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STEPPING STONES

STEPPING STONES- A LIFE SKILLS EDUCATION PROGRAM FOR ADOLESCENT:
From 2011, Sanjog Bangladesh implements life skills trainings to 4000 adolescents, mostly school drop outs, vulnerable to early marriage, migration for domestic labour and trafficking for prostitution. The training builds their awareness and knowledge on health, enforces positive attitudes towards themselves, their peers, families and communities and strengthens their coping skills to changing environments, emotional challenges of adolescence and stress.
The program aimed at building skills in negotiation and become wilful, active and engaged socio-political actors instead of remaining passive recipients of decisions, resentful and reactive to power holders/ duty bearers, ultimately taking to violence and harm towards self and others.
• It was originally designed both for use in communication skills development and in general community development projects. It was developed by the Strategies for Hope project, in 1989 with the support of ActionAid and adapted by Sanjog, in 2007, which enhances the lives of our community’s youth by engaging with them in meaningful, developmental and recreational activities.
• It involves a series of training workshops with community based organizations, schools & children/ youth groups to enable adolescents to cope with their daily challenges, handle internal changes brought about by the adolescent age, adapt to changing environments, protect themselves from violation of their rights and challenge systems that encourage such violations.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES OF STEPPING STONES:

Stepping Stones recognises that our sexual relationships always lie within a broader context of our relationship with our sexual partners, our families and the community or society in which we live. These influences often substantially determine how we behave. We often have knowledge that we should make changes in our lives e.g. using condoms, but are not able to do so because we do not communicate well with our partner, or we fear violence or abandonment, or we think our culture or religion does not allow us to. Sometimes we try to say what we want but are not listened to.
CONTENT & LOGIC OF THE PROGRAM:

Content Logic
   
• Cluster 1- I: Self exploration, self-confidence, effective communication and resilience 1. The clusters move from focusing on strengthening the sense of ‘I and Me’ to the feeling of “Us and We’
• Cluster 2- I and Me: Effective Interpersonal skills 2. All clusters involve group workshops, diverse training tools such as games and films, projective techniques and alternative therapeutic aids of role plays, art etc.
• Cluster 3: Problem solving & decision making skills 3. In all the sessions, there is a balance between information giving, exploration of attitudes and practice of new skills and behaviors to ensure comprehension and retention.
• Cluster 4: Team-building, leadership and working effectively in a group 4. The clusters move from focusing on strengthening the sense of ‘I and Me’ to the feeling of “Us and We’
• Cluster 5: Taking collective actions; responsible citizenship 5. All clusters involve group workshops, diverse training tools such as games and films, projective techniques and alternative therapeutic aids of role plays, art etc.
  6. In all the sessions, there is a balance between information giving, exploration of attitudes and practice of new skills and behaviors to ensure comprehension and retention.

 

INTERVENTION BELIEFS, STRATEGIES AND DESIGN:
Life skills education empowers and teaches an individual to develop a sense of self and optimism, care for their emotional and physiological health, build skills in interpersonal relationships, learn to work in groups and collectives and finally to bring about positive changes in their own lives and lives of their peers/ communities/ nations. The 4 phased programs will be executed by 12 months with the following schedule:

Phase-1: Group formation and collective building

Phase-2 : STEPPING STONES

Phase-3: Conscientisation: the Reflection-Action process

Phase-4: Becoming social actors, gaining a common voice

MODULE:

STEPPING STONES -The training module deliver to build skills on managing relationships, communication, assertion, negotiation, problem solving, decision making, coping and self-management. The module compiled with 5 sections with following tools:

• Section-1: Let’s communicate (To help a develop skills of listening, analysis of communication, negotiation and refusal, build empathy, cooperation and team work):

• Section-2: Our Perception, prejudice and options (to make participants recognize how much perception and prejudice influence our judgment to ourselves and others and develop skills of challenge the judgments with different possible future strategies):

• Section-3: Let’s look deeper(to develop skills of critical thinking and decision making): • Section-4: Let’s assert and support ourselves(to develop more assertiveness and find new skills to change the ways in which we behave):

• Section-5: Let’s change and work together (to develop skills of relationship, self management and understanding between peers, partners):

OUTCOMES:

Change in adolescents Change in social workers
a. Increase information on physical and mental health, sex and gender, social issues of trafficking, migration, child marriage and child rights. (a) Will increase skills on information delivery through participatory methods, improved skills.
b. Increase skills on sharing feelings (positive and negative) with the group and their families. (b) Better skills in facilitation – and less reliance on teaching.
c. Participants skills will be develop in resolving /negotiating interpersonal conflicts within the group and the family, Taking decisions (analyzing pros and cons) and articulating their opinions (in the group/family and community) on social issues of relevance to their lives. (c) Ability to recognize agency in children, respecting their capacities and looking at them as partners and less as ‘acted upon’.
d. Participants will be able to planning strategies for collective action in a group and challenging abuse, violence and exploitation in families, communities and by state agencies. (d) Increased capacity to identify and nurture peer potential among the adolescents worked with.
e. Peer leaders will be able to facilitating/co-facilitating the life-skills sessions within the group/in the community. (e) Increased capacity to facilitate the collectivization of the adolescent girls on issues for campaign and advocacy.