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“Adolescent Empowerment Programmes in Two Vulnerable Populations: A Cross-Cultural Study in Rural Australia & Rural India.”. Dr. Nicole Mohajer. Outline of the Study. Cross-cultural, exploratory study of vulnerable adolescents.

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“Adolescent Empowerment Programmes in Two Vulnerable Populations: A Cross-Cultural Study in Rural Australia & Rural India.”

Dr. Nicole Mohajer

outline of the study
Outline of the Study
  • Cross-cultural, exploratory study of vulnerable adolescents.
  • Samples were selected from among the most vulnerable populations of rural Australia: Aboriginal youth who are poor school-attenders and North India: out-of-school, rural or slum dwelling youth
broad objectives
Broad Objectives
  • To explore existing learning about ‘empowerment’ programmes with out-of-school adolescents
  • To apply the theory with tested materials
  • To enable out-of-school adolescents to express their perceived needs, expectations and experience of the ‘empowerment’ process
adolescents in india and aboriginal australia
Adolescents in India and Aboriginal Australia
  • Indian youth: child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, reproductive morbidity within marriage (NFHS3)
  • Aboriginal youth: Adolescent pregnancy, STI, injury, poisoning, smoking, alcohol and drugs (Pink and Allbon, 2008)
  • Aboriginal suicide and parasuicide are increasing (Tatz, 2001)
  • In 2006, 22 percent of Aboriginal males and 24 percent of Aboriginal females had completed year 12 compared with 49 percent of non-Aboriginal Australians (Pink and Allbon 2008)
  • In Uttar Pradesh, India, 550,000 children are out of school, 54% of children complete year five. (GOI, 2003)
context of the researcher
Context of the Researcher
  • Medical practice and community development with adolescents in rural India 1992-1996
  • Working with suicidal youth in an Australian children’s emergency department 2003-2005
  • Pilot testing health manuals and literacy materials with youth in rural India 1997 – 2000
  • Consultancy work with NGOs India 2000-2007: Capacity building of staff
  • Medical practice in Aboriginal Health Service 2006-2008
empowerment theory
Empowerment Theory

The awakening of critical consciousness in both the educator and other participants so that they become aware of themselves as active participants in the world around them (Freire, 1994, p. 44)

“Empowerment requires the full participation of people in the formulation, implementation and evaluation of decisions determining the functioning and well-being of our societies” (United Nations, 1995, point 26.0)

Primary health care requires and promotes maximum community and individual self-reliance and participation in the planning, organization, operation and control of primary health care… and to this end develops through appropriate education the ability of communities to participate (Alma Ata Declaration)

what protects at risk youth
What protects ‘at risk’ youth?
  • Existing Learning
  • Resilience
  • Assets (ASPIRE)
  • Confidence, character, connection and competence (IYF)
  • Life Skills (UNICEF)
  • Importance of social supports, culture, beliefs and local relevance
  • For further research
  • Is there a universal model?
  • How to reach marginalized?
  • Sustainability?
research methods
Research Methods
  • Pre-intervention questionnaire
  • First draft: Abridged WHO tested survey
  • Three adaptations/simplifications as research progressed
  • Intervention directed by the questionnaire
  • Interventions included health classes, literacy classes, youth empowerment topics, skits, open days, regular workshops at a youth centre, spiritual empowerment classes
  • Post-intervention in-depth interviews
  • Interviews with peer-educators, research assistants
  • Large, quantitative study to support initial themes
timeline
2006 India: 71 youth in 7 villages with peer educators (Qualitative: n=56)

2006 Australian preparation

2007 India: Slums (Qualitative: n=6), Villages (Quantitative: 275 female, 648 male)

2007 Australia: (Quantitative: n=39)

2008 Australia: (3 FGD: n=40+)

Timeline
indian sample
Indian Sample
  • The mean age of males and females was 15 (15.41 males, 14.88 females). Twenty five percent of Indian females had never attended school, with 60 percent completing class five or below. Thirty five percent of males and 9.8 percent of females reported that they were employed.
australian sample
Mean age 13 years. Seventy six percent were in grades 6-8. Only 17 percent were employed.

Mobility led to a large number of drop outs

Australian Sample
health topics
Health Topics

Participants were given a list of health topics and asked to mark the ones they were interested to know more about:

preliminary themes
Preliminary Themes

Aboriginal Youth:

We need a safe place to get away from drinking and drugs…

... we need a way to deal with boredom.

My family, community, culture, religion are most important to me.

Fights, relationships, not going to school are big problems.

Sports and friends make me happy.

I am not sure what I will be doing in 10 years time, probably will leave home.

I am happy, outgoing, deadly, sporty, fun…

preliminary themes1
Preliminary Themes

Aboriginal Youth:

We need a safe place to get away from drinking and drugs…

... we need a way to deal with boredom.

My family, community, culture, religion are most important to me.

Fights, relationships, not going to school are big problems.

Sports and friends make me happy.

I am not sure what I will be doing in 10 years time, probably will leave home.

I am happy, outgoing, deadly, sporty, fun…

preliminary themes2
Preliminary Themes

Indian Youth:

We need a way to earn money and live…

... we need a way to deal with corruption, bad people, drunks.

My family, community, culture, religion are most important to me.

Fights, relationships, not going to school are big problems.

Music and friends make me happy.

I will be working (Male) or housewife (Female) in 10 years, probably will leave home.

I want to serve my community and family…

If I was not poor I would study more…

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