Capability Building

Over the years, one of Samraksha’s core programmes has been capability building. These initiatives have evolved from a deep level of understanding of some of the vulnerable groups and how systemic marginalization has affected their choices and opportunities. Samraksha’s approach to capability building is based on developing agency, so that people have a greater degree of choices in their lives, and aspiration building, which helps people dream for and move towards a different life for themselves.

As part of the capability building programme, Samraksha recently worked with a group of about 60 vulnerable women, through a 18 month course. The content of this course was designed by the women themselves, and they chose from a wide range of subjects and skills which they felt would help them manage their world better. Areas covered included basic literacy, digital literacy, including usage of mobile devices (tablets and smart phones), rights based approach, and personal development and relationship management. As part of the programme, all the participants also purchased a tablet at a subsidized rate.

Samraksha is also working with young widowed women living with HIV, focusing on helping them heal from the trauma of widowhood and their HIV diagnosis and helping them gain some skills to manage their lives. With this group, Samraksha uses an accompaniment model, supporting the women through their journey of grieving and healing. This is followed by inputs focusing on developing skills to manage their families and relationships and also generate and manage income.

A similar model of accompaniment support is also being used with adolescent boys and girls affected by HIV, many of whom are assuming responsibilities of care for their parents.

Another core capacity building initiative has been the Social Work Praxis course, which integrates elements of Social Work theory and practice. This course is designed for full time development workers, in the local language (Kannada) and operates in the form of monthly modules. It allows participants to draw from their experiences and link it with existing theories in social sciences. This helps them develop a critical understanding of the social issues they are addressing in the field. Currently, the third batch of students are completing this course. For more on the earlier batches, see here.