The 'Gender Initiatives through Life Skill Based Education in Urban Slums of Karachi' Project was started in September 2014 and completed in August 2015. Aahung implemented this project with the support of UNICEF's Partners- Pakistan Fisher Folk Forum, Strengthening Participatory Organization, and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research across 7 UCs in 3 Towns. For the purpose of this project, Aahung developed a tailor-made version of its Life Skills Based Education (LSBE) curriculum with a focus on gender, conflict resolution, prevention of violence and health and hygiene. Teachers working in Alternative Learning Pathways (ALPs), Community Schools (CS) and government schools were trained to this effect. The aim of the project is to empower adolescents, especially girls, enabling them to think critically, by equipping them with the appropriate knowledge and skills to address challenges they face in their every-day lives.
Aahung initiated the project by conducting sensitization sessions with teachers and parents to brief them about the project objectives and attained their consent to implement LSBE in schools and communities. Aahung then held capacity building sessions with teachers who demonstrated a significant increase in levels of knowledge on puberty, hygiene, conflict and violence, gender discrimination and communication skills and decision making. Teachers also highlighted the importance of giving such information to adolescents and youth. These are essential prerequisites that influence how effectively teachers can roll out the content. It was heartening to note that majority of the teachers replicating LSBE had integrated it into their timetables and thereby institutionalized it in their schools during the intervention. Moreover, key LSBE messages relating to gender equality and peace were also delivered to over 2000 community members through ten theatre performances in an entertaining manner. Feedback received revealed they were able to easily relate to and critically reflect on the issues. As all key stakeholders were reached out to during the project intervention, these strategies enabled Aahung to work towards creating an enabling environment for the implementation of LSBE.
The effectiveness of this pilot initiative, over such a short tenure, demonstrates the capacity that this intervention has to be taken forward, enhanced, and expanded further in terms of outreach, particularly with ALP's. This was compounded by the low cost of LSBE replication. Where ownership is taken by key stakeholders (UNICEF, SCR Partners, Teachers), there is potential for institutionalization of LSBE within schools, which would subsequently lead to the sustainability of this LSBE project.
Parents and community members have increased awareness, sensitization and knowledge on gender, violence, and adolescent issues.
50 male and 74 female teachers trained on LSBE provision
Young people reached through LSBE in learning institutions.