Editorial 3rd February, 2017

2016 at a Glance.

Breakthrough inspires a whole new generation – the Breakthrough Generation – men & women, boys & girls, to be strong, smart, and bold in accessing choices that make violence against women & girls unacceptable. This is done through programs, initiatives, campaigns and experiences that help them navigate gender, rights and social barriers. Research-based curricula, delivered by trained facilitators in a positive, safe environment equip girls and boys to understand and combat gender discrimination; positive media messages & community mobilisation initiatives reinforce the issues across families & communities and a response strengthening system helps community-based- institutions, other NGOs, individuals and authorities deliver services and schemes with efficacy. In 2016, Breakthrough worked with 100,000 such young people across 5 states and 5000 villages and managed to reach a population of 33 million with its media.

Our 2016 fiscal year saw major progress in bringing life changing programs and experiences to more adolescents and building long-term capacity within the organization to work with 10-19 year olds. We have begun implementing a new framework for adolescents across 7 districts of Uttar Pradesh, called Adolescents Empowerment Program, reaching out to 400,000 adolescents over 5 years. In year one of rollout, we targeted four priorities:

  1. do a situational analysis to find out the true status of adolescents in the state;
  2. build a baseline on which future programming will be assessed
  3. develop a robust contextualized framework strategically designed keeping in mind local needs, environment & seasonal calendars through a well-discussed collaborative process involving local partners to leverage their on-ground presence & strengths, and
  4. expand the organisation’s capabilities to take on scale.

We strengthened our school-based intervention in Haryana with a series of community mobilisation activities including a hyper-local campaign on safety on the way to educational institutions. With this campaign we managed to persuade municipal authorities to run more buses across a certain route in place of the one segregated ‘women only’ bus they were proposing to run. 18000 adolescents across 152 schools took part in our Taron ki Toli program and 12000 of them took some kind of action against gender-based discrimination at home or in school. Our Early Marriage program is the first to start putting in place a Child Safeguarding Policy, combining our adolescent empowerment initiative with protection and prevention modules.

I’m pleased to report that we are now rolling out Child Safeguarding Policy across the organisations with all our staff and partners as well. Our mass media campaigns reached 21 million people through radio, television and print medium and digital media reached 12 million population with 12 innovative campaigns in 2016 and with over 85000 actions taken by people online. Breakthrough is part of the Haryana state task-force on addressing the skewed sex-ratio in the state with our media product being shown across 100 low-sex ratio districts across India by the Ministry of Women & Child Development, Government of India.

Our financials are strong. Breakthrough revenue reached $2.5 million this fiscal year. Our administrative and fundraising expenses were held tight, and more importantly, 85% of it went directly to programming, demonstrating how we maximize resources for our mission. We defined specific outcomes we want for girls and women in all our programming; selected a mainstream information system to track results and align expenses, and moved far along in developing our measurement tools and systems. We developed a business plan this year, tracking Breakthrough’s growth at 21% over the next 5 years and hired 35 new people across various functions and locales. These dynamic achievements were fueled by our inspiring and dedicated Board of Directors, donors, and partners who make it possible to design highest quality programs with a specialized group of staff — and to grow. Like us, they believe deeply in making violence against women and girls unacceptable and enable girls across the country to grow up prepared to achieve their dreams.

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