Skip to main content

#YouthLedAction for Positive Change

Agency of youth is being developed as a key strategy for promoting value of education and rights of children. Adolescents are being trained on communication and advocacy for social change and equitable access to services for education, health, nutrition, sanitation and protection. Youth meets reaching out to 800-1000 adolescents are being organised at block level as platforms for strengthening their voice.  
View on Youtube

Two day Youth Meets were organized in altogeher 4 blocks of Malda and Purulia in Juky. Adolescents who are members of various flagship programmes like Kanyashree Bahini, Child Caninets, RKSK peer educators, SABLA, Meena Manch participated. Each day saw gathering of 500+children who used music, dance, art and theatre to talk on child marriage, importance of completing school education, balanced diet, peace and amity.   

200+ children have been trained on effective communication through art and theatre to strengthen  peer communication and mobilization skills for leading advocacy for their rights. Theatre based activities were used to improve their imagination, body language and negotiation skills. 

The young ones prepared skits, posters, slogans and jingles to communicate with their peers. They also presented group songs, dance, recitations and skits. They also took up evidence building and reporting to capture the indicators for monitoring progress and capture positive change stories on adolescent issues.

The design of the Youth Meet was edutainment based. There were stall based activities, interactive sessions on improving self efficacy, cultural programs, art work and installations. The trained adolescents managed the stalls on a variety of relevant themes like education, health, protection and moral values. They also conducted interactive games, quiz session to assess the knowledge of the young visitor.

Activities like the talking doll and magic shows were fun for them while also raising social issues like health, sanitation, education, child marriage etc. Fusion rock, folk music, traditional dances and songs was part of the cultural programs.   The cultural programmes were designed to be interactive and participative.

Adolescents participating in the Youth Meet brought their thoughts, expressions, aspirations to light through their notes, mural paintings, and debates.  Those who participated in the capacity building workshops created a Whatsapp group among themselves to keep in touch and share their learning with their other peers. They have also expressed their interest in organising more programs in future to the officials of district administration. According to them the workshops and meets helped them break away from preconceived notions and social conditioning on issues like gender disparity. They felt happy about using art and theatre in understanding and articulating their own aspirations for building a safer and happier environment for themselves.

The young people have started taking action on ground. They have prevented child marriage and motivated  dropout children and their parents for their readmission. Media has been supportive of their initiative and has covered their actions as a means of inspiring more adolescents to join hands. 

The adolescent groups have been linked with the social media run by the district Social and Behaviour Change Communication Cell to keep themselves abreast of the different activities in their district. The youth meet provided them a platform where they gained knowledge. It helped them to differentiate between certain myths and misconceptions regarding health, education, gender equality and social norms. They are also very happy to pass on their learning among others. They have said that the whole process has boost up their confidence and self efficacy. They have gained a sense of responsibility and accountability for assessing the benefits of various government schemes and entitlements.   


Popular posts from this blog

Entrepreneurship as a Social Movement: Real Life Success Stories

In January 2018, we launched a long-term initiative to give a concerted push to entrepreneurship, including innovative ones, by sharing our knowledge and experience acquired over 17 years as a social enterprise. To begin with, we invited eminent thought leaders and industry experts who shared their experiences with our home-grown young, aspiring entrepreneurs. This ‘International Seminar on Entrepreneurship as a Social Movement: Creating Cultural, Social and Economic Value’ was organized on 5 and 6 January in Kolkata, in partnership with the British Council and the Essex Business School, University of Essex, U.K.The narratives at the conclave veered from personal journeys of Indian entrepreneurs to stories from countries as far as Argentina. The deliberations focused on how skills and innovation, supported by a pragmatic and sensitive socio-economic eco-system, can usher in holistic changes in the development paradigm.At the seminar, we also showcased real life success stories of creat…

Swayangsiddha: Rallying youths to stop human trafficking & child marriage

In an era of fast forgotten news, the headline flew past in a flicker indeed, but it did leave behind a rare trail of courage and inspiration for thousands of girls, if not more, in West Bengal! Meena, a teenager from a non-descript village in the district of South 24 Parganas, was tricked and abducted by a woman she knew through one of her classmates and neighbour. Only days before, Meena, a Class 10 student, was lucky to have attended a session of Swayangsiddha – the awareness drive underway against human trafficking organized by the district police chief at her school. Memories came rushing back and she understood that she would be sold to ‘customers’ waiting in cities like New Delhi or Mumbai, if not any other faraway land. But Meena decided not to give in and realized that keeping her cool was the topmost priority at the moment. As her abductor and her associates tried to figure out her reaction and response at the shelter where she was kept at in Baruipur, a bustling town in he…

West Bengal to Washington: Connecting Young Hearts & Minds

Understanding and sharing are the fundamentals for any stable, caring relationship. It holds true even for communities having different mindsets, cultural moorings and socio-economic profiles. An interesting experiment in this context came to an end recently. It involved youths from the United States and the state of West Bengal in India. The participants had diverse backgrounds, varied interests and different aspirations. While some came from marginalized rural families, some had modest to well-to-do backgrounds, often with an upbringing in urban milieus. But, in spite of all their differences, they came together to share stories about their likes, dislikes, passion, profession, roots, aspirations and perceptions, and ended up as more humane and sensitive souls, if not friends!
The aim of the Communities Connecting Heritage (CCH) program was to promote cultural diversity and boost cultural sustainability through cultural exchange. It was supported by the U.S. Department of State and a…