PRERANA’s flagship Better Life Options Programme was initiated in 1988. The project was designed keeping local needs and priorities in mind and in consultation with the girls and communities that it would address. It focused on empowering girls with awareness, information and skills that would enable them to access various services and explore better life options. The goal of PRERANA’s Adolescent Programme is to create an environment of dignity and opportunity for adolescents enabling them to achieve their full potential of personal growth, and ability to contribute to family, community and societal development.
Its specific objectives are:
- Enable adolescent girls to avail better opportunities in life
- Develop educational and vocational skills
- Facilitate better emotional and physical growth and development
- Improve social and negotiation abilities within and outside the family
- Carve careers and help set Better Life Goals
The three main components of the project include-
- Age appropriate Reproductive Health Services
- Individual Skill Building
At the field level, in six peri –urban villages on the outskirts of Delhi, the initial stage of the PRERANA’s adolescent programme project focused on organization of groups of girls in each village in the form of a ‘center’. With the gaining of experience, a decentralized approach was adopted by establishing sub-centers in unreached pockets of the villages and the main centers at the village level providing advanced inputs and platform for alumni activities. The sub-centers continue as self sustained independent centres and the alumni girls run and manage these centres as ‘Peer Facilitators’ and ‘Centre In-charge’ and provide both skills training as well as FLE inputs to their peers. The total duration of the programme cycle is six months.
The Better Life Option Programme has come a long way since its inception in the late 80’s. The Better Life Options programmes continued to operate five peri – urban villages: Tajpur, Molarband, Meethapur, Aali, Jaitpur in the Badarpur area of District South of NCT of Delhi. The field-based program is self-sustained and self-sufficient and its execution is by and large the responsibility of the communities in which it is being implemented. Without much supervision from the office side, all the centres are running very well and more and more girls are trying to start their own centres, thus moving towards an economically independent and self esteemed future.
Refresher Training of Center-Incharges continues to be an integral aspect of the project, which focuses on capacity building on Life Skills.
Aneeta joined a PRERANA center after her marriage and learnt Beauty Culture. When her husband lost his job, Aneeta started her own Beauty center in a small rented store. She runs a beauty parlour and a training center. She has also roped in her husband, who manages a small cosmetics shop in the same premises.
Mehnaz from Aali was 19 years old when she completed her skills training in Beauty Culture. She is now employed by Nav Abhiyan, an NGO, to train slum girls in a basti in Jangpura. She trains girls in Beauty Culture and also takes Life Skills Classes.
Chandrakala from Molarband learnt tailoring. She now runs her own tailoring centre in Bihar.
Shahnaz from Aali graduated from a PRERANA Centre at the age of nineteen. She works at IDEA ltd. as a Receptionist.
Suman a Peer Educator with PRERANA was appointed an Anganwadi Worker under the Govt. of India’s ICDS project.
PRERANA’S currently employs four Peer Educators under the Better Life Options programme: