UNICEF India states that the three most pressing gender-based deprivations for Indian girls and boys are: (i) Ability to postpone age at marriage (ii) Violence and the fear of violence, especially in preventing girls’ ability to access services and (iii) Knowledge, skills and networks to imagine, aspire and prepare for an adulthood that is different from their parents’. In addition to social and cultural norms that disempower young people - especially girls and young women - the physical environment too plays a debilitating role in restricting their agency. Urban slums in cities like Mumbai, typically lack proper sanitation, safe drinking water, and systematic garbage collection. There is usually a severe shortage of space inside the houses where young people live, and no public spaces dedicated to their use. They have little or no exposure to the topics of their relevance like – puberty, career guidance, mental health, legal frameworks, etc. Most of them are first generation learners while both their parents are full time daily wage earners (plumbers, electricians, carpenter, drivers, domestic help) with an average income of $70 - $130 per month per household with an average size of six members.
In India’s complex and diverse scenario, life skills have inherent attributes to elicit empowerment and active participation from children and adolescents, helping them recognize their power and potential and take positive action to promote social inclusion, harmony and promote equal opportunities for all. Research indicates a positive correlation between life skills and increased attendance levels, enhanced classroom behaviour and improved academic achievement.
OSCAR Foundation was started in 2006 by Ashok Rathod who felt the need to address some of the problems that his peers were facing in the South Mumbai slum of Ambedkar Nagar in Cuffe-Parade. Some of the social problems faced by the community are school drop-outs, child labour, child marriage, drug abuse and minor criminal activities. As a response to these social problems, OSCAR established regular football trainings for children and youth and through the medium of sport with an objective to develop life skills and reduce school drop-outs.
EMpower's third grant to OSCAR Foundation will directly support 4000+ youth (10-24; 45% girls, 55% boys) by adapting and integrating the existing curricula with components of gender programming and inclusion. It will also directly support 130 young people (10-24; 95% girls, 5% boys) in Mumbai by providing them with integrated life-skills training on AYSRHR, mental health, and safeguarding through the medium of football. As a consequence, young people will become self-aware, be empowered to respond to adverse life experiences, and develop a gender sensitive outlook. This will be enabled by strengthening the capacities of its team to better respond to the emergent needs of young people it works with.
Primary Location: Mumbai
Funded Since: 2019
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