Young people between the ages of 10-24 years continue to face the challenge of early marriage, early pregnancy, poor life skills, sexual exploitation, morbidity related to risky behaviour, poor nutrition as well as poor access to reproductive and sexual health information and services.
To address these issues CHETNA makes Reproductive and Sexual Health related information and services accessible to socially disadvantaged adolescents and young people. It ensures participation of adolescents in policy formulation and program planning. Also it helps in building capacity of NGOs and GOs to implement gender sensitive adolescent and young people’s health programmes. Besides, it has initiated various projects in the past and continues to design models that can be advocated for being scaled up and propagated at state level.
The overall aim of this project is to improve nutrition, reproductive and sexual health status of adolescents and young people in the state of Gujarat-India. The project works in close collaboration with Government of Gujarat’s programme -MAMTA Taruni Abhiyan. This programme is designed to improve health and nutrition status of non school going adolescent (10-19 years) girls and to make information related to nutrition and reproductive and sexual health accessible to them through trained peer educators.
The conceptualisation of CHETNA’s project was initiated when Government of Gujarat approached CHETNA to develop a training module entitled “Hum Tum” to train the peer educators for MAMTA Taruni Abhiyan. This module has been produced on a large scale and is currently being used to train peer educators all over the state. In continuation of this partnership with the Government of Gujarat (GOG) CHETNA designed the project to make reproductive and sexual health information and services accessible to young people through MAMTA Taruni Abhiyan in fifty three villages of Prantij and Khedbrahma blocks of Sabarkantha district of Gujarat state. The model evolved through this effort will be advocated for being scaled up to other districts of the state.
At the national level the project aims to advocate voices of adolescents and young people in policy formulation and programme planning.
The project is in its third year and has reached out to 1633 out of school adolescents unmarried/married and 1882 married /pregnant/lactating young women. In the initial phase a Baseline survey was carried out. The results obtained from this survey revealed that adolescent girls are poorly informed about prevention of anaemia, menstruation, safe sex, reproductive health, sexually transmitted infections and contraception.
To inform the community about the objectives of Mamta Taruni Abhiyan and their entitlements, a folder and a poster there designed, developed and disseminated in the project area. The folder is reprinted in large numbers by GOG and disseminated all over the state. CHETNA in its project area has introduced a ‘Mamata Taruni Card’ at the village level to record the services provided to adolescents.
Seventy five peer educators from fifty-three villages were trained on Nutrition and Reproductive and Sexual Health. These trained peer educators further educated adolescents in their villages by using the health communication material specially designed under this project. Regular monitoring and mentoring support is provided are given to peer educators by the field team. Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA), Anganwadi Workers (AWW) and Female Health Workers are the key stakeholders to address the information and health care services of the adolescent in Mamta Taruni Abhiyan. In order to strengthen their role as health communicators a joint training was facilitated. In total 185 of ASHA/AWW were trained in health communication focusing on issues related to Adolescents’ health.
CHETNA’s experience of training peer educator is up scaled through out the state by facilitating State Level ToTs to train peer educators of Mamta Taruni Abhiyan organised by GOG. The master trainers will train 31,000 peer educators in their respected districts, using health communication material developed by CHETNA.
At National level, CHETNA actively participated in formulation of the National Youth policy 2010 and organising national consultations for adolescents to contribute in drafting of approach paper for 12th five year plan.
Time Frame: November 2009 to October 2012
Coordinating Agency: MacArthur Foundation