Community Empowerment Programme with a focus on Women and out-of-school young girls

Community Empowerment Programme with a focus on Women and out-of-school young girls

Ritinjali for over a decade has been running Learning centres in Kusumpur Pahari, one of the largest urban slums in South Delhi and Nathupur Pahari, a slum cluster behind the marble market on MG Road, Gurgaon. These Learning centres reach out to the out-of-school children between 4 to 14 years and provide them with a range of learning opportunities to enable them to get mainstreamed in the formal education system.

To strengthen our existing work with the two communities, this April we started an Integrated Programme offering opportunities for basic and functional literacy, life skills training in, for example, leadership, income generation and health education to women and out-of-school young girls in both Kusumpur Pahari and Nathupur Pahari. Most importantly, the programme also offers training in Reproductive Health, Child Care and Counselling support.

Through the new programme, our endeavour is to promote holistic development and empowerment of socially marginalised and functionally illiterate women and young girls in the two communities. Through our work, we intend to reach out and benefit an average of 100 learners each year.

The programme has emerged out of the needs and concerns of the women and young girls in the two communities and includes the following 4 core components:

  1. Basic and functional literacy- Reading Skills, Writing Skills, Basic mathematical and scientific literacy.
  2. Health education- More specifically family nutrition, hygiene, childcare, HIV/AIDS and STDs prevention, Tuberculosis care, Hepatitis, awareness around breast and ovarian cancer, contraception methods.
  3. Vocational, income generation and life skills- Through training in tailoring, embroidery, card making, paper bags, knitted mufflers etc. which will be linked to markets.
  4. Civic education - Human rights awareness, domestic violence, dynamics of caste system, conflict management etc.

Programme Aims and Objectives

The programme endeavours to:

  • Combat illiteracy among women living in urban slums through the provision of alternative education opportunities.
  • Empower women with basic functional skills in order to enable them to perform basic tasks independently, such as filling up a form to open a bank account, recharge a mobile phone, reading the prescription for medication, maintaining a Medical Health Card, navigating urban environments, reading letters, and reading and understanding newspapers etc.
  • Enable women to be self-sufficient by developing their capacity to engage in sustainable income generating activities
  • Promote gender equity and justice and enlighten women to their rights under law
  • Empower women to actively participate in community development activities
  • Improve family living standards and well-being

The programme is facilitated using a variety of participatory and interactive methods and include the following:

  • Group discussions, debates, role plays and presentations
  • Individual writing assignments and feedback
  • Review and analysis of materials, mainstream magazines, newspapers and films
  • Lectures and presentations by resource persons
  • Reading articles and academic papers (which are translated into simple language), poetry, proverbs and stories
  • Theatre games, techniques and exercises