26 July 2010

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

We turn 8 years old today!

Over the past 8 years, we have been privileged to have the investment and guidance of some of the most incredible mentors, volunteers, alumni, staff members and partner organizations. On behalf of the organizational staff, members and Board of Directors, I take this opportunity to express our sincerest appreciation for your encouragement and contribution to the various programs of March 2009- 2010. We are deeply grateful for your support and generosity.

TYPF was founded as The Youth Parliament on July 26, 2002 as a response by young people in schools to the Godhra Riots addressing the growing indifference and apathy amongst youth in urban Delhi.

Our vision is a world where young people’s human rights are respected. We believe that young people themselves need to build bridges and acknowledge diversities. Varying realities in urban cities often distance people from each other and make them indifferent to the lack of power, rights and privilege faced by young people.  The question we asked ourselves when we began TYPF was – What can we each do to challenge and change this?

Today, The YP Foundation (TYPF) completes 8 years and we would like to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for all your leadership, encouragement and support. We appreciate the amount of time and energy you have spent in helping build the organization and bringing it to where it is today and, thereby, enabling its journeys in the future.

With a core focus on creating programmes and influencing policy in the areas of gender, sexuality, health, education, the arts and governance, our mission is to promote, protect and advance young people’s human rights by building leadership, and strengthening youth led initiatives and movements. Founded in 2002, we have worked directly with 5,000 young people over the last 8 years, training them as peer educators to set up more than 200 projects in India, reaching out to 300,000 children, adolescents and young people between the ages of 3-28 years.

We have learned some critical lessons in the past few years on sustaining youth led work in India and have increased our focus on planning, research and impact evaluation processes, with a strong focus on building a rights-based approach to our work.

None of this would have been possible without your commitment. Youth led movements are sustained by the communities that make organizations like our possible in the long-term.

2010 is an important year for us, as we will be finalizing our 2 years strategic planning process with the advice and assistance of Pramada Menon and Vishal Talreja, two of The YP Foundation’s long time mentors. We would like to thank them, as well as the India Habitat Center, Global Fund for Children, the International Women’s Health Coalition, American Center and IPPF for their institutional investment and belief in our work.

In 2009 we moved into our first office, where we share space with the Indian Youth Climate Network. We are now a team of 15 young people in staff, with 6 of us working full time, and 9 of us working part time. 2010 is the second year running where all of our staff has received salaries – an important step towards building sustainability! We hope to build our institutional capacity further, to ensure that the organization is well trained to continuously scale its quality of its work.

We are now focussing on the long-term direction of our 6 flagship programmes, looking a local and national strategy for each. As we begin working both in Hindi and English, our focus in our community programmes are on scaling the quality of our peer education work in gender, sexuality, health, education, the arts & governance continues.

Children at The Umeed Home for Boys © Shiv Ahuja.

Our out-of-school education programme, Blending Spectrum, is currently enabling 130 street and slum children to access life skills, formal education and primary hygiene education. We have been able to successfully assist 60 children transition into mainstream schooling, with a 0% drop out rate. We work at 2 locations, the Nizamuddin Basti and with The Ummeed Home for Boys (run by NGO Aman Biradari) at Qutab, New Delhi.

Silhouette, our arts programme, will launch in 2010 its multi-year music education programme for artists, called ‘The Open House Series’, a 6 month series of clinics, classes, workshops and training programmes in Hindi and English that address methods of livelihood sustainability for young musicians.

Project 19: Know Your Body, Know Your Rights’ is our peer education programme that addresses young people’s access to information and services regarding their sexuality, gender, health and rights. The project reaches out to 600 young people each year, working additionally with national partners from over 10 states across India to address the need for Sexuality Education in India.

The Darohar Project & Members of Mumford & Son at Raising Decibel Levels, December 2010. © Shiv Ahuja.

The project also hosts the ‘Project 19 Festival’, a National initiative founded in February 2009 that brings together over 600 young people from diverse communities across 10 states of India to address issues of HIV, sexuality, gender and rights.

In our way forward, we launched the multi-year ‘Know Your Body, Know Your Rights’ Campaign’, a national and local peer education programme that builds the capacities of young people and youth led organizations across 10 states in India to address Comprehensive Sexuality Education.

The Butterfly Project is our film and literature programme that addresses human rights issues with young people through film with their National Festival as well as trains communities on using Digital Storytelling. The Bridge, our youth led and produced independent magazine, addressed ‘Understanding Afghanistan Today’, bringing Afghan and Indian voices together.

VOICES, The School Project is our in-school education programme that addresses Mental Health and Life Skills issues with adolescents. VOICES recently completed working with Bluebells International School and The Ranjan Project, conducting a 4-part module with the students enrolled at Vidya Ankur Social Centre in Badarpur.

The Right to Information Branch, our governance programme, has successfully trained over 200 young people on how to use the RTI Act and assisted over 4000 people register for the 2009 Elections in Chhattisgarh and New Delhi. The programme works in Hindi and English, and also conducts policy dialogues between young people, organizations working within the RTI movement and the government with inputs from Shekhar Singh (NCPRI) and Wajahat Habibullah (CIC).

Nationally, we have partnerships with youth activists and youth led/focused organizations in over 10 states across India, spanning Nagaland, Manipur, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jharkand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Bihar, Pondicherry and Kashmir. Our goal is to collaborate and build technical capacities with our national partners to address and advocate for sexuality education in their own communities as well as nationally

2009 was the first year where with UNESCO and UNFPA, we were able to provide grants to enable the work being done by young activists:

Umesh Kumar Sanodiya with HIV/AIDS and Sexuality Education in 20 slum areas across Bhopal,
Prabal Bhardwaj with promoting good governance in Maharashtra,
Shoba Narayan, working with students to address issues of identity, community and rights at Olcott Memorial High School in Chennai.
We are also currently supporting Music Basti, an organization started by our alumni Faith Gonsalves, which promotes access to information and opportunities to children- at-risk through the medium of music.

Participants at Vikalp 2009, A Youth Forum for Social Change with UNFPA and UNESCO

Our evaluation mechanism is a 4-phase system that runs in a project cycle throughout the year from April to March. Each Phase are a series of brainstorming meetings that brings together all volunteers, staff members and board members from across the organization together. The 4 Phases are:

Phase 1: Developing the Mission and Goals of each Programme Division and its projects for the year.
Phase 2: Conducting an early stage assessment and objectives alignment with staff and volunteers within all projects.
Phase 3: Conducting a late stage critical review of each project and highlighting key focus areas.
Phase 4: Evaluating the effectiveness of all projects conducted in the year with volunteers and staff. Highlighting the way forward for the organization in its next year.

We would also like to thank Aman Biradari, TARSHI, CREA, CHRI, UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA and UNODC, The Nanhi Chhaan Foundation, Media Offline, Management Development Institute, Inter Faith Youth Core, Power Grid Corporation, Rosmerta Technologies Ltd., Sareen Estates Ltd., Videocon, The British Council, Spiral Seed, Students for the Promotion of International Law (SPIL), Indian Youth Climate Network (IYCN), Artistes Unlimited (AU), The Ashok Hotel, Delhi Events.Com, Hit 95 FM, Rolling Stone, Only Much Louder, Pravah, Kri Foundation and The Grafiosi, their partnerships and support over the years have given our programmes the skills and tools we need, to train and work for and with young people.

Last but certainly not the least, our thanks goes to the individuals who have worked with us. TYPF would be an incomplete organization had it not been for the incredible young people who have built it collectively and developed its politics and values across the years.

We would particularly like to remember Purple Malik on this day, our young talented Graphic Designer who passed away earlier in November 2009. We lost Purple very suddenly; her talent, art and voice remain etched in our memories and our work. We miss her very much.

We cannot imagine The YP Foundation without your contribution. With the many names that have built TYPF, it is hard to acknowledge each and every person here but in sending this letter to you we want you to know that we think you are invaluable to the work that we do.

As we finalize our strategic planning process and our needs assessments we will be getting in touch with many of you for your advice and partnership. We need you – as we take new steps into these new years to engage with the organization, share your expertise and donate to build our institutional capacity.

Thank you very much for everything you have done for us over these past years. We would not exist without the goodwill and friendship of our colleagues and partners, and so this birthday is most definitely shared by all of us collectively.

Warm Regards,

Ishita Chaudhry

Chief Executive Officer on behalf of
The Staff & Board of The YP Foundation

The YP Foundation, Address: N 204, Greater Kailash, Part 1, New Delhi – 110048. India.
Phone: +91.11.46792243/44, Email: theypfoundation@gmail.com Website: www.theypfoundation.org

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