What’s happening: 3 months of AFE in under 2 minutes

Since its inception in nine years ago, 4493  young boys have enrolled in our core initiative, the Action for Equality (AfE) programme. Out of these, 2438 graduated.

From November 2016 to February 2017, we conducted the 17th programme cycle of AfE in 19 communities. Here are 5 highlights that you should know:

  1. 154 out of 180 boys not only progressed from AfE’s first step, the  Foundation Programme, to its second step, the Action Programme but also graduated with consistent participation. The Action Programme equips the boys to effectively act against violence and discrimination in their communities.   
  2. The fact that 85% of our participants have graduated is a huge milestone for us. Here’s how our team achieved it:
  • We took our sessions within walking distance of every participant
  • We made examples in the curriculum less global and more community-specific
  • We added  5 new programme mentors to our team to ensure each mentor had more time to concentrate per community
  1. In November, 2016, we introduced a structured curriculum for AfE’s third step, the Leadership Programme. The curriculum focuses on 4 key leadership skills: mobilisation, communication, initiation and critical thinking in the participants.
  2. 175  Action programme graduates from the past cycles enrolled in the Leadership Programme.
  3. 295 new participants have enrolled in the latest cycle of the AfE’s Foundation Programme and upon displaying regular and active participation will graduate in July, 2017.

Have we managed to make an impact?

The answer is yes. These numbers speak for themselves:

  • Before the Foundation Programme, 4 out of 107 participants demonstrated gender equitable attitudes.   At the end of Action Programme,  this number rose to 23 out of 107.  This means that after 6 months of AfE intervention, 80% more participants  demonstrated equitable attitudes
  • Mentors evaluated 81 participants to monitor their skill development.  At the beginning of the Foundation Programme, only 37 boys demonstrated the ability to critically think and relate the topic of discussion to their personal experiences. However, at the end of Action Programme, 57 boys were able to do that.
  • The percentage of boys who took  initiative by contributing to a group discussion on gender and suggested creative ideas to end gender based violence rose from 19 percent at the beginning of the programme to 63 percent at the end of six months of AfE intervention

Big Meet and Greet

AfE leaders  met once per month to plan a Big Meet and Greet. The event saw 203 leaders  gathering under one roof to network with peers, plan community action and to understand that they’re a part of a larger movement to end gender based discrimination and violence. Read more

Action Events:

At the end of every programme cycle, graduates interact with their community members through the medium of Action Events. Action Events are public gatherings which our graduates facilitate to raise awareness about violence and discrimination caused by gender norms in the community and eventually, to mobilize their community members to take action against it. Read more

Intensive Mentor Training

Every 3 months, our team looks forward to the Intensive Mentor Training, a week of part-celebration, part-training. During this period, we assemble in office, put our critical thinking hats on and reflect on the last three months and our plans for the coming three. Read more

What do mothers and sisters have to say?

  • “Sir taught my son that trans people are also human beings like us. They are not bad. They may be different but we should not disrespect or harass them, we should respect them just like we do for other people because they are people like us. I have learnt this from my son” said one mother during a Focus Group Discussion conducted in Ambedkar Nagar.
  • Meanwhile, Programme Mentor Santosh Kshirsagar reports, “14 year old Sahil Dhiwar is a participant from Shastrinagar community, Pune is a  son of a single working mother who works from 9am to 5 pm. During a Parents’ Visit, she was almost in tears as she mentioned to his mentors how uncooperative Sahil’s behaviour at home was. He used to be absent from home the whole day, while away his time with elder boys, get into fights, did not study at home and his neighbours always had complaints about him. After 6 months, when the mentor visited again, she reported how Sahil has started his journey towards being a more responsible boy. e reflected upon how much women work at home during the Action Programme session called Gender and Gender norms. Sahil now responsibly studies by himself, doesn’t back answer or lie to his mother, shares responsibilities at home and has channelised his own energy in going regularly to Karate classes and has meaningful conversations with his mother. ”
  • Programme Mentor Mahesh Kadam reports,  “Action Programme participant Sachin Balgunde is in 9th standard and his younger sister is in 7th. Before coming into the programme, Sachin dictated his sister about the clothes she should wear and refused to let her step out of the house or to help her with housework. He was often verbally and physically abusive towards her. But after joining ECF’s programme 6 months back, his parents report that he has started sharing household chores, started behaving well with his sister, stopped imposing upon her choice of clothes and stopped asking her where she is going. He’s started to speak about human rights and gender equality at home.”