As a social organization it is one thing to start an innovative programme and achieve positive effects on a certain issue. But it is a whole new story, if you ask yourself how to sustain these effects on a long term basis. We have asked ourselves this question, and spent hour after hour to come up with an idea to continue the success of our primary work.
The Action for Equality graduates are sensitized about the prevailing gender inequality in several spheres of their lives, the pivotal role of women in their family, community and in society. Evidence demonstrates that men are taking personal and collective action to end violence and discrimination against women. But, we are aware that over time the frequency of these activities will drop, unless we provide AFE Graduates with continued “touch points”.
Since we value our graduates as agents of change, the programme had to be rewarding for them, even though the main focus is on women’s benefit. And what could be more rewarding than a fun programme with lots of group activities, a sense of belonging to the peers, and achieving something that makes them feel proud and competent? Therefore, at the root of the Alumni Action Programme design lies a structured volunteer hierarchy with clear roles and responsibility allocation and targets.
Senior Alumni will be rewarded for their commitment and performance through an incentive scheme that includes participation in local and regional meetings, where we share successes, learn from mistakes, and recognize Alumni who have taken action to end violence and discrimination against women in their communities.
Through this structure we aim on building Alumni Leaders, who will commit the time to learn the skills and tools to deliver the message of gender equality in their own community resulting in reduction of violence and discrimination against women.
Considering all the above, we came up with a programme, designed to:
- Be fun and easy to conduct. That means the modules are high energy and utilize delivery methods such as street plays, games, songs, slogans etc.
- Be aspirational. Activities are conducted in peer groups to build a sense of belonging. Association of the programme with young and dynamic nature of working makes it exciting for the participants.
- Develop men’s skills. All Alumni will be provided with roles and responsibilities and the training to deliver them, making this an integral part of their personal and professional development.
- Make a visible difference. We know that Alumni are motivated by evidence that their actions really do make a difference, so we will always ensure that we provide feedback from the women themselves to demonstrate the impact.
- Relevant: We constantly receive feedback from our graduates that activities including women are the most exciting for them to deliver because they are relevant to their community. Activities will therefore involve street campaigns, street plays, speeches and so on.
In the month of June, we will launch AFE Alumni Action Programme Pilot in 16 communities in Pune. In our first year we will mobilize 100 AFE graduates during one programme cycle, delivering 580 programme hours with messages and training to reduce violence and discrimination against women.