Increasing community support

In the urban slum communities we work in, we use community centres for conducting our events. Often, we have to negotiate if any major festivals, events come up in the community. Wedding ceremony’s, local leader’s family birthdays and so on.

Recently, at Prem Nagar community, our mentor wasn’t informed that there was an engagement ceremony scheduled on the day of our event.  After a quick chat, the family agreed to delay the ceremony by two hours and let the mentors and advocates continue with the regular training event.

Similarly, often these community centres are being used by groups of elder men in the community to play cards, carrom clubs or just hang out. Many of these men often do not have a source of income, often depend on the money that their wives earn, incidences of being violent and discriminatory against women are also common.  These same groups have now changed their daily schedule for playing cards and are letting us use the community centres Shastri Nagar and Chaitraban communities. In fact, they encourage their own sons and adolescent men in the neighbourhood to attend the programme.

A few months ago the scenario was the opposite. These are small steps of success for us. This has been possible only because of the continuous interaction that programme mentors have with the community members.

ECF is identifying anecdotal evidence that communities, not just men we work with, but women and adult men too are making the AFE curriculum a priority and mobilising additional community resources, and redirecting them from other areas of interest or benefit to AFE programme activities.