2016 was the second year of the Hummingbird Raise programme. In the last six months, five new partner organisations joined the coalition; 1157 boys became a part of the programme across 63 communities; Action for Equality got strengthened with contextual adaptations; and powerful stories of change came forward. We are pleased to share with you some of the recent highlights.
Five new partners on-board
Five community-based organizations joined us on the Hummingbird Raise Programme to learn about the approach and methodology of working with boys; and in case of four of them implementing the Action for Equality Programme in their communities. Our new partners include Kajla Jankalyan Samiti, Child in Need Institute, Right Track, Jabala Action Research Organization and Swayam. As a part of the Hummingbird Raise programme a total of 12 partners are implementing Action for Equality Programme across 63 communities in West Bengal.
As a part of the on-going support, we hosted a peer learning workshop and intensive mentor training workshop. Objectives of the workshop were to understand the approach of engaging boys better; learn from each others’ experiences and resolve challenges faced by the partners in implementation.
- Till date, 2946 young men have enrolled in HBR’s Action for Equality Programme implemented by the partners.
- A total of 81% participants graduated from the programme.
- Based on initial outcome assessment surveys, 89% female relatives of participants said that their sons/ brothers were more willing to help with household chores since they joined Action for Equality.
- All partners have been satisfied by the support provided by ECF at workshops and coaching sessions, enabling them to gradually own and adapt the programme.
- Inspired by the encouraging results within the programme, two of our partners have extended the programme outside the scope for which they receive financial support under Hummingbird Raise programme. Kajla Jan Kalyan Samiti is implementing HBR’s Action for Equality Programme in seven communities in East Midnapur district and New Alipore Praajak Development Society is implementing it it in 2 communities in Kolkata.
Other highlights from our partners:
- Apart from expanding its geographical scope, our partners at New Alipore Praajak Development Society (Praajak)and Rupantaran Foundation are experimenting with the target group of the programme. Even though AfE was designed with adolescent boys as its primary participants, Praajak has initiated AfE sessions for girls. Similarly, Rupantaran Foundation conducts sessions with mixed groups of adolescent boys and girls. We will be hosting a consultation with our partners to understand this better. Report from the consultation will be released on our website by end of March 2017.
- Sonal Zaveri, an external consultant conducted a formative review of the Hummingbird Raise Programme model. The objective of the review is to measure performance till date and make recommendations for improvement. This report too will be shared on our website at the beginning of February 2017.
All partners have shared multiple stories of participants challenging unequal gender norms at the personal level and at the community level. Some have gone ahead and prevented child marriage in their communities.
17 year old Bidyut Mondal, has been part of Sahay’s Badlao Boys (local name given to AfE) Programme. Earlier the programme mentors found him to be quite disruptive and would not respect others. His parents too were not happy with his behaviour. After the first few sessions, Sahay’s team found him much more attentive in the training sessions. He stopped causing disruption and started to listen to others. His behaviour at home has also changed. He helps his mother with shopping and washing clothes. His parents are extremely happy.
Participants are not the only ones to benefit from the programme but mentor Nirban Mandal shared his story with us too. Nirban says, “I live in Kolkata for work. Whenever I used to visit my native place, I never realized how I always craved for food made by my mother which she used to indulgently cook for me. After a Peer Learning Workshop with HBR, I realized how gender inequitable this ‘maa ke haath ka khana’ is.Now, when I go home, I always make it a point to assist her as she cooks, to my family’s discomfort. Most times, I also cook for my whole family.”
With stories of the HBR team and participants challenging gender discriminatory norms boosting ourconfidence, we’re looking forward to a 2017 filled with positive collaboration.