Friday, November 28, 2008


Leadership training for a group of girls from the 9th standard at Olcott Memorial School, a half-day workshop was conducted and was led by Ms.Magdalene Jeyarathnam . The workshop focused on DECISION MAKING IN THE CONTEXT OF RELATIONSHIP - six girls were present for the workshop. 

The activities were as follows:

These activities are chosen based on previous workshops conducted with adolescents and also the Life skills training module by Family Health International.
  1. Each student wrote down a person they admired most and what are the qualities that they admired in that person.
  2. After they wrote it down they had a discussion about it with other students.
  3. Then the students made a chart - A relationship chart, on this chart they had to make a circle in the center and write their names within the circle, then make circles for all the significant people in their lives right now - including if they liked any "boy" at this point. The students were told they did not have to share this chart with anyone except one person they choose from the group.
  4. The students drew lines connecting them to the person drawn on the chart either a single line to show how "close" they were with the person on the chart, double line to show "very close" and three lines to show they were "extremely close" to the person. On the line they wrote what were the issues that were discussed with this person.
  5. Once all the students drew this chart, they were very secretive and choose one partner from the group to share this with. The students seemed to get a lot of insight about their relationships from this activity.
  6. This made it easier for the students to come back as a group to discuss the qualities of 
  • A 'Brother - Sister' kind of relationship
  • Friend who happens to be boy relationship
  • Special or Serious relationship 
     7.  It was really interesting to see these students discuss these issues very animatedly and   make these lists. These were the conclusions they came up with:

  • They thought a brother - sister relationship or a boy as a friend was when they felt "safe" with this person. They gave the following example - when they had gone on a school trip somewhere and they wanted to use the wash rooms, they asked some of the boys to come with them. They gave names of boys they felt who fitted in this category. 
  • They thought they could discuss some of the problems with them.
  • They felt they will not be 'made fun of' or 'laughed at' by these boys
  • They wanted support from them when they had trouble in their own homes.
  • The 'serious relationship' list started with a description of what was a serious relationship. They felt they were too young and then said a serious relationship was something that one has when they are a little older maybe 21 or 22 years old. They felt that was an age when one finishes college and is 'emotionally mature' to handle such a relationship. This list had things like he should not be suspicious of me, should treat me with respect, should treat me equally, etc. 
  • They talked about how other girls in their class was thinking that the relationship is 'serious' but then concluded by saying even if she was 'seeing' this boy it can only be described as 'friend who happens to be a boy' category because this was not the age to think of a 'serious' relationship.
We actually did not teach or tell them what is right in deciding on a relationship because I think the young women understood for themselves on what is important in these relationships. 

The ground is set for the next session on 29th saturday which talks about sex and sexuality.

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