On August 20, 2023, in Sargur, India, the "Understanding Adolescence, Empowering Teachers" workshop was held as part of the 1.8 Billion Young People for Change campaign and in the lead up to the Global Forum for Adolescents. Organized by a consortium of leading organizations, including the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement, Indian Academy of Pediatrics Bangalore, International Pediatric Association, Karnataka Adolescent Health Academy, and Bangalore Adolescent Health Academy, this workshop brought together educators and experts to focus on Adolescent Well-Being.
The workshop, attended by 60 participants, aimed to equip teachers and administrative officials from high schools and pre-university residential colleges in rural and tribal areas of Karnataka with knowledge and skills related to adolescent health and well-being. The goal was to empower these educators to address the multifaceted challenges faced by adolescents, spanning all five domains of their well-being.
Under the guidance of adolescent health professionals, Dr. PushpalathaS, Dr.PreetiGalagali, and Dr. Shubha Badami, the sessions delved into the complexities of pubertal changes, menstrual health, body image, psychosocial well-being, emotional health, media literacy, and sexuality education for adolescents.
One of the workshop's highlights was a dedicated session designed to assist teachers in recognizing, managing, and counseling students with learning and neurodevelopmental disabilities. Two young presenters led a counseling session, facilitating an open and insightful dialogue between educators and adolescents.
Participants reported a significant improvement in both their knowledge and practical skills in addressing adolescent health issues. The youth-led counseling session was particularly well-received, emphasizing the value of peer-to-peer education.
Recognizing the need for ongoing support, an email group was formed, connecting teachers with the workshop facilitators, who are adolescent health specialists. This platform will serve as a valuable resource, providing teachers with continued guidance and access to scientific reading materials and useful links.
To ensure the sustainability of these efforts, follow-up teacher training sessions have been planned at six-month intervals. These sessions will serve as opportunities to further enhance teachers' skills and knowledge in adolescent health and well-being, reinforcing their role as champions of adolescent wellness in their schools and communities.
In an innovative move, a community radio program dedicated to the upcoming Global Forum for Adolescents was recorded. This program is set to reach over 200,000 tribal residents of Saragur, extending the knowledge and insights gained during the workshop to a broader audience and fostering a community-wide commitment to adolescent well-being.
Key figures from school management and administrative officials attended this event, signifying their dedication to understanding and addressing the unique challenges faced by adolescents. In the wake of the workshop, these officials plan to collaborate with students to revamp school policies, ensuring that all aspects of adolescent well-being are prioritized in school activities and events.
The "Understanding Adolescence, Empowering Teachers" workshop in Sargur was not just a one-time event; it was a catalyst for ongoing change. It empowered educators to navigate the intricate landscape of adolescent well-being and inspired collaborative efforts to create a more supportive, nurturing, and inclusive environment for the young minds of rural India.
For more information on how to organize your own national event supporting the Global Forum for Adolescents and the 1.8 Billion Young People for Change Campaign, or to find an event in your country/region, please visit www.1point8b.org. To facilitate your event planning process, click here to access our comprehensive National Event Checklist, an example National Event Agenda that can be used as a reference and tailored to your needs, and a National Events Kit, which you can use to brand your events with the high-energy graphics of the campaign.