Friday, August 27, 2010

Experience of Mentors in Peer Education Program

Well the pep program finally launched and it was a really good introduction abt enfold and a totally fun and interactive class.

We had 67 attendees and had about 85 registered initially so i think that is a gr8 beginning. we now are a group of 7 working on this program.

Mentors created this warm, open, safe and witty space for the kids n although they didn't ask questions they readily and volubly answered and seemed really clued in. They enjoyed the role plays, related to them and i didn't freeze on stage ( yes i had to climb a stage to do the role plays the hall was as big as football field!! )

They say a job well begun is half done , keeping that thought this program will be a real super duper success. We all left feeling energised and glad to be part of a movement that will only bring good things .

I'm really glad to be a part of enfold, thank you once again for inviting me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Enfold Starts Peer Education Program in a College in Bangalore!

Peer Education Program

Adolescence is a period of transition – physically, emotionally and socially. As adolescents develop, peer groups help young people gain a sense of their own identity and become their primary social outlet. This, in turn, leads to the development and practice of social skills that will stay with them throughout their lives. Peer education takes advantage of the positive aspects of peer groups by helping young people learn from each other – something they do naturally anyway.

Peer education helps identifying one member of the peer group who receives special training in order to better facilitate a desired change within the group and adapted it in several key ways:

The young people form groups, elect their leaders, draft a working plan, establish rules, identify a range of activities they will undertake and select for themselves the young people that will be trained as peer educators (who receive training on both facilitation skills and sexual and reproductive health).

In this way the peer education process is facilitated and supported, but not directed as with most traditional youth programmes. Young people are not simply involved, but take the lead in all stages of design, implementation and monitoring.

Why Peer Education

Peer educators are not professionals, but they are trained to assist young people who need health information. Peer educators receive special training in decision-making, in imparting information and in making client referrals. In recognition of the work they do in motivating young people to obtain the information and services they need, peer educators/counselors are sometimes called "peer promoters."

Peer promoters usually work with participants in one-to-one or small group settings. But they often have other responsibilities. They make presentations in front of large groups, represent the organizations they work for on boards and councils, and consult with program managers. Peer projects are often part of larger programs that have added a youth-to-youth outreach component.

Q: What are the advantages and benefits of peer programs?

  • Peer programs build on evidence that young people already get a great deal of information from their peers.
  • Young people relate well to people similar to them in age, background, and interests.
  • Peer programs allow for the direct involvement of young people in their own programs.
  • Peer programs can be implemented economically.
  • Peer programs often reach not only the peer group but also the peer promoters' relatives and neighbours.
  • Peer promoters often gain long-term benefits from their experiences. These include an ongoing commitment to responsible reproductive health behaviour, leadership potential, useful employment experience, and personal development.

Enfold will train the peer educators and have monitoring sessions with them. Enfold will provide support to the peer educators for any obstacles they may encounter during the process

Why Enfold?

Enfold Proactive Health Trust, a registered trust in Bangalore since 2002, is the only organization in India that is working with school children, including primary school children, on issues of personal safety since 2002. So far we have interacted with over 25,000 students and adults, discussing issues of life skills, personal safety (including child abuse), sexuality and HIV prevention. A documentary film on Child sexual abuse in India features Enfold's work.

Friday, May 21, 2010


India According to Many Studies Has Rising cases of Child sexual Abuse. Yet we seem to have been lacking in Legislation in this area. However In a meeting held in Jan by the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights to discuss the Prevention of Offenses against Children Bill- 2009, It was felt that sexual offenses against children should be addresses separately. (Certain draft bills maybe found online for reading)

Therefore many consultative processes have begun in order to look and existing laws and recommend changes and draft new legislation where required.Enfold Proactive Health trust was part of one such Consultation. The Whole two day process was one of great learning.

It really is an important step forward as we sorely need legislation to protect our children. And I feel happy that enfold Was part of the process.

Friday, May 14, 2010

"Daddy are you Gay?"

Working with school children in the National Capital Region has been an eyeopener! I have been conducting sessions on sexuality and personal safety in Bangalore since 2001 - and every year I felt that the younger and younger children were asking questions related to sexual practices. But I had not realised how rapidly children as young as 2nd and 3rd std students are being forced to 'grow up". Innocent childhood experiences are being contorted. A 3rd std boy on being hugged by his Dad asked- "Dad are you Gay?" His father, hoping to difuse the situation, replied " I am hugging you, I am happy, I am gay". The son admonished his father "Not that type of gay, but Gay!" The father was too shocked and embarrassed to answer.

3rd std students can read newspapers - and so are aware of all the words used there. Parents need to educate themselves and practice answering questions related to sexual practices authentically and in a matter- of -fact tone. Avoiding the question, punishing the child, or simply shutting them up will not solve the problem. The kid will turn to the internet or an older child for answers! Worse still, the child will stop asking questions and clarifying doubts with his/ her parents. It is better if the information comes from parents who can put things in perspective and state their values at the same time.

Enfold Trust conducts Demystifying Sexuality courses for lay people, parents, teachers and counsellors.