Project KHEL’s workshop series on various issues affecting children and adolescents, is an attempt to reduce the gap between information and its dissemination. We have observed the changes that are evident in children when they do attend our regular sessions. Our programs affect them positively in various ways – from boosting their confidence and sense of self to better personal hygiene, developing empathy and a rise in academic performance and learning.
We wanted to replicate the model of our process and structure in such a way that the takeaway remains similar, albeit in a shorter format of the (1-2 hour) workshop. Through this we plan to reach all strata of children. We conduct paid sessions for mainstream school students and free workshops for the children from economically weaker sections of society. This fulfils our aim to impact the lives of as many children and adolescents as possible.
ab BAS! is our programme on building awareness around the topic of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) which affects children of all age groups, genders and social backgrounds.
We deal with this issue from a preventive approach, using an age appropriate curriculum. Children are taught to be comfortable calling their private parts by their biological names, to understand that they are the master of their bodies, encouraged to say no if they do not like something being done to them. Our gender neutral messaging makes it’s point well that all genders can be potential victims and the same can be said for the perpetrator. While talking about children what makes them uncomfortable and how they should respond to it, we amply highlight the grey zone in the case of sexual abuse. We speak about Safe and Unsafe touches, while also highlighting the concept of accidental touch.
Our work with parents and teachers involve helping them understand how to receive stories that their children share. Our workshops are designed from a place of understanding of the weaker end of the power structure that some parents might be coming from, thereby encouraging passive ways of resistance to safeguard their children if a direct protest is not an option. We deliver our curriculum through games, story telling, role plays and action songs.
The statistics are alarming and need attention. Did you know that 70% of Indian mothers consider menstruation ‘dirty’, perpetuating a culture of shame and ignorance? Or that girls are typically absent for 20% of the school year due to menstruation? While numerous organizations are working towards building the knowledge base and accessibility of flow management products, we are missing out on the element of conditioning. Menstruating girls are told ever so often that they are dirty and impure that it hinders in how they feel about their bodies and the decisions they take around it.
Started in 2013, Red Spot is an inclusive initiative that empowers adolescent girls through activity-based workshops. Using the power of storytelling, games, puppet shows, art and humor, we reach out to thousands of girls and young women to help them re-evaluate their periods by positively impacting their self-esteem and self-worth, that encourages them to take better and informed decisions for themselves. We also facilitate workshops with older women, helping them reflect on their practices and encouraging them to break the circle of oppression by understanding menstruation.
We are also among a handful of organizations that actively look out for opportunities to converse with young boys, to help create empathy for this natural phenomena and also educate them about the flow management options available in the market. In our workshops, apart from social positioning, we also help our participants understand the financial and environmental aspects of Periods.
It’s a not an easy world to navigate while transitioning from a child to an adolescent. And often children have either misinformed peers or the Internet to depend upon. Parents stay away from difficult conversations on sexuality, masturbation, pornography, peer pressure, love and relationships. Who do they turn to?
Teen Talks is our forum for open discussions with teenagers. The topics range a variety of topics, from puberty to health and safety related ones. These are free flowing, non-judgmental, no-holds-barred discussions, in the absence of parents or school authorities. We give enough space for the participants to ask direct questions and we try to reply just as openly, afterwards, encouraging people with contradicting views to share their opinions too. The result is that they usually walk out of the workshop with a better understanding of themselves and have found tools to handle the ups and downs of adolescence.