Translating Vision into Action – Kudos to the ECF Mentor Team!

The first batch of Mentors came on board Equal Community Foundation in 2010. These young men were carefully chosen to be entrusted with the important role of taking the vision of ECF out into the communities we work with. They are full of zeal, packed with energy and are very passionate about the lives of the boys and young men they have the opportunity to interact with.

Of the total super-team of 8 mentors in ECF at present, there are 3 who are from the first batch that was recruited in 2010 – Ramesh, Sunil and Pravin. They have been here right from the conceptualization of the Action for Equality Programme, the creation of the curriculum, the identification of the first communities, when the Programme was tested and finally launched.

What does ECF turning 5 mean to them? Read on to catch a snatch of their excitement and a sneak peek into what keeps them so full of motivation!

Sunil-150x150-150x150 “Thank you ECF – for giving me this amazing opportunity to impact the lives of 14-17 year old boys”, says Sunil in his simple and straightforward manner. “When I was that age, no one told me the things I needed to learn about gender equality and equity, about violence and discrimination against girls and women…but I know how essential this knowledge is to these boys! I am so privileged to be a part of this process in their lives,” he says. He explains how he had questions in his mind during the initial weeks of discovery, testing, trial and error, resistance from the communities and even the boys themselves. He had wanted to just give up and leave. “I am so glad I did not give up or quit even when I felt like it – this is now the highlight of my work with ECF. I see the impact we are creating in the communities and in the attitudes and behaviour of men and young boys. I am so, so proud to be a part of this organization!”

Ramesh-150x150-150x150 Ramesh doesn’t mince words when he beings talking. “Ever since I started working here at ECF, I have experienced that people depend on me, look up to me for help, support, advice, motivation and as a role model. And this has changed my life completely! I have changed as a person and this is definitely a high point of these past nearly 4 years as an ECF Mentor,” Ramesh states confidently. He says he is so encouraged to see the support of the community and the stakeholders towards ECF’s work. “Some of the boys we worked with in the initial stages of the Action for Equality programme are now working with us as volunteers and leaders – this is a testimony to the rapport ECF has built in the communities and the acceptance our work has received among them. Congratulations to ECF and all of us at this important 5-year landmark!” he goes on to add with a beaming smile.

Pravin-1-150x150-150x150 “The tools ECF has developed over the past 4 years have created a tremendous impact in our communities – and the biggest evidence of that is in the attitudes and behaviour of our target group of 14-17 year old boys,” Pravin explains.“We have been witnesses of the progressively changing behaviour of our boys some of whom have publicly taken action against violence and discriminatory behaviour when opportunities presented themselves. And what is most encouraging is the fact that our boys get selected for various activities in their respective schools, because of the change that is recognized in them by their peers and teachers! ECF’s work is getting known even outside our communities now,” Pravin’s excitement is contagious!

The ECF mentors play an extremely challenging and vital role in giving the mission of the organization hands and feet. They sow the seeds of our vision towards a community where every man in India has the opportunity to study and practice gender equitable behaviour to end violence and discrimination against women. And with their dedication and efforts, we are making this journey slowly by surely, one step at a time.

A big thank you to our team of Mentors – Sunil, Ramesh, Pravin, Suhaas, Yogesh, Rahul, Vijay and Tukaram!