Life Skill Enhancement

Adolescent Life Skill Enhancement

The GAP Inc’s globally acclaimed Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement (P.A.C.E) life skill training program of adolescent girls’ age group 11 to 13 years and 14 to 17 years is being implemented in urban and rural areas of Odisha in partnership with Gram Tarang Employability Training Services (GTET), District Administrations and FICCI FLO Bhubaneswar Chapter as a knowledge partner.
 
The training is being imparted in middle level and high schools and communities of Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur, and Sundargarh districts reaching out to 8500 girls. In 2019, HBT piloted this initiative and trained 5070 girls in schools and communities of Puri, Cuttack, Khorda, and Jagatsignhpur districts. The program, by providing clarity and accurate information on various issues, created a platform for adolescent girls so that they could better understand the transitional changes that take place as they step into adulthood and resolve their doubts, thereby transforming them into responsible, informed, and healthy citizens.
 
The program has impacted girls with increased self-esteem, understanding the issues related to gender, and patriarchy with improved knowledge about menstruation and hygiene practices. Post-training, girls are able to articulate different career resources available to them and are able to articulate a far greater aspiration for the future. 21 drop out girls enrolled back to schools, 22 girls took admission in ITI under different trades. In the school-based training, teachers reported increased attendance and retention of girls after the training.

Leadership Development

Success Stories of Our Leaders

Lipi Moharana

“Where there is a will, there is a way, I had an interest to have my own business set up from my childhood. But I couldn’t see the scope for all these days. The training and other support I got from HBT has now opened path. I will soon have my business opening ceremony with God’s grace”, stated highly ecstatic Lipi.”

Lipi Moharana’s story is an excellent example of how a little patience and a proactive attitude can go a long way in realisingtheeducational and career goals!
Lipi, a 16 years old girl is the second daughter among five siblings of her parents from Salia Sahi community, Bhubaneswar. Her father is a carpenter and mother a house maker. The weak financial condition of her family couldn’t support Lipi pursue higher studies after matriculation.
Lipi always aimed to become an entrepreneur. However, realizing the situation she gave up her aspirations.

The life skill training conducted for the adolescent girls club of Tarini Nagar, Salia Sahi opened doors for Lipi to fulfil her dreams. The training sessions of ‘Resourcefulness’ and ‘Employability ‘modules helped her to explore available vocational skill training opportunities. She was then supported by HBT team to communicate with Government Industrial Training Institute, Bhubaneswar and get admission in ‘Food Processing’ stream.

Lipi is now continuing her Diploma in ‘Fruits & Vegetable Processing’ trade. She has also developed a business plan to start her food processing unit and has contacted few banks for financial linkage.

HBT Pace Champa Kerkata
Champa Kerkata

Champa Kerkata is a walking example of how with the right kind of support, a strong willed girl can stand back after failure and pave her own way. Champa is the youngest child of her parents. Her parents are old and the house is managed by her elder brother.
Champa appeared matriculation in 2019 and unfortunately could not succeed. She was opposed by her brother to reappear the board examination next time.
Champa was a trainee of P.A.C.E adolescent girls training in Bhalubahal village. She was very hesitant to speak as she was lack of confidence. During the aspiration building session, when she was asked to do goal mapping, she was found uncomfortable. HBT facilitator after discussing with Champa came to know the reason behind and promised her that she will help her to appear the board examination.
HBT facilitator talked to Champa’s brother, after her persuasion and counseling, he agreed Champa to enroll back to school and apply the final board exam.
Champa Kekata has taken admission in Sasan High school and has started her 10th class studies with a determination that she will not disappoint her family this time with her result. “I will not stop here; I have a dream of becoming a nurse for which I will further continue my education.” Says Champa.

Madhumita is fighting for an end to Child Marriage

Madhumita Bhoi, a 16 years girl of Bankinahal village (Bhedabahal Panchayat) of Sundargarh district had set an example by refusing her marriage and pursuing her career path.

Madhumita is a bright student; she is studying in standard 10th of Bargard Ashram School, Sundargarh. The young girl belongs to poor family, her brother is a daily wage worker and her mother is also into wage based work. Madhumita’s father Shri Rohit Bhoi has kidney problem for which he is unable to earn any livelihood. During the pandemic period, the family faced financial crisis when they did not get any work. Father’s health ailment, family’s economic condition and lack of alternatives built pressure on Mdhumita to discontinue her study. Her family and relatives arranged a marriage alliance for her during the lock down.

Madhumita became aware of the consequences of early marriage such as the end of her education and increased risk of pregnancy through the GAP Inc’s P.A.C.E adolescent life skill training (Older Girls) conducted in her village.

She took a stand against family’s decision and sought HBT’s support to convince her father and relatives not to get her married at such an early age. With a series of conversation, finally Madhumita’s father agreed to cancel her marriage. She was allowed to go back to her hostel to continue her matriculation.

Early marriage not only puts a stop to girls’ hopes and dreams; it puts her in health & life risk as well.” I want to stand for every girl who is in my situation. I want to become a social worker; I will work towards setting up a society where young girls will no longer be seen as a burden”. Says Madhumita.

On the occasion of ‘National Girl Child Day-2021”, Madhumita got felicitated as “Extra Ordinary Girl” by Sundargarh district Superintendent Police Ms. Sagarika Nath, (IPS).

 “The issue of child marriage does not end by just preventing the marriages from taking place. It is a symptom of deeper cultural and poverty related problems that must be addressed to end child marriage.” Said Madhumita in her experience sharing session during the award giving ceremony.

Bhalugada Adolescent Girls Addressing Their Safety Issues

The P.A.C.E life skill training program of adolescent girls’ is able to bring transformational changes among girls of Sundargarh. The Humara Bachpan Jyoti Adolescent girls club members of Bhalugada village did safety audit in their village and identified that accessing the village pond after sun set is not safe for women and girls. They want maintenance of the road as well as repairing of the street lights to avoid the unsafe factors while approaching the pond. The adolescent girls submitted Charter of Demands (COD) to Deuli panchayat Sarpanch Smt Nalini Pradhan and Sadar Block Development Officer Shri Mitrabhanu Naik. BDO Shri Naik has given commitment to resolve the lighting issue immediately and to do the road construction work before summer season.
Similarly Humara Bachpan Dharitri adolescent girls’ club members have submitted Charter of Demands to Sadar Block BDO to construct steps in the village pond embankment to avoid the chance of accidents from drowning.

The training made the girls informed about menstrual health and hygiene; the girls of Humara Bachpan Dharitri club has submitted request to conduct Hemoglobin screening and make low cost sanitary napkin available at village Anganwadi centre to Child Development Project Officer (CDPO) Ms Kamini Diwedi. Since schools are closed now, girls are not able to get free sanitary napkin.

Women Life Skill Enhancement

HBT has been implementing GAP Inc.’s Women Life skill training program. ‘Personal Advancement & Career Enhancement’ (P.A.C.E.) since 2017 and has trained 25140 women in urban and rural poor communities. The women life skill program objective is to provide skills to underprivileged women enabling them to earn an independent living and provide a sustainable pathway out of poverty. These changes that the women life skill program could bring have been captured through testimonials of women and observed over the 5 years of implementation of the program.

Few Success Stories

Sujata Das, a 35 year old woman of Tulasipur Bauri Sahi community of Cuttack was very shy in nature and never used to go out of her house. She used to avoid social gatherings, remain low and depressed. When HBT started the Women Life Skill training sessions at her community she was forced by her friend to come and attend the training. In the beginning Sujata would sit quietly in a corner and was not participating in any discussion or group activities. But after a week time, the trainer found out a major change in Sujata that she started coming for the sessions regularly and also was the 1st one to arrive at the training venue. Gradually she started actively participating in all training activities. Her articulation about the status of women and gender biasness in a role play was fantastic. Her willpower and determination to learn was appreciated by everyone in the class. Every session of the training was grooming her with confidence and by end of the training we were surprised to see the ‘transformed Sujata.’ She realized women become empowered when they become economically independent, so she wanted to do something on her own. With the guidance and support of the life skill trainer, Sujata started a small grocery shop in her locality. Sujata now has started using her time productively, has become self-reliant and set an example for many.

Nirmala Muduli’s husband died just six years after their marriage leaving behind two children. Nirmala did not get any financial or emotional support from her in-law’s family to handle the crisis. She was working in an NGO after her marriage, but she was not allowed to  continue that job after her husband’s demise. Somehow she  had to support her children’s education by doing some temporary work in her village. Nirmala enrolled in women life skill training program and the training brought change in her life.

Nirmala’s active participation and leadership qualities reflected when she was taking training. The clarity and understanding  about the modules was found exceptional in her. Seeing these, Nirmala was given Training of Trainers (ToT) to become a life  skill trainer. Her skill and competency as a trainer was acknowledged by many. Nirmala trained 700 rural women of Astaranga and Kakatpur blocks to become self-confident and motivated them towards leading a progressive & dignified life with effective communication and negotiation skill and to use time and resources in a productive way.
Nirmala’s daughter completed matriculation this year and her in-laws started searching groom for her. Nirmala stood strong and denied to her family members. She wanted that her daughter should study further and before her marriage she should be financially independent.
My husband’s sudden demise and the struggle thereafter taught me a lesson. Life comes with many unprecedented challenges. We should prepare ourselves to face such tragic situation. If I were been more educated, I could have found some job to manage my children after my husband’s death. I want my daughter to be strong enough in her life so that she will not suffer like me”, said Nirmala.

 

Khireswari Pradhan of Gadamunda village of Basantpur panchayat Sambalpur District is a house wife. She was facing difficulty to meet family expenses with the income of her husband. She being the bride of a village was hesitating to discuss about how she can take up some income generation source. She was doing vegetable small in her backyard adopting traditional method. After consumption, she used sell surplus harvest to her neighbours some time to make some income. Khireswari enrolled herself in P.A.C.E life skill training when conducted in her village. During skill need assessment, she expressed interest in vegetable farming and mushroom cultivation.

Through life skill training, she got confidence to do something on her own. She with lot of interest joined the 10 days mushroom cultivation training organized by Humara Bachpan Trust in partnership with Rural Self Employment Training Institution (RSETI). She learnt different types Mushroom growing facilities & fixtures along with packing, storage,& grading of harvested Mushroom. The training also gave her hand on experience how to become a successful entrepreneur.

 

To apply her learning, Khireswari invested Rs.250 to purchasing straw, spawn and other required raw materials. With just setting up two beds of Dhingri mushroom, she earned about 600/- in 5 days. She was delighted to see the result. Enthused with the success, she invested 1000/- and now per day she sells 5 kg to 7kg to Goshala market. Khireswari’s husband also supports her in sending the product to the market.

“I will also start cultivating other varieties of mushroom gradually. I am getting guidance from HBT and RSETI if required. If production will be sufficient, I have also explored bigger market in Sambalpur and Jharsuguda. Other women who have also started farming, we will cater the bigger market.” Khireswari shared her future plan.

Rebati  lives at Khan Nagar Community. Her family comprises of her husband and their 7 children. She works as an Anganwadi helper and is the only earning member of her family. Her husband was habitual drunkard and used to abuse Rabati a lot. He never helped her in any of the household work nor did he go out of the house to earn a living and support his family. The whole family’s burden was on Rabati. She would cook, look after her children, do house hold chores and also go out to work. She also had to deal with her husband’s misbehaviour on a daily basis. This was causing a lot of stress on her mentally as well as financially. She had no idea about how to manage her life. She felt isolated and helpless all the times.

 

When HBT wanted to conduct P.A.C.E. Life Skill training at her community Rebati was very interested in attending the sessions as she had heard about the training from her friends living in other communities and how it had transformed their lives. The training sessions had a very positive influence on her life. The session that influenced Rabati the most was Time and stress management. This session helped her manage her time better, she would divide her time in such a way that she could take out time to come and attend the sessions regularly. The sessions on WASH also had a major impact as it helped her understand the importance of Sanitation and Hygiene. Before attending the session on WASH her children would often fall sick, but later she could manage to take care of her children better.

The after class discussions also helped Rabati to manager her husband better, she could convince her husband to go and attend alcohol rehab sessions. Before this she wasn’t aware that such a thing existed. The rehab sessions have helped her husband a lot. Her husband now wants to take up a job and support his family financially. He also helps Rebati in house hold work so that she can go out and work.

 

Rebati feels that the training has empowered here and one of the major influences for her being  able to help her husband be a better person. Prior to this she always felt helpless. She is a stronger and a confident women now and she feels that she can handle all her difficult situations better.  She also feels that she will now have a better family life. She says she is thankful to HBT for giving her an opportunity to be part of the training program, and she will encourage all the women in her community to attend the sessions as and when they are conducted.

Urmila Padhan (32 years) of Gobindapali village of Basantpur Panchayat stays in a joint family of 11 members. The family’s livelihood depends on farming. During lockdown, the family faced financial crisis. Urmila was looking for an income opportunity where she can support her family. In April 2021, Urmila came to attend P.A.C.E life skill training. After attending few classes, she came to realize perhaps the scope that she was waiting for has arrived. She enrolled her sister-in-law in the training session. After training, she and her sister-in-law enrolled in the ‘Vegetable Nursery Management and Cultivation’ skill training provided by Humara Bachpan Trust and Rural Self Employment Training Institute (RSETI).

The 10 days training built her skill about on organic practices and technical knowhow on vegetables nursery, commercial cultivation of vegetables, selection of crops and its cultivation, selection of seeds & verities of vegetable high yielding verities, tremens of seeds, water management, organic farming and vermin composting.

There was 30 decimil area, the family had, Urmila wanted to start applying her learning by doing vegetable plantation in that land. She and sister-in-law cultivated okra, beans, cucumber, ridge gourd, brinjal, bottle gourd, green chilly and tomato. They were provided with good quality seeds and plants from Dist Horticulture Department, also they procured some from the market. Urmila adopted organic way of farming. “I used cow-dung water, water from cowshed, vermicompost for the vegetables. The plants are growing nicely, also vegetables cultivated using organic manure are tasty and healthy. Says Urmila.

I am waiting for the harvest, if I am able fetch some profit from this, I will adopt this forever. I have seen the harvest spoils because of lack of storage facility. But during the training, I have learnt how to keep the vegetables fresh for few days, this will help me during this lock down when we have very little scope to send our products to the market. The life skill training has opened this door to me. I am truly thankful to Humara Bachpan and MCL for bringing such opportunities to our door step.” She added.