The Know Your Body Know Your Rights (KYBKYR) programme works to empower adolescents and youth across NCR, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh by delivering stigma-free and rights-affirming information on issues of health, sexuality and human rights, and enables them to advocate for their well-being at the personal, community, state and national levels.
It is based on the belief that adolescents and youth across urban, rural, socio-economic and cultural differences have a strong capacity to understand and engage with issues that directly impact them. But, formal educational or community environments often do not recognize this. Thus young people have limited access to comprehensive information on issues of health, gender and Human Rights, which especially disempowers young women and girls who are marginalised on account of their gender over and above differences in caste, class and age.
The KYBKYR programme design is directly informed by our outreach among marginalised adolescents and youth. Its implementation is youth-led with
strong collaborations across grassroots non-governmental organisations, alongside focused engagement with local and national stakeholders from health and education sectors, including government officers, healthcare providers, counselors, frontline health workers, teachers, etc. 75% of our youth leaders, as well as our outreach, are young women, as the programme inherently promotes women empowerment.
KYBKYR demonstrates that youth-centered and led programming, working in partnership with NGOs, policy makers, young people, and community-level engagement has immense potential to transform the lives of adolescents and youth and empowers them to become agents of social change.
An external evaluation of the programme conducted in 2015 has revealed that the programme has achieved an increased level of leadership, self-confidence and negotiation skills amongst young women and girls. A majority of the participants recognise how the stigma attached to SRHR issues adversely impacts their bodily integrity and rights.
Young people in the programme not only have increased SRH information, they also hold a strong rights-based perspective, and see themselves as rights holders. One example of this is Shanti who gave timely support to a 12 year old rape survivor, thereby averting unsafe childbirth as well as an unreported crime.
In 2015, after going through the CSE programme, KYBKYR youth leaders wanted to assess their access to youth-friendly health services. The data from their research was used in multi-stakeholder district-level and state-level consultations, resulting in constructive dialogue between youth leaders and frontline health workers, doctors and government and non-government representatives. Read their report, “Seen Not Heard” (find the Hindi executive summary here).
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August 2018: Since November 2017, the KYBKYR programme has engaged 600 adolescents and young people in Comprehensive Sexuality Education in diverse locations including urban slums, institutional care homes, schools, colleges, vocational training centres and through direct community mobilisation.
In early 2018, national level Sexuality Karyashaala (Institute) was organised for 22 staff members from implementing partner organisations from across Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, to capacitate them to understand the importance of ensuring young people’s access to sexual and reproductive health and rights information and services.
March-August 2018: Two consultations on Adolescent Health and Wellbeing was organised in Patna in Bihar and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh with our on-ground implementing partners, CSEI and YES Foundation. The event showcased the youth leaders in the programme and brought together policy makers, grassroots organisations and others working on adolescent health. These were platforms for young people to share their experiences of engaging with health services and also to provide their recommendations to further enhance programmes such as Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram.