Graduates from the Action for Equality (AfE) programme gather every Friday in their communities to deliver educational activities that empower women. Over the last 6 weeks, over 72 AfE graduates have volunteered over 15 hours each to provide women health and livelihoods training. Volunteer leaders from each branch have worked with our Mentors to develop events, and train volunteers withint the communities. Volunteers then deliver the events to women in the community.
Over 450 women have received 2 hours of educational activities from AfE alumni. Most recently, Alumni have provided women with structured information on anemia, which affects up to 70% of women in India and increases the rate of maternal deaths from childbirth. Women were provided with practical advice on anemia cause, diagnosis, and cure. After the event, women were able to offer each other practical diagnosis using the inner eye-lid to check for colour. Women also learned which foods could be included in their diets to increase their blood iron levels.
Past events from graduates include training for women on the practical application of India’s Right to Information Act, and advocacy to men on violence against women and the consequences for family life.
Latest figures from the field indicate that the number of men enroling into the 15 week Action for Equality (AfE) Graduate Programme are increasing, against our predictions. During the AfE Pilot’s 1st Cycle, starting in January 2011 we enroled 357 adolescent men into the graduate programme. In June 2011, during mobilisation for the Pilot’s 2nd Cycle we enrolled 427 men into the programme. An increase of about 20%.
As part of our risk management planning, the programme managers had identified that enrolment was likely to drop off as:
- We enroled the majority of men who are already sensitive to domestic violence and gender equality – the low hanging fruit if you like;
- Men became aware that our programme had ulterior motives, i.e. gender equality, and was not only the livlihoods and cinema events we were promoting;
However, as the numbers show, this has not been the case. Evidence from our field managers and from those who are enrolling suggest three important factors are counteracting those that we identified would reduce enrolment. These factors are:
- Peer Enrolment: Graduates are acting with new found confidence and demonstrating new skills; behavior that is attractive to their peers and who, with the graduates encouragement, are enrolling in the programme;
- Increased and improved community marketing: As we entered the 2nd cycle and started enrolment, we had been operational in all communities for a full seven months. However, as we mobilised for the 1st programme cycle we had only been marketing in the communities for one month. Additionally, the Alumni Programme was launched in 16 communities in June 2011. Having delivered over 20 high energy and public activities, graduates in each community are promorting the AfE programme to others. Thus has our marketing exposure increased significantly.
- Staff skills and knowledge: When our mentors (field staff) joined the team in November 2010, our recruitement process ensured that each of them had basic experience in commnunity training and a sincere belief in gender equality. Over the last 8 months, each mentor has gained 1800 hours of community engagement and in-the-field training with support from master trainers and managers. Each mentor has also received over 600 hours of classroom skills training and knowledge development to ensure that the interactions that they have in the community are of the highest quality. Evidence from the field demonstrates the direct link betweem the quality and level of mentor’s skills and knowledge and the enrolment levels. As their skills have increased, so has the value of the programme, and ultimately their ability to enrol new men.
We’ll be bringing you more interesting insights into our programme over the coming months. In the meantime, keep an eye out for our new website in September 2011!
Equal Community Foundation is please to announce that The Sigrid Rausing Trust has finalised and distributed a 1 year grant of 15,000 GBP to support the Action for Equality programme. The Trustee Grant was made to ECF to support the development of our programme in recognition of our innovative approach to securing women’s rights.
Thank you all of our friends and our staff whose hard work and concerted efforts helped secure The Sigrid Rausing Trust’s support.
We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to The Sigrid Rausing Trust’s trustees for their support.
About The Sigrid Rausing Trust
The Sigrid Rausing Trust was founded in 1995 by Sigrid Rausing to promote international human rights. The grant programmes include Civil and Political Rights, Women’s Rights, Minority Rights, and Social Justice.
In June 2011, ECF launched a formal partnership with Forbes Marshall to deliver 4 branches of our programme Action for Equality in Kasrawadi, Pune, next to their global HQ.
Forbes Marshall is a leader in corporate responsibility in India, and their work in Pune has won many awards. Rati Forbes, head of Forbes Marshall’s HR and their community programme says that ECF’s approach to tackling violence and discrimination against women is innovative and professional; and we like to agree.
Our partnership with Forbes Marshall places significant focus on regular communications on programme performance and collaborative efforts in solving programme risks. ECF is employing an innovative and proprietary process of continuous improvement where programme risks are regularly and consistently identified, assessed and mitigated through solutions that are developed from our field observations and experience.
About Forbes Marshall
For over six decades, Forbes Marshall has been building steam engineering and control instrumentation solutions that work for process industry. Today they are one of India’s most respected companies, and have evolved into a leader in process efficiency and energy conservation through technology tie-up.
Forbes Marshall Official Website
Outstanding Communications Specialist required for Equal Community Foundation, an exciting international human rights organisation.
Equal Community Foundation is an action research organisation delivering community level behaviour change programmes to end violence and discrimination in Indian Society. Our foremost programme Action for Equality mobilises men to end violence against women in their communities.
Equal Community Foundation is seeking a skilled and experienced communications manager with demonstrable commitment to human rights and community development.
The Communications Manager is responsible for developing, promoting and delivering high impact communications to all of our stakeholders. The successful candidate willcontribute to Equal Community Foundation’s goals by telling our stakeholders about our work in a relevant and appealing manner. Informed stakeholders are critical to our success as an organisation as we seek to propagate our approach, and secure support for our future.