More power to EMpower and Girl’s Advisory Council 2019!

It was an interesting quarter for Learning Community and Yuva Manthan program as CORO’s young leader Nikita was chosen as the board member at Empower’s Girl’s Advisory Council 2019. In the selection process, the participating 14 organisations were asked to share any topic related to adolescence issues which representative from the participating organisations will be working on. CORO’s key theme was ‘Working with boys’. The participating organisations themselves had to vote for 4 top themes as their preferred choice (they weren’t allowed to vote for their own organisation). This way, Neha got a chance to present her concerns related to adolescence issues and discuss how she planned to tackle them with the help of other CORO members of Learning Community and Yuva Manthan program.

Empower had shared a template of questions with all the participating organisations and each one of them had to summarise their theme and integrate the ideas in the answers. Written below is the application summary of CORO.

Why did you choose this theme? CORO through Learning Community programme has been working with girls on various personal and social issues they are facing. But only working with girls will not bring complete solution. If we include boys also in our intervention, it would be a sustainable/long term solution. Since we find that many times it is the young boys in the community who cause nuances to the girls. So it is the need of the hour to work with boys and bring positive change in them and make them change agents in the process. Involving boys in addressing the issues in an effective way. It will also create a space for girls at home and community. Secondly, our society is dominated by patriarchy and boys carry those patriarchal norms further. As a result, girls and women increasingly become are dominated by male members in the family and made to be dependent on them. Girls’ and women’s opinions are not considered even while taking major decisions about them. They have to fall victim to the archaic social norms that impede their growth. Involving young men and boys in the intervention will create a responsibility and accountability on their part to bring the required change.

What are you planning on doing? We will work with 50-60 boys to address the social norms amongst boys which trigger GBV. The programme implementation will have various activities:

• Primary survey with boys and girls on social norms

• Workshops with boys and girls to design strategy and programmes to address social norms.

• Design and implementation of collective campaign led by young boys and girls

• Evaluation of the campaign and activities

What role with the GAC girl have? Girl’s Advisory Council representative participated in selecting the theme for this initiative. She came up with the theme after having a group discussion with other girls in the community and team in CORO. If selected, the GAC girl will lead the intervention in certain communities.

What positive changes do you expect to see by the end of the award?

For girls and boys:

• Critical mass in form of 50 to 60 youths in the selected communities (not more than five such communities )

• Improved friendly and gender equitable environment in the communities for girls

• Access to public space for girls in the communities ( I.e. Sports ground)

• Increased participation by girls in common socio-cultured programmes in the communities

For your organization? CORO facilitating a collective process called “YUVA Manthan” meaning Youth Reflection, this intervention will help us to strengthen the said collective process. Also we are looking to identify 10 to 15 young boys and girls who will emerge as leaders to take this process ahead in larger geographies. The initiative will help in youth advocacy. The group will further take the initiative in sensitizing and facilitating leadership among other youth from their network.