Shakti empowers and builds the resilience of disadvantaged and vulnerable girls and young women, through a community-based group work programme, after the completion of which the girls develop their own community projects.
Type of intervention
Group work, peer support
Target groups, level of prevention and subgroups
- Additional Resource | Group work, peer support | English
Girls and young women aged 12 -18 years that are vulnerable to abuse, violence, sexual exploitation and childhood marriage, in India. Shakti aims to empower girls to build collectives, develop support networks and change their communities.
Shakti is delivered by the Aangan Trust, a charity/non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to protecting the most vulnerable children across India. See www.aanganindia.org.
Mode and context of delivery
Shakti empowers and builds the resilience of disadvantaged and vulnerable girls and young women in different parts of India, through a community-based group work programme, after the completion of which the girls develop their own community projects. Continuing support is provided through Shakti Circles, which are local peer support networks. There is a workbook of activities for the group work sessions and a training toolkit for Shakti peer leader training.
Level/nature of staff expertise required
The group work programme is delivered by Peer Leaders who are young women who have completed the group work programme and been trained through the Peer Leadership Training Course. Young women needing specialist help such as counselling are referred to partner agencies.
Intensity/extent of engagement with target group(s)
The Shakti workbook supports a 14 session programme of 40 hours, designed to be delivered in small groups of five to ten girls. Shakti Circles continue after the group work programme and are designed to ensure girls stay motivated and supported.
Description of intervention
Shakti is Hindi for feminine strength and power. Through a 14 session group work programme, self-run community projects and Shakti Circles, disadvantaged and vulnerable girls and young women are empowered to bring about change in their own lives and in their own communities. A replicable model with tools has been developed to empower vulnerable girls in risky neighbourhoods and this is currently being run in Mumbai, Kolkata, Akola District and Patna.
Vulnerable girls are identified and inducted by peer leaders and by others in the community who recognise girls who are at risk. They then take part in a 14 session group work programme in small groups of between five and ten girls. These groups are facilitated by a trained peer leader and supported by a workbook. The workbook is designed to take girls on a journey starting with looking at the self, dreams, study and work aspirations, personal safety and relationships, as well as helping them understand more macro-environmental issues such as their rights, the women's movement and their community.
Once the workbook and group is completed, participants are helped to develop their own community projects. These are wide ranging and include anti-child marriage projects to educational drives. They are supported in this by Shakti Circles, which are designed to ensure they stay motivated and supported to deal with challenging situations that arise. A Shakti Peer Leader Training Toolkit includes exercises to rehearse how to handle challenging situations at home, in school and in the community.
An impact study is published on the following website showing numbers who have completed the programme and examples of achievements and changes are described: www.aanganindia.org/shakti-impact.
No published peer-reviewed research studies or evaluations are currently available.
Not currently available.