Basic Facts: 22% of the population of Bangladesh are adolescents, amongst which 13.8million are girls 63% of girls, in the age group of 15-19 suffer from early marriage, compared to only 3.7% of boys in the same age group. 31% of these girls get pregnant within a year of marriage
Basic Facts: Con...... Lack of girls mobility - Because of Reputation & Security Lack of A.Friendly Health Services/Lack of sensitivity among the service providers Lack of appropriate Knowledge on Sexuality and reproductive Health In rural areas, there is very limited opportunity for paid employment, especially for girls
An overview: In 1992 BRAC started Reading Centres for rural adolescent girls. The initial purpose was: to retain literacy, a safe place to socialize and to enhance girls participation.
Activities of the Reading Centers: Exchanging Books Reading Newspaper, Magazine Playing indoor games Performing Cultural Program
Evolution from Reading Centers to Adolescent Development Program: In 1998 BRAC started working on specific issues through Adolescent Peer Organized Network (APON). In 2000 the Adolescent Development Programme (ADP) was launched under BRAC Education Programme.
Objectives of ADP: To empower adolescents, especially girls, to participate meaningfully in decisions that affect their lives and to become active agents of social change. To create and sustain a supportive environment for adolescent girls To reduce child marriage and dowry.
The main components are: 1. Adolescent Centres 2. Issue based life skills course (*APON) 3. Livelihood training 4. Community Participation * A - Adolescent P - Peer O - Organized N - Network
1. Adolescents center: Exchanging Books Reading Newspaper, Magazine Playing indoor games Performing Cultural Program
2. Issue based Life Skills Course (APON): Objectives of the course: To prepare them about aware issues related to their lives and practice those in their day to day life. To enhance their capacity on different life skills. To develop leadership skill of the adolescents. To help the adolescents to practice their rights
2. Issue based Life Skills Course: Con... The course content includes: Social, Family and Community Issues Sexual and Reproductive Health Issues (20 books and 1 peer educator guide has been developed for the course.)
2. Issue based Life Skills Course: Con... Cross-cutting issues Child Rights Negotiation skills Gender sensitive Inclusiveness Effective Communications
3. Livelihood Training The livelihood training includes: Poultry and livestock Sewing and embroidery Photography Computer Journalism etc. This activities are helping to reduce early marriage from the intervention areas.
4. Community Participation: The activities includes: Forum with mothers Forum with fathers Forum with community leaders There is a child marriage and dowry prevention committee, who are working to reduce the child marriage and dowry from their community.
Achievements: There are 17 thousand of Adolescent Leaders under this project and most of them are continuing their education. According to the Population Council Report, (2003-2004) the marriage age has increased by 1-2 years in the intervention areas.
Achievements at a glance Activities Beneficiaries Adolescent Centres (8500) 221100 Girls APON course for girls 178225 Girls APON course for Boys 35356 Boys Sewing and embroidery 8000 Girls Photography Training 723 Girls Computer Training 1581 Girls Journalism 145 Girls Poultry & livestock 90 Girls
Lessons learnt: Adolescents are capable of doing a lot more provided if they are given the opportunities Active participation of Community Leaders and Religious Leaders are essential to prevent early marriage and dowry Livelihood program, aside from economic independence, has been able to change the attitudes of their family and community towards adolescent girls.
Future Plan Providing APON course to adolescent girls and boys together Including married adolescents, indigenous group and adolescents with disability New Initiatives will include practical program for the slum dweller and adolescent garment workers Providing livelihood training and creating job opportunities through liaison with different employers
Anna Afroz is a cheerful, confident adolescent girl, who saved herself from early marriage with the help of APON course and ADP.