COVID19 has had a multi-dimensional impact on adolescents and young people’s lives, especially girls and gender-nonconforming youth. As per a UNESCO report, over 11 million adolescent girls across the globe may not return to school ever due to disruptions in education. This significant dropout rate is likely to exacerbate their risk to early and forced child marriage, sexual exploitation and unplanned pregnancies. A shift to online medium for education and recreational purposes has further put the girls and young women especially in a low internet and no-technology environment at severe disadvantage. Lack of trauma-informed informal settings where adolescents can have access to rights-based information on sexuality and rights has been another roadblock.
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. According to a report by Women Deliver and Girl Effect, when young people, especially adolescent girls and young women, are equipped with the knowledge to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), and when barriers to accessing health services are addressed, they are more likely to fulfil their potential, finish their education, and find economically empowering jobs.
Founded by Ravi Sonnad in 2009, Pragatee Foundation - Enabling Leadership (EL) has a mission to provide life skills to adolescents from under-resourced communities through innovative and creative programs. EL’s football for development program is called Just For Kicks (JFK). It works in government and low income schools to develop leadership skills among children through the medium of football. Through 48 sessions in a year spread over a minimum cycle of 3 years, each adolescent grows through a progressive curriculum during which the children hone their belief systems, their problem solving ability, and develop a keen sense of awareness.
EMpower's third grant to Pragatee Foundation (Enabling Leadership) will support 9000 adolescents (10-14; 50% girls, 50% boys) by integrating gender and mental health within curricula across all its programming. Separately, it will directly support 160 young girls (10-14) in Pune by providing them with in-school training via the ‘leadership through football’ programme. As a consequence, they will be equipped with a keen sense of awareness of self and others as well as awareness of strengths, limitations, and interests. This will be complemented by inputs on digital literacy as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights for young people. It will also support with strengthening organizational competencies to (1) embed a holistic DEI approach, (2) establish a youth advisory council, and (3) strengthen safeguarding policies and implementation.
Primary Location: Pune (Maharashtra)
Funded Since: 2019
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