BRAC's Adolescent Development Program (ADP) is a multi-faceted program that targets adolescents aged 11 to 19, building their soft skills and employability through life skills-based education (LSBE) and livelihood training activities. The program runs Adolescent Clubs (known as Kishori Kendro), which are safe centers in which adolescent girls have an opportunity to socialize and interact, engage in cultural activities, and have open discussions with each other regarding social and personal issues among their peers. This is complemented by the "Adolescent Peer Organised Network," which offers peer-led education on various social and health-related issues, including reproductive health, children's rights, HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, violence, family planning, child marriage, dowry, gender, and others. The goal of these sessions is to increase awareness and generate discussion around important, but socially taboo issues, as well as to build students' interpersonal and communication skills and general confidence levels.
The program also provides livelihood training courses that are offered to adolescent female students with the goal of providing them with skills for financial empowerment. Training courses are provided in several sectors, including tailoring, embroidery, journalism, poultry and livestock raising, beautician services, photography, ICT, and bakery, among others. These are offered in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth and Sport and other local organizations.
These clubs have been recognized by families and communities as a supportive system for educating adolescents on important issues affecting their well-being and for teaching adolescents the skills to cope with situations they may face in daily life. The clubs provide adolescents a safe place to congregate, discuss relevant issues, exchange views and experiences, and to participate in activities that support their development and well-being. The clubs operate in the afternoon, generally in BRAC schools, though some clubs are housed in rented premises. These clubs organize various activities involving the participation of adolescent girls and boys such as LSBE sessions, access to library facilities, cultural activities, sports, and follow-up on social actions. The clubs are managed and run by adolescent girls who act as Kishori Netris (Adolescent Peer Leaders). They are trained to operate the club as well as to facilitate life skills-based education (LSBE) programmes.
All of BRAC's ADP activities place an emphasis on communication, awareness, and advocacy, and promotes active interaction and dialogue among adolescents, their parents, and community leaders on issues related to adolescent development. These sessions seek to raise awareness among community members about the importance of adolescent issues. Other initiatives of the program include sports-based activities, cultural activities such as theater and photography, and after-school tutoring for adolescent girls.
BRAC's ADP is open not only to BRAC students, but also to government school students. Club sizes are capped at around 25 to 40 students each, and currently all adolescent girls reached through any of BRAC's programs are linked to ADP.
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CEI approaches in actionDeliveryChains or Networks of schools/centersStudent supportVocational/technical skills
Model details1993Not-for-profit21st century skills (soft skills)Vocational/technical skillsActiveLong-term projectFree service or productBritish Council250,00025%75%
BRAC's Adolescent Development Program began as what was largely a reading club for secondary school-aged girls, aimed at consolidating adolescent girls' literacy and life skills that many were beginning to lose after completing primary school (as many girls did not go on to attend secondary school). Over time, the program has consolidated and evolved to provide a greater emphasis on soft skills development and livelihood and vocational training.
Initially the program targeted adolescent girls as members of the clubs. Over time, membership of ADP clubs has been extended to allow boys to join, and currently 25% of the club members are boys.
BRAC's ADP continues to grow, and some early work is currently underway to replicate the model in Afghanistan.
BRAC ADP has recently developed two new initiatives:
Sports for development: This initiative aims to develop life skills and confidence among adolescents through sports and swimming. The objective of this initiative is to empower young people, particularly girls, by utilizing sports for personal development. Under this initiative, girls’ football and cricket teams have been formed and formal training has been provided. ADP has developed 35 football teams, 40 cricket teams and 15 volleyball teams. The sports for development project is contributing to efforts aimed at breaking down the cultural barriers that hinder girls‘ participation in sports and their role as important members of society as community sports and swimming coaches.
STAGE (Stimulating Theatre for Adolescent Girls’ Empowerment): This program seeks to initiate and disseminate dialogue among community audiences. The objective of the initiative is to empower adolescents (especially girls) and the community by raising awareness around social and health issues, such as HIV/AIDS, dowry practice, child marriage, birth registration, child trafficking, and abuse. This initiative has enabled the ADP to reach the wider community in an interactive manner. It has proven to be one of the most successful activities in empowering adolescents, increasing their value in the community, and has been able to raise community awareness of social and health issues. Several hundreds of students and local people from the community have watched these shows. This community initiative has had a positive outcome in terms of advocacy for adolescents and increased public awareness of the dangers of child marriage, dowry, and HIV/AIDS.
Monitoring & EvaluationYes
BRAC monitors the outcomes of its Adolescent Development Program through both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Quantitatively, BRAC tracks school retention rates and transfer rates from primary to secondary school of girls who participate in ADP. Qualitatively, evaluations of ADP have measured degrees of empowerment and leadership qualities developed among female students in the program, as well as changing attitudes towards issues such as early marriage, dowry, reproductive health knowledge, HIV/AIDS, and other social and gender issues. With regards to the livelihoods and vocational training component of the program, BRAC monitors employment rates upon completion of these training courses.Graduation or promotion ratesEmployment ratesStudent retentionYes