AAG is a comprehensive strategy to empower the vulnerable adolescent girls in the identified block through a framework of building social, health and economic assets which will enable adolescent girls to protect their human rights.
The target group of the initiative is adolescent girls from the age group 10-19 years, which focus on out of school un-married and married girls.
The initiative will focus on synergizing two large scale initiatives of Governments.
SABLA – SABLA is a central government scheme of the ministry of women and child development department for the empowerment of adolescent girls. The scheme has well defined objectives of improved health and nutrition status of adolescent girls. A strong non nutrition component aimed at enhancing the life skills, home based skills and vocational skills of adolescent girls, mainstreaming out of school into/ non formal education and improving their awareness about existing public services. Taking this as a platform, AGI will more specifically focus on strengthening the non-nutritional components of SABLA programme.
Accredited Social Health Activists (ASHA) – is a village level health worker and provide health services to the community. ASHAs will cater to married adolescent girls 15-19 to increase mean age at first conception, median age at first birth, promote spacing and care seeking behaviour for sexual and reproductive health.
Kherwara block of Udaipur district is selected for intervention as 50 % rural and 80% tribal population, around 47% population is living below poverty line. Kherwara block has 73.3% ST population against the 49.7% ST population in the district.
India has the largest population of the adolescents in the world and population in the age group of 10 -19 years constitutes around 16% of the total population. Though there have been significant improvement in the condition of the adolescents in the country but still there are several factors which limit the adolescents from achieving their full potential. Within the adolescents, girls are more vulnerable and disadvantaged.
As per the NFHS-3, 2005-06, 47.4% of women in the age group of 20-24 years were married before the age of 18 years. However among the adolescent girls, girls residing in rural areas are more vulnerable than the girls in urban areas. As per the NFHS-3, 2005-06, in rural areas, 56.2% of the women in the age group of 20-24 years in rural areas were married by age of 18 years and for urban areas same was 29%.
In order to empower the adolescent girls to overcome the existing challenges and develop model intervention for further scale-up, Action of Adolescent (AAG) initiative is designed with the support and guidance of UNFPA.
Aims of the project:
• To protect girl’s human rights through a combination of targeted interventions that delay marriage and child bearing.
• To prevent un-intended pregnancy
• To build up the health.
• To build social and economic assets among and economic assets among the most vulnerable girls.
Specific objectives of the initiative
• To enhance the skills of adolescent girls, perspective on gender and social equity.
• Enhancing opportunities for continuation of education.
• Increasing opportunities for participation and leadership among adolescent girls in the villages.
• Create, orient and support a sensitized, robust and effective network of adolescent girls.
• Forge network and effective partnership with various entities in community, government and civil society.
i. Orientation of the Project Staff: Jatan will undertake a detailed orientation or the project staff on the AAG initiative so that the project staff is equipped to deliver the programme.
ii. Development of the curriculum: The curriculum development will be undertaken by UNFPA in consultation with the Jatan. The curriculum development of each phase will be followed by the training of the peer educators, AWWs and ASHAs to equip them to reach out to the adolescent girls. In order to facilitate the training of peer educators, AWWs and ASHAs, a pool of resource persons will be also developed. For the training, curriculum will be adapted and developed from existing materials which will cover social, health/sexual &reproductive health and economic assets.
iii. Training of Master Trainers: – In order to develop a pool of resource persons to further facilitate training of Sakhi & Sahelis, AWWs and ASHAs, a pool of Master Trainers will be developed.
iv. Training of Sakhi & Sahelis, AWWs and ASHAs – Training of Sakhi & Sahelis, AWWs and ASHAs on curriculum of the various phases will be undertaken. Trainings will be conducted by the Master Trainers.
v. Review and sharing meetings of Sakhi Sahelis at Cluster level – In order to strengthen the capacities of Sakhi & Sahelis, to facilitate exchange between Sakhi & Saheli from different villages and also review their work, two day meeting will be conducted at the cluster level every month.
vi. Orientation of key Government Functionaries – In order to sensitize the key government officials about the project and to create awareness among them, one day orientation of key government functionaries will be undertaken.
vii. Building the capacities of the peer educators and other grassroots level functionaries to facilitate an experiential learning based on human rights and empowerment framework.
viii. Robust system of mentoring the peer educators and involvement of adolescent girls in Social Action projects: Mentoring system will be developed and in the two years of project implementation, mechanisms will be developed to provide certification on identified subjects related to the curriculum that would help them in their careers and further upward opportunities. Leadership skills will be enhanced through provision of opportunities in the Village level meetings and various health activities organised in the village. To facilitate the adolescent girls to take up stand on social issues /social evils, social action projects will be organised on issues like child marriages, declining sex ratio and other issues that the adolescent girls collectively identify in the community.
ix. Fortnightly and weekly meetings (The frequency will be decided in discussion with the Government and the Jatan) with unmarried adolescent girls and monthly meeting with married adolescent girls , curriculum on SRH/RH and financial literacy skills will be transacted through the platform of adolescent clubs at the Anganwadi centre in each of the villages in the identified Block. The peer educators, who are adolescent themselves, with the help of the ASHA and AWWs, under the guidance of the cluster co-coordinators of the Jatan will facilitate the sessions in the adolescent clubs.
x. IT enabled platforms will be developed for strengthening the capacity building sessions of the out of adolescent girls.
xi. Mobilising Adolescent Girls to one platform is an integral strategy under this initiative, which would facilitate the girls to undergo experiential learning with the help of the peer educators and other facilitators at the Anganwadi Centre. The Anganwadi worker, ASHA and other grass root level functionaries will regularly interact with the adolescent girls to facilitate learning and thereby empowering the adolescent girls. In order to mobilize adolescent girls, Adolescent Health Day will be organized and this will be also platform for engaging community & other identified stakeholders on one to one basis.
xii. Creating enabling environment – at the village level is a critical factor for the adolescent girls programme and this will be undertaken through an entire gamut of activities including organization of street plays. “Well-wishers of Adolescents” will be identified, who will be key stakeholders/ gatekeepers in the community and they will be part of the sensitisation process undertaken through person to person communication by the cluster coordinators of the grass root functionaries of the Governmental programs at the community level. As part of this, safe spaces for the adolescents to come together and share their experiences will be identified and designated. Institutional mechanisms of the different Governmental programs like Village health and Sanitation committee and other developmental committees will be reconfigured to ensure the participation of the adolescent girls so that their needs and aspirations can be voiced by themselves in these platforms. Exploring the development of village libraries in already existing structures at the village level will be undertaken. Adolescent health day will also provide platform to engage the community and key stakeholders.
xiii. Kishori diwas–In order to mobilize adolescent girls, Kishori diwas will be organize at the AWC level. It is also envisaged that Kishori Diwas will become a medium of health, information around wellbeing, activities and reflection. During the Kishori diwas, one to one interaction with community or identified stakeholders will be also undertaken. The kishori Diwas will also be a platform to orient and sensitise interested individuals from the community or the village who can act as senior friends for creating an enabling environment for the adolescent programming. The platform of the kishori diwas is to bring in convergence of various departments and schemes and helping the adolescent girls to access knowledge related to health and various other social development schemes. The kishori diwas will be organised at the village level.
xiv. Mobilization activities in village – In order to mobilize the villagers and also to create awareness, mobilization activities will be undertaken in the villages. Street plays will be organized in the villages for this purpose. The street plays will provide a platform for mobilising the community members and sensitising them. The script and the messaging be discussed with UNFPA and finalise the same. A detailed plan of the same should be developed and shared with the Department officials and UNFPA.
xv. Social Action Project – In order to further strengthen the capacities of adolescent girls and to improve their participation in social activities, Social Action Project will be organized at the cluster level. The social action project should address the local issues that will be linked to the adolescent girl’s empowerment.
xvi. Development of reference materials and news letter: The reference materials and newsletters will be developed by IP in discussion with UNFPA.