Programmes

Why Ultimate

At Project KHEL we use the "power of play" and utilise sport as a tool to achieve developmental goals. Since 2012, we have played mainstream sports such as volleyball and football (soccer); indigenous sports such as kho-kho and pitthu and also our own customized versions of sports such as touch rugby, rounders and rumaal kabaddi with more than 2500 children on a regular basis. Through these sports we ensure we focus on values such as fair play, winning and losing magnanimously, following rules and promote behaviour change related to gender sensitivity, conflict resolution, honesty and so on. As a sport, Ultimate embodies all of the above and more! Ultimate checks all the boxes this article on The "right" sport to use in Sport for Development lists.  Ultimate is a microcosm of life and the values learnt in this environment will carry the athlete through the sport and out the other side into life. The values include self belief, how to abide by rules, how to persevere and develop a will to win, how to get up after being knocked down and how to set shared goals with their teammates. (This is far from the ‘win at all costs’ mentality that most of the world is used to). Many schools, colleges and social groups use this fun sport to promote good sportsmanship and help participants develop conflict resolution skills. The on-field behavior slowly becomes a way of life and permeates into the players’ decision making in all aspects of their lives – Ultimate was designed to promote not only athleticism, but also character in a hyper competitive environment. When players step on the ultimate field, they are expected to empathize, they are expected to not cheat, they are expected to self-regulate and they learn to calm their temper. They learn how to remain highly competitive and yet not display any aggression or poor sportsmanship in the pursuit of remaining competitive.

Ultimate Frisbee @ Project KHEL

At Project KHEL, our aim has never been to produce sportspersons, rather to harness the power of sports to achieve developmental goals. With this overarching understanding, we have not taken up opportunities to create and field teams in football/ cricket/ volleyball, etc. even though we have had facilitators who have played these sports at the state and national level. However, as described in Why Ultimate, this particular sport embodies everything we do through sport at Project KHEL. Our founder, who played a bit of Ultimate in Austria in 2001 and in Chennai in 2010, introduced the concept of "ultimate" in Made in Maidaan in 2013 for our children who had reached a level where they could play a game without a referee. Thus, we had games of Ultimate kho-kho and Ultimate Pitthu where the players would self-regulate. In 2014, we took 11 of our children to an Ultimate Frisbee youth camp - Bridging the Gaps - being held at Ahmedabad. These 11  children came back to Lucknow and introduced the skills they had learned to our facilitators and other children. Soon frisbees were flying at Made in Maidaan sessions at 20 different locations in the city - being thrown by over 1300 children! At Project Khel, Ultimate is used as a tool to imbibe and develop important social skills - self-awareness, self-management, responsible decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness - that enable children to effectively manage themselves and their relationship with others. In the recently concluded Rio Olympics (2016) two athletes were awarded a rare medal for displaying sportsmanship. Just as on the Ultimate Frisbee field, at Project KHEL too, this behavior is the norm and not an exception!

Awadh KHELadis

In November 2015, we finally took the step of building a competitive team and Awadh KHELadis was born. A team comprising mainly of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Awadh KHELadis practice on Sundays and played their first tournament at Ashoka University in 2016. Team practices are in a public park and open to anyone so if you want to learn the sport or already play Ultimate, do get in touch with us!

What it is

KHELshaala is Project KHEL’s initiative on creating a curiosity for learning among underprivileged children who are either

  • out of school and completely illiterate,
  • drop-outs or
  • enrolled in schools but lacking proper academic guidance.
Focusing on imparting functional literacy in a fun and interesting manner, the aim is to motivate our little learners to enrol in, return to, or excel at a regular school in the vicinity of their slum. The programme, though young, also interacts with the community in an attempt to influence the tough decision many parents are faced with - to have a child help bring bread to the table or educate the child and help them aspire towards a better life. We aim to empower each of our children with love of learning and to help them to acquire basic literacy competencies as per their age level and helping them to get enrolled in formal school in their age appropriate class to make their learning a sustainable process. Our target group includes children from disadvantaged backgrounds, aged between 5-18 years old and is completely free of cost for the beneficiaries.

Objectives

The overall objective of KHELshaala is to inculcate a curiosity for learning and getting out of school children into school. We aim to do a short-duration, high intensity intervention in which children are divided into groups based on their existing learning levels. We identify the learning levels of children through pre-intervention evaluation and then design curriculum and methodologies suitable for each group needs.  The main focus subjects are Hindi, Mathematics and English; the lessons are delivered using various activity based methods including storytelling, games, video sessions and crafts. The framework of KHELshaala also includes elements of continuous and comprehensive evaluation to make sure learning needs of each child is adequately met. The activity-based lessons are geared to help learners achieve all 5 competencies:

  • Learning
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Comprehension

Impact

A new programme, launched in July 2016 and still in pilot stage, KHELshaala has already reached out to 60+ slum children, aged between 5-16 years from two slums in Gomti Nagar, Lucknow.  Most of the children are first generation learners and we aim to help enroll at least 10% of these children into a formal education system after they acquire basic functional literacy in upcoming academic year.

The Issue

red-spot_1436128062403_block_0 Taboos and Myths surrounding menstruation (e.g. restrictions on entering the kitchen or temple, preparing certain foods, touching other people) make it difficult for Girls and Women to See menstruation as a natural phenomenon and talk about it. The negative impact of poor MHM is immense.


Following are some of the facts mentioned by Dasra in their report, ‘Spot on! Improving Menstrual Health and Hygiene in India’, which highlights exactly the problems that we are trying to work towards.
  • 70% of mothers consider menstruation 'dirty', perpetuating a culture of shame and ignorance
  • 8% of menstruating women in India use home-grown alternatives like old fabric, rags, sand, ash, wood shavings, newspapers, dried leaves, hay, and plastic
  • 63 million adolescent girls live in homes without toilet facilities
  • Girls are typically absent for 20% of the school year due to menstruation, which is the second major reason, after household work, for girls to miss school
  • 70% increase in incidence of reproductive tract infections owing to poor menstrual hygiene

What we do

Made in Maidaan is our regular programme, which harnesses the ‘Power of Play’ for development through a series of modules designed to impart crucial Life Skills Education (LSE) though experiential learning and activity based learning models.


Target group - Exclusively meant for adolescents, aged 9-18 years, from underprivileged backgrounds and is completely free of cost.
Structure - Sessions at each beneficiary location are held on a semi-weekly basis and consists of both sports as well as Life Skills Education. In addition to these sessions, the programme conducts specialised thematic workshops and modules from time to time which aim to arm the beneficiaries with awareness on issues such as Civic Responsibilty, Personal Hygiene and Self Presentation, Safe Handwashing, Peer Pressure, Tobacco and Substance Abuse and so on.

The Idea

MiM

Impact

1- MiM

The Idea

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What we do

JustKHELo is Project KHEL’s weekend volunteering programme that adds more play hours to the lives of men, women and children in Lucknow. We encourage adults to sign up as volunteers to engage with underprivileged children though any game, sport or activity of their choice.


Session Structure - This programme has no fixed curriculum and other than sports and games, we also plan sessions of art, craft and story-telling depending on the interests of the volunteers and children alike. Any kind of sport or activity can be selected, based on the interest of the children and the capacity of the volunteers, and we will provide the equipment.
We believe in the value that positive role-modeling this programme can deliver and our slum children absolutely love the additional play time they get with our volunteer bhaiyas and didis.
Register as Volunteer- If you wish to donate your time for this programme, write to us at contact@projectkhel.org with your weekend availability and we will get back to you.

Impact

5.JK

The Issue

inner-page_1435081854496_block_0 The NACO website says, “Most young people become sexually active during adolescence. In the absence of right guidance and information at this stage they are more likely to have multi-partner unprotected sex with high risk behaviour groups… “


With increasing exposure to television and internet sex education does not imply teaching kids about sex, which knowledge they will pick up anyways, but for many proponents of sex education it definitely means teaching them about what safe, healthy and acceptable sexual behaviour is.
If we were to go by the data published by WHO, sex education should be imparted to children who are 12 years and above. It has also been seen that it is the age group of 12 to 19 years that counts for some 34% of the HIV infected persons in the world.
Recent literature on adolescents have documented that irrespective of being relatively healthy period of life, adolescents often engage in the range of risky and adventurous behaviours that might influence their quality of health and probability of survival in both short and long term over the life course. These includes early pregnancy, unsafe abortions, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) including HIV, and sexual abuse and violence. Pregnancy related problems comprise a leading cause of death among adolescents aged 15–19 years, mainly due to unsafe abortions and pregnancy complications. However, the sexual and reproductive health needs of adolescents and youth are poorly understood and grossly underappreciated owing to limitation of scientific evidence compounded with the unpreparedness of public health system, which may jeopardize the initiatives to advance the health and well-being of adolescents.
Adolescents and youth in India experience several negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes such as early and closely spaced pregnancy, unsafe abortions, STI, HIV/AIDS, and sexual violence at alarming scale. One in every five woman aged 15–19 years experience childbearing before 17 years of age that are often closely spaced; risk of maternal mortality among adolescent mothers was twice as high as compared to mothers aged 25–39 years. Importantly, adolescents and youth comprise 31 percent of AIDS burden in India. Furthermore, multiple socioeconomic deprivations further increase the magnitude of health problems for adolescents. This limits their opportunity to learn and access the appropriate health care services.
The WHO report (2003) on family life, reproductive health and population education documented that promotion of family life/sex education has resulted in delayed age of entering into sexual relationship, reduced number of partners, increased use of safer sex and contraception, and other positive behaviour. It was further noted that sex education in schools did not encourage young people to have sex at earlier age; rather it delays the start of sexual activity and encourages young people to have safer sex. However, both the critiques and proponents of introducing family life/sex education in Indian schools propagate the analogous ideology of ‘sexual restraint’ i.e., delaying the initiation of sexual activity among adolescents before marriage, which may also help to curtail the menace of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases and restrict the pace of population growth. A recent study from Nigeria presents paramount significance of providing sexual education to youth that helped them to develop critical thinking and insights on range of family life/sexual issues like premarital sex and pregnancy, abortion, teacher-student relationships and lesbianism. Another study in Indonesia suggests the mixed viewpoint on the pros and cons of sex education among youth . Proper information about sexuality should be provided to youth to help them grow healthy and responsible. A study conducted in Venezuela highlighted the importance of imparting sex education to youth, as it helped to prevent adolescent pregnancy, abortion, HIV/AIDS and sexual abuse. A study in India revealed that majority of school teachers was in favour of imparting sex education to school children . Fourteen years of age was considered to be the most appropriate for imparting sex education by 28.6 percent of school teachers. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3739735/)

What we do in sessions

Founded in 2013, the Red Spot is an inclusive initiative that empowers adolescent girls through activity based workshops on understanding and revaluing menstruation as a clean and natural biological process. Our goal is to strengthen young minds to be critical towards popular social stigma against women during their menstruation- prompting discussions about self-worth issues, to provide inputs for informed decision making while choosing Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) products and to break the silence against menstruation.


  Target Groups-
  • Preparing pre teens for menstruation
  • Educating young girls and women about menstruation, flow management and related practices
  • Helping young men to understand menstruation and be empathetic and supportive of menstruating women

  Workshop Structure- The strength of our workshops is the interactive way in which we disseminate information. Through art, games, puppet shows and storytelling, we discuss and bust myths related to menstrual hygiene practices, while creating a safe space for the participants to freely share, discuss and ask questions about menstruation. During our workshops we work together with participants to make sure they understand the basic anatomy of menstruation, we discuss how society’s beliefs of menstruation affects the way women view themselves, and we provide information on menstrual flow management options available in general, and in the participants’ local market, to help them take informed decisions when choosing their products. In our sessions with males, we stick to a shorter time period, with the entire focus on building an understanding about menstruation and creating empathy in them for menstruating women.
  Pad Distribution- We have partnered with EcoFemme, a Pondicherry based cloth pad making organization, which donates reusable cloth pads for sessions conducted with underprivileged adolescent beneficiaries. At the end of the session, we offer our beneficiaries an option to receive a pack of 4 EcoFemme pads, after educating them on the use and maintenance of the pads.

Why Life Skills

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Life skills as “the abilities for adaptive and positive behaviour that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life.” Life Skills are psychosocial competencies and interpersonal skills that help people make informed decisions, solve problems, think critically and creatively, communicate effectively, build healthy relationships, empathise with others, and cope with managing their lives in a healthy and productive manner.


The World Development Report (2007) identified “enhancing capabilities through LSE” as 1 of 3 policy directions recommended to assist young people to develop and contribute to society. Life-skills are a critical element in UNICEF’s definition of quality education and also finds mention in 2 of the 6 Education for All Goals (UNESCO) – committed to by 164 nations - which aim to meet the learning needs of all children, youth and adults by 2015. Today, Life Skills Education is offered as part of the formal school curriculum in at least 70 countries.
Life skills are considered especially important for underprivileged children and adolescents who are being deprived of an all-round education available to their counterparts that emphasizes on holistic development of individuals. These set of skills have been shown to be particularly essential for children at risk or in especially difficult circumstances as it equips them to deal with various challenges they face.
Personal skills
  • Self Awareness
  • Coping with Stress
  • Coping with Emotions
  • Leadership
Social skills
  • Empathy
  • Effective Communications
  • Inter-personal relations
  • Conflict resolution
  • Fairplay
Cognitive skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Creative thinking
  • Problem solving
  • Decision making
  • Negotiation skills

Sport for Development

‘Sport includes all forms of physical activity that contributes to physical fitness, mental well being, and social interaction, such as play, recreation, organized or competitive sport, indigenous sports or games.’


United Nations Inter Agency Task Force on Sport for Development and Peace Sport has the unique power to attract, mobilize and inspire. By its very nature, sport is about participation, inclusion and citizenship but most importantly it stands for human values such as respect for the opponent, acceptance of binding rules, teamwork and fairness. Each of these values is relevant to the holistic development of children and youth, building blocks for a strong, responsible and healthy community in the future. Sports based development programmes have proven to be most effective the world over, especially for interventions with ‘at risk’ children and youth. Above all, such programmes are cost effective and highly sustainable.
Outcomes of Sports based programmes
  • Age appropriate play leads to improved motor skills and better mental growth
  • Improved enrolment and attendance rates in schools as well as performance in the classroom
  • Youth adopt safe behaviours and make informed decisions to lead healthy, productive lives
  • Improved gender sensitivity
  • Decreased anti-social behavior
  • Empowering individuals with disability
‘Sport can play a role in improving the lives of not only individuals but whole communities. I am convinced the time is right to build that understanding to encourage governments, development agencies and communities to think how sport can be included more systematically in the plans to help children, particularly those living in the midst of poverty, disease and conflict.' - Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General

Leadership Path

Leadership Path in Project KHEL

What we do outside sessions

Community based games for MHM- Our core belief is that female empowerment cannot be done by working in isolation with young girls, but  requires awareness to be raised in the communities they live in and in the general public. Following the experiential and interactive learning techniques we implement in all our programs, we disseminate information about menstruation, and debunk commonly shared myths, through games. Our MHM games target both men and women of all ages, and are set up in public spaces, during fairs or community events.


 
Social Media Campaign – Aiming to reach a broader audience, in 2014 we initiated an ongoing social media campaign called ‘The Red Spot.’  By posting photographs of adolescents and adults posing with hand-written messages that encourage a change in society’s perception of menstruation, we aim to end the stigma against women during their periods, and normalize the image, of what is essentially a natural process. You can check our album out here.

What is Ultimate

Ultimate, more commonly known as Ultimate Frisbee, started almost 60 years ago in the United States. Today, it is a sport played by over 7 million people across 80 countries. It is a self-officiated mixed gender sport where different genders play together on the same line.  SOTG or Spirit of the Game is the most important component of this sport. An athlete who had won multiple medals at the national games was asked a question, ‘Does one get any recognition playing this sport?’ the answer was quick and simple – ‘No’.  We have over 2000 players in India and the number grows by the day. None of these players play because they are forced to. There is no money or autographs or medals. The incentive system of this sport is simple – a player embodies the values this sport offers.

  • Ultimate requires jumping, running, diving, and throwing a disc so players have to be agile and quick on their feet. They have to be strong and focused throughout the game.
  • Ultimate requires teamwork and togetherness. If the team loses, they support each other and if the team wins they celebrate together.
  • Ultimate is intensely physical and includes a mix of measured teamwork and bursts of individual athleticism.
  • Ultimate is a self refereed sport, so it's a must for players to have a prominent voice during the game. It's also critical that players make rational calls with their opponents.
  • Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees; a philosophy which emphasises sportsmanship over competition; and camaraderie above all else.

What we do

Teen Talks is our forum on open discussion with teenagers ranging on a variety of topics, from puberty to health and safety related ones.


Forum values- Free flowing, non-judgmental, unbarred discussions, in the absence of parents or school authorities. We give enough space for the participants to ask as direct questions as possible and we try to reply just as openly, afterwards, encouraging people with contradicting views to share their opinions too.
Discussion Topics
  • Body Image
  • Safe use of Social Media and technology (Facebook/ Whatsapp)
  • Peer Pressure
  • Relationships and Break-ups
  • Pornography
  • Masturbation
  • Physical Involvement with partner
  • Learning to Say NO to partner

Workshop Structure- We conduct 2 hour long discussions at a minimal cost for mainstream individuals and free of cost sessions for the underprivileged ones.

The Issue

CSA The WHO estimates that 150 million girls and 73 million boys under 18 have experienced forced sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual violence involving physical contact, though this is certainly an underestimate. Much of this sexual violence is inflicted by family members or other people residing in or visiting a child's family home- people normally trusted by children and often responsible for their care.


In India, 53.22% reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse that included severe and other forms. Among them 52.94% were boys and 47.06% girls. The age wise distribution of children reporting sexual abuse in one or more forms showed that though the abuse started at the age of 5 years, it gained momentum 10 years onward, peaking at 12 to 15 years and then starting to decline. This study on Child Abuse: India 2007 means that children in the teenage years are most vulnerable.
In many places, adults are outspoken about the risk of sexual violence their children faced at school or at play in the community, but rarely did adults speak of children's risk of sexual abuse within the home and family context. The shame, secrecy and denial associated with familial sexual violence against children foster a pervasive culture of silence, where children cannot speak about sexual violence in the home, and where adults do not know what to do or say if they suspect someone they know is sexually abusing a child.

What We Do

Ab Bas! is our programme on building awareness around the topic of Child Sexual Abuse (CSA) which affects children of all age groups, genders and social backgrounds.


Story behind the name- This one came from a session with 5 year olds, who were asked to read what was projected on the screen, resulting in- “Child Seksal Ab-bas”. The words “Ab bas” sounded just so correct for this issue. There has been enough of preying on little children and enough of keeping quiet, AB BAS!
Workshop themes-
  • For Children:
    • Help children to identify between Good, Bad and Accidental touch
    • Help them come up with their own ideas of escaping from a certain situation
    • Focusing on statements like ‘MY body belongs to ME’ and ‘It is not MY fault’
  • For Parents and Teachers:
    • Helping them talk to children about their private parts and about Child Sexual Abuse
    • Dealing with their ward’s story of sexual abuse through role plays

Workshop Structure- We conduct sessions at a minimal cost for mainstream individuals and free of cost sessions for children from lower income backgrounds / economically weaker sections.

Session Schedule

The table below presents our weekly session schedule. Visitors are welcome but since we work with partners, prior information is preferable so we can plan accordingly.

DAY LOCATION TIMING
MONDAY Mamta School (Itaunja – Sitapur Rd.) 0830-0930
Justice Triveni Sahai School (Itaunja – Sitapur Rd.) 1000-1100
Justice Triveni Sahai School (Itaunja – Sitapur Rd.) 1100-1200
Nav Srijan (Gomti Nagar) 1130-1230
Prayas (Small) (Gomti Nagar) 1500-1600
Modern Madrasa 1500-1600
Lalbagh Childrens Home & Deepshikha (Hazratganj) 1700-1800
TUESDAY Rajkiya Bal Griha (Girls) (Moti Nagar) 1630-1730
Balu Adda 1730-1830
Rajkiya Bal Griha (Boys) (Mohaan Road) 1730-1830
WEDNESDAY Pramodini School (Butler Palace) 0745-0845
Acharya Narendra Dev Academy (Butler Palace) 0900-1000
Bharatiya Balika Vidyalaya (Hazratganj) 1030-1130
Prayaas (Gomti Nagar) 1530-1630
Bharatiya Balika Vidyalaya (Hazratganj) 1530-1630
Sarthak (Chinhat) 1700-1800
Husadiya Slum (Gomti Nagar) 1700-1800
THURSDAY Mamta School (Itaunja – Sitapur Rd.) 0830-0930
Justice Triveni Sahai School (Itaunja – Sitapur Rd.) 1000-1100
Justice Triveni Sahai School (Itaunja – Sitapur Rd.) 1100-1200
Nav Srijan (Gomti Nagar) 1130-1230
Prayas (Small) (Gomti Nagar) 1500-1600
Modern Madrasa 1500-1600
Lalbagh Childrens Home & Deepshikha (Hazratganj) 1700-1800
FRIDAY Rajkiya Bal Griha (Girls) (Moti Nagar) 1630-1730
Balu Adda 1730-1830
Rajkiya Bal Griha (Boys) (Mohaan Road) 1730-1830
SATURDAY Pramodini School (Butler Palace) 0745-0845
Acharya Narendra Dev Academy (Butler Palace) 0900-1000
Bharatiya Balika Vidyalaya (Hazratganj) 1030-1130
Prayaas (Gomti Nagar) 1530-1630
Bharatiya Balika Vidyalaya (Hazratganj) 1530-1630
Sarthak (Chinhat) 1700-1800
Husadiya Slum (Gomti Nagar) 1700-1800

Impact

4.Teen Talks

Impact

2.Red Spot

Impact

3.abBAS