The second peer learning workshop was organised for the partners of Hummingbird Raise programme on February 8 and 9.

This was an opportunity to celebrate the completion of their first cycle of Action for Equality Programme across 37 communities in North and South 24 Paraganas. The partners worked with approximately 789 boys between August 2015 and January 2016. Out of these 643 have graduated from the programme. Having an average retention rate of 81% when implementing a programme with boys for the first time is something to highlight.

Addressing challenges faced by partners and creating a space for peer learning were the other objectives of the workshop. Sessions were facilitated by ECF team with the support of external facilitators – Arvind Chittewale from The Learning Circle and Anand Pawar from Samyak.

During the workshop, partners shared the lessons learnt and also their experiences from the last six months of our partnership. Some reported on the changes they have started observing in the participants and some reported of changes they have brought in their own attitude.

With the help of one of the partners – Rupantaran Foundation, participants in one of their communities have managed to stop an early age marriage happening in their community.

“The boys have better relationships with their friends and family members. They understand how relationships work” said one of the participants and another participant added, ” Earlier the boys would not be concerned about girls’ perspective or needs. Now their views are changing gradually and they are looking at the girls differently with a lens of equality”. Every partner organisation had a story to share.

It is encouraging to see the wheels turning, bringing us closer to our common mission of raising boys and men to prevent violence against women and girls.