the field team and active lead girls have made tremendous efforts in mobilizing the people in their communities for COVID vaccinations. Due to myths, fear, and misinformation, many in the communities have resistance to get vaccinations. But due to these efforts, we have seen a substantial increase in the vaccinations percentage in the slum communities.

We have also incorporated the COVID safety measures input sessions in all the training schedules. The sessions on COVID have also been conducted with the parents' group.

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TULIKA, THE YOUNG CHANGE-MAKER

Tulika, 14, lives in the Arjun Camp slums in Delhi with her parents. Her father is daily wage labor, and her mother is a household worker. As one of the lead girls of Sukarya’s Adolescent Girls Empowerment and Leadership Program (AGELP), she wants to change many cultural misconceptions around periods, which, according to her, dictates the way women and girls are treated. When girls are [on their] periods, they face different problems,” she says. “Girls aren’t allowed in the kitchen. They are not allowed to touch any fruit or plants.”

In the slums, young women have extraordinarily little knowledge about periods. She, herself, didn't know anything about the use of sanitary towels. Many believe women should not cook or go into the town or city center while menstruating. Not being allowed to step into a kitchen means many do not eat properly. Instead, they sleep alone, often outside, until they finished bleeding. There are inadequate bathroom facilities, and many resorts to unhygienic methods to manage their monthly cycle. 

Tulika has already started doing counseling with her friends about the importance of Menstrual Hygiene. She is thankful to Sukarya for empowering her to challenge these barriers by distributing sanitary wear and primary sexual education. She said women often suffer during their periods, but she wants to help them feel free. She also aspires to help Sukarya’s health education program that aims to challenge negative attitudes around menstruProgress Report: February 2021 to Mid May 2021

Between February to May 2021, a total of 800 adolescent girls has been inducted into the program, out of which 400 have been completed the 3 months module-based training on 6 specified topics [ 1. Adolescent Health, 2. Menstrual Hygiene 3. Reproductive Health,4. Family Life Education 5.Gender and gender-based discrimination issues 6. Social Threats, issues, challenges, and coping mechanism. ].

And rest 400 girls are continuing their training sessions this quarter.  

Currently, 32 “ Lead Girls” are being trained and developed into the program. In addition, an exclusive 4 pieces of training were organized on Gender, roles and responsibilities, leadership skills, and personality development aspects.

Due to the 2nd wave of deadly covid 19 pandemic from the last week of April 2021, the project has switched over its training sessions into virtual sessions. Despite numerous challenges in execution and huge health and livelihood crises across the project locations, the project team has effectively conducted all the scheduled activities. The community members and parents of girls are extending their full support and help in the execution of activities. They are also showing their gratitude for this meaningful, life-changing intervention for adolescent girls.     

No. of slum locations intervened  - 16        

No. of batches made - 16

No. of girls registered - 800

No. of Orientation Sessions conducted with parents - 16

No. of Training conducted in this quarter - 48

No. of Lead Girls Trained & Developed - 32

No. of training conducted for Lead Girl - 32

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Organization Information

Sukarya

Location: Gurgaon, Haryana - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @sukaryango
Project Leader:
Shipra Shukla
Gurgaon, India
$38,609 raised of $48,000 goal
 
382 donations
$9,391 to go
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