All of us at the Action Project were thrilled at the idea of training select youth members, also known as our Key Correspondents, in the area of documentation and communication. We were all too aware that the voices of the youth in India have been ignored for far too long. In order to ensure that this changes, we knew that we needed to equip our key correspondents with the right skills to communicate youth-specific needs in a manner that would make people listen.
We organised trainings for key correspondents in Manipur and Uttar Pradesh in June, but the process of creating a communication and documentation training module started earlier. The training module served to assist key correspondents in identifying various mediums through which they could share youth specific issues as well as their accomplishments through the Action Project – for example, organising events that raised awareness about the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people.
Before we created the module, we held a discussion with key correspondents about the topics that interested each of them, and the areas in which they wanted to develop their communication skills. This strategy helped us create a training module that balanced the needs of the Action Project with the interests of the correspondents.
Our training broadly covered topics on the role and responsibilities of key correspondents; the basics of journalism; how to write reports and articles; visual communication through grafitti and murals; documenting case studies; and creating posters and slogans.
The vibrancy and creativity of the youth members who participated in the trainings blew us away. Key correspondents said that they learned a great deal from the group work, role-playing and games, all of which formed a part of the training module. “Communication is not just about expressing your thoughts but also about listening to others”, was a sentiment that came up frequently when participants discussed what had stood out to them the most at the training.
Action Project’s training helps key correspondents hone their critical thinking skills and helps arm them with the ability to identify pertinent local youth issues and to share these issues with a diverse group of beneficiaries and stakeholders which include other youth, village council members, government officials and the media. This is no easy task, but our key correspondents don’t seem to be deterred by the challenge!
The author of this blog, Bhawana Negi is Alliance India’s Programme Officer for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
The Action Project is funded by the European Commission and endeavours to strengthen and empower civil society organisations and youth groups to advocate for more responsive policies addressing the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of young people. The project focuses on the most marginalised young people—MSM and transgender community members, drug users, sex workers and those living with HIV. The project is being implemented in partnership with MAMTA and SASO in India and by HASAB in Bangladesh. By 2013, the Action project will have contributed to shaping SRHR policies and their implementation in India and Bangladesh by supporting the meaningful participation of young people in relevant processes and programmes.