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Newsletter 22nd October, 2020

Breakthrough’s role- Exceptional times call for exceptional measures.

Breakthrough has been working for 2 decades in challenging the culture that robs young girls off opportunities, hopes, dreams and choices. We work across 5 states and 3500 villages on this issue and the work has shown results! One such impact has been in Bihar, where we saw a 28% reduction in the incidence of early marriage where Breakthrough intervened*.

During the pandemic:

  1. We continue to stay in touch with the girls in our programmes helping them to standup for themselves and have control over their lives by conducting online sessions of, “Taaron Ki Toli”- our gender equity curriculum. Our earlier work in Bihar and Jharkhand has shown that for girls who stay in our programmes, the chance of completing school increases by 89% as compared to 17% for those who don’t.
  2. Breakthrough’s on ground team has been participating in ‘on air’ interviews related to the
    issue in order to spread the message.
  3. Through the means of radio and posters we are trying to convince communities about keeping girls in school and not getting them married, in order to remove all barriers in
    growth.
  4. Breakthrough is advocating with district level administration in its intervention areas to
    address the issue of girls’ drop out from school and education system, during the lockdown and post-lockdown months.
  5. We are also calling donors in order to commit all funding support for women and girls  empowerment and gender equality.
  6. In UP , the online ‘Taron Ki Toli sessions’ focused on sections that were relevant to the youngsters’ ongoing situation. Chapters like ‘Bado se Baat Cheet’, ‘Shadi ki Jaldi Kya hai’  were delivered. Though it was challenging to conduct the session virtually, the adolescents displayed their readiness and enthusiasm with active participation.
  7. We are focusing on ongoing dialogue with parents by adding sessions on parental engagement to our gender equity curriculum. These sessions strengthen the life-skills and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) of the adolescents to enable them to engage in inter-generational dialogue with their parents, family members, teachers, and principals and contribute towards achieving their aspirations, trust-building, completing education, pursuing further education, and/ or career opportunities, preventing sexual harassment,  and delaying early marriage.
  8. Our regular counseling helped prevent two early marriages in GP Jamunia, Gorakhpur.

We are living through a pandemic which has the capacity to undo what we have socially achieved.

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