Young people, especially girls and youth from underprivilege communities, lack crucial health and well-being information and related life skills that restrict them to make decisions related to their lives. A lack of information as well as age-appropriate services prevents girls from staying safe and healthy and reaching their full potential. Child sexual abuse is an unaccepted reality. Children aren't able to speak up, and parents aren't willing or do not know how to stand up against it. 53.2 % of children in India have experienced one or more forms of sexual abuse (Source: Ministry of Women and Child Development study, 2017). The findings of COVID In Her Voice research show that the pandemic has intensified the gender-based discrimination. 80% girls reported that the household work continues to be their responsibility despite everyone being home during the lockdown, leaving them with no time and space to continue their study. Other findings show a decrease in girls' mobility (49% girls reported) and an increase in GBV (26% reported an increase). Additionally, stigma and taboo attached to menstruation and preference for male child adds to reducing their value in their families. There is a huge need to address the stigma and taboo attached with menstruation and for that, strong female role models in communities are required.
After working in the development sector for seven years, Akshai Abraham founded Project Khel in 2012, intending to create joyful learning experiences by leveraging the principles of ‘safe spaces’ and ‘gender sensitivity’ for the holistic development of adolescents.
Project Khel runs two programs in Uttar Pradesh in collaboration with low-income schools, community centres, shelters, and care homes: 1) Made in Maidaan, a curriculum-based program that uses sports as a medium to impart life skills education and build awareness on key issues among underprivileged children and adolescents. 2) Ultimate Frisbee is a mixed-gender sport that includes values of how to practice self-discipline, be gender-sensitive, persevere, and develop a will to win while accepting failure gracefully, promoting team building and creation of a supportive environment. Organization’s vision is to create a generation of secure individuals who are gender inclusive in their purpose, gender-neutral in their spiel, and gender-integrated in their actions.
EMpower's third grant to Project Khel will enable them to work with a total of 805 children and youth in the age range 10-24 (50% Female, 50% male) from low-income schools, shelter homes and informal settlements through a play-based two-year curriculum-based training, and leadership and coaching programs. These programs aim to improve life-skills, self-esteem and self-confidence in children and youth, building strong social capital to lean back and gender equitable attitudes in them. Project Khel has a strong gender equity lens and a youth-cantered approach embedded in their programs. In this phase, their work will focus on creating a team of 25 female athletes in the community and building 15 youth leaders as changemakers who will be providing training and mentorship to youth players outside of Project Khel's work area.
Primary Location: Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh
Funded Since: 2019
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