Life skill training for adolescents

New Delhi, July 28, 2015: As you read this, an adolescent girl perhaps somewhere is struggling to make a responsible decision that takes her to the highway of a dream life. Scientifically it has been seen that teenagers often face challenges during their transition to adulthood: the rapid development of identity, blossoming of emotions and onset of puberty caused by brain development.

With the objective to enable adolescents to understand and accept physical, emotional & mental changes that occurs during adolescence and to equip them with the skills that enables them to make informed choices for a responsible behavior, FXB India Suraksha in coordination with Modicare Foundation recently organised a five days ‘Life Skill Training Programme’ in Noida, Uttar Pradesh with around 40 young girls, under the Slum Intervention Program.

The training revolved around the ten core Life Skills determined by World Health Organisation which includes self-awareness, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, effective communication, interpersonal relationship, coping with stress,  and coping with emotion. The training aimed to help the adolescents in the development of mental, physical and emotional changes of life and the skills that needs to be learnt to adjust with the various challenges of life. The methodology used by the trainer intended to be interactive and involved discussion & brainstorming sessions, role play, games & activities so as to not just gain the attention of the participants but also ensure equal participation.

"I have attended this kind of training workshop for the first time; it helped me to discuss my personal issues openly with the trainer", said 14 year old Divya (name changed). During one such session on sexual abuse, a grim issue was raised by a participant, which was eventually intervened by FXBIS. So in a way, the workshop also opened avenues for the participants to speak up and share.

The trainer for the Training program stressed that, "The topics for the training were very carefully selected to meet the needs of the adolescents who are indeed the most sensitive population of our society". The diverse topics that some or the other way revolves around the life span of the teens are Life Skills, Growing up, Peer Pressure, Substance Abuse, Sexual Abuse, basic knowledge on HIV/AIDS to Cyber Crime.

While AoC training is only one part of a range of interventions that are needed to help young people get back on track, vocational training, support for accessing basic health and other services and even psychological therapy are also essential.

As per a recent report by UNICEF, there has been good news and bad news in research on adolescence. The bad news is that many more children than we ever thought before are entering adolescence with broken childhoods like abuse, neglect and dysfunctional parenting driven by addiction, violence or unaddressed mental health issues. The good news is that teenagers can strengthen their performance through learning character skills, which give them a second chance to get back on track to lead a stable, fulfilling and happy life

Adolescence is our second — and perhaps last —chance to harness the public good to ensure our most vulnerable teenagers build better lives — and eventually better societies. Let’s not waste that chance.

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