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Youth engaged with a new approach: sport and gender in India


Youth engaged with a new approach: sport and gender in India

For the first time in the Kadam Badhate Chalo programme, Pro Sport Development (PSD) conducted a sport and gender training in West Bengal, India, providing a highly effective methodology to sensitize children.

PSD in partnership with the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) and the Martha Farrell Foundation (MFF), conducted a three day sport camp in June, both at Kalimpong and Siliguri, within the Indian state of West Bengal, as part of Phase 1 of the Kadam Badhate Chalo (KBC) programme.

The camps saw the participation of 121 children (of which 66% were girls) between 14-18 years old. This time around the approach was slightly different. For these two locations, the sport camps incorporated PRIA’s and MFF’s gender training modules. This new approach proved highly fruitful, as the sport activities built camaraderie and trust among the groups, allowing them to freely express themselves during the gender training components.

The sport components of the workshop, led by PSD’s trainers, focused on instilling the values of teamwork, effective communication, leadership and camaraderie among the groups. The youth participated in outdoor and indoor sport and physical activities, implemented through structured and engaging games including beat the ball, team dodgeball, blindfold course, continuous cricket, newspaper building, animal match-up and line up.

The gender component of the training, led by PRIA’s and MFF’s trainers, focused on helping the children understand the concept of gender, and doing so on a personal and individual level. The training incorporated having group discussions among boys and girls to analyse their own perceptions of gender, and identify challenges facing each gender. It also included role playing to understand existing gender stereotypes, as well as watching a documentary to understand the roots of violence and sexual harassment against women in Indian society. Moreover, the youth themselves used creative mediums such as art, storytelling, and rapping to share their emotions and thoughts on the subject.

The sport component of the programme was crucial. It helped the participants understand that to end violence against females, everyone has to act as a team and communicate effectively to bring about change. They also understood the importance of being leaders and acting as agents of change in their own communities.

The effectiveness of the joint training was evident in the powerful and moving personal stories shared by the children during the camp, with PRIA’s trainer Nandita Bhatt commenting: “This is the first time I have seen youth this young share such personal stories after only 3 days of training as a group!”

[This article has been edited by the Operating Team]


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Suheil Tandon


Monday, July 11, 2016 - 23:00