Breakthrough is on a mission to reach out to adolescents across the country in an initiative to seed change early. The programme reaches over 543,000 adolescents in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and Haryana where early marriage and crimes against women are rampant.
Forging alliances with parents, teachers, health-workers, government officials and entire communities, Breakthrough is working to improve the determinants of gender, health and education for both boys and girls.
A youth-club called ‘Taaron ki Toli’ has already been launched in hundreds of school campuses in North India to bring gender-equity into classrooms at an age when concepts of identity are still being formed. Boys and girls are learning to see life from both sides of the gender divide as they explore personality, personal aspiration and potential.
The programme evocatively calls out, ‘De Taali – banegi baat saath-saath’, asking people to support these young lives by helping them
- Create safe spaces in schools and within their own communities
- Gain confidence by acquiring life skills
- Discover opportunity through education
- Get access to healthcare services, irrespective of gender.
- Receive counselling on gender equity and reproductive rights
- Build an ecosystem in which adolescent voices are heard
The programme is geared to tackle the issue at three levels. At the level of society, the programme will address norms and cultural practices which prevent girls from achieving their full potential. At the institutional level, the work will be centered around the family and government to impact indicators such as level of education and access to health and nutrition. Further, at an individual level, Breakthrough seeks to works with young people to empower them to be able to make their own decisions and lead a full life.