Addressing Life Skills and Mental Health
– 13-year-old boy, Bluebells School International
“I like these sessions. Because I enjoyed a lot & learnt more about communication in which I learnt how to speak properly & about listening, interacting & eye contact etc. I feel that we are equal.”
– Sangeeta, 20 years, The Ranjan Project
“(VOICES) taught me to stand for my self and my opinions and voice them out. Also, to respect my thoughts and myself. All this I knew subconsciously prior to the workshops but wasn’t really practicing it in all spheres of life.” “(It) has taught me A LOT. From standing for myself, my thoughts and opinions to respecting and voicing them. It has liberated them.”
– Anonymous, Peer Educators, VOICES 2009 – 2010
VOICES – The School Project is a peer education programme develops stronger life skills and encourages informed decision-making in school going adolescents, addressing mental health issues that continue to grow in importance in urban schools. VOICES conducts a yearlong module, training peer educators on a range of issues including identity, depression, bullying, substance abuse and eating disorders linked to peer pressure, stereotyping and the influence of appearances during adolescence. Peer Educators conduct a three part workshop module with school going adolescents, working in cohesion with the school administration and counseling/support services.
VOICES provides a safe space for adolescents to express and formulate their attitudes on issues relevant to them, encouraging informed opinions. The programme writes a Recommendations Report that is provided to each school at the end of the process, to suggest further, self-sustaining steps the school can engage in, to continue an open dialogue. The programme was established to empower adolescents to effectively cope with the challenges and pressures of daily life, owing to the increasing levels of violence, substance abuse and peer pressure that exists in urban city schools.
VOICES has worked with The Ranjan Project, Springdales School, The Shri Ram School, Sanskriti School, DPS RK Puram, Bluebells School International and Vasant Valley School in Delhi and the National Capital Region (NCR). The programme has trained over 200 peer educators and reached out to 1,000 students since its inception in 2004. VOICES is in the process of developing a strategic plan for the next three years and will resume programming in 2012.
Donors & Partners
VOICES has been supported by Bluebells School International, DELL and Milkfood in the past.