Laya makes a difference in empowering marginalized communities

Lifelong Learning

Adult Crash Literacy Program

Addressing the literacy needs of marginalized young women presents a particular challenge for government and non-government actors in the tribal communities of Andhra Pradesh. Adivasi young women having low levels of literacy and life skills limits their chances in life.

Literacy and life skills education and training focussed on young women covers a broad field and encompasses issues within and beyond the education sector. At LAYA, we have developed a crash-literacy course for adivasi women. The main objective of the course has been to reach out to adivasi women learners and equip them with basic literacy skills, especially their ability to read in Telugu and with numeracy skills in order to facilitate their effective functioning as leaders at the grassroots level. The programmes have been organised mainly in Visakhapatnam and East Godavari districts.

A case study of the program has been uploaded on the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning website on 7 October 2015.

Community College Initiative

There are hardly any institutions of contextual learning for adivasi youth in the Scheduled Areas of Andhra Pradesh. The mainstream education opportunities are not designed to respond to the learning needs of lifelong educational processes for adivasi youth. This kind of training is hence vital also from the perspective of contributing to the integration and social harmony in these far flung adivasi communities.

The objectives of the Community College is to

  • Create opportunities for adivasi youth to be professionally qualified so that they are employed with viable livelihood options
  • Empower the adivasi youth such that they, as well as others, value their integrity and perceive themselves with dignity and respect
  • Create a human resource which can provide sustainable and effective quality of services at the community level

The curriculum for the Community College comprises two major dimensions

  • Life skills: Multiple skill development relating to life coping skills, interpersonal relationship and communication skills as a foundation essential for all trainees
  • Work skills: Subject matter skills focusing on hands-on learning and future responsibilities particularly in relation to employability

The curriculum for each training programme is developed detailing learning objectives for each module and each session. The methodology comprises classroom sessions, home assignments, field practice, internship and hands on experience, and preparation for employment, self or that which is job related.

Currently two long-term intensive programs are run under this initiative

  • Community Ayurvedic Health Practitioners (CAHP)
  • Sustainable Agriculture Practitioners (SAP)

The program is carried out at Vanantharam, LAYA’s Herbal Health Care Centre at Addateegala in the East Godavari district.

Short term skill based training programmes have also been organised on borewell repair and , promotion of culture and a few others on life skills, working knowledge of the English language and skills for various renewable energy technologies are in the pipeline.

Environment Education and Sustainable Development Course for High School Students in a Forest Ecosystem

The idea of this course is to expose students to relevant and reality based understanding of their own environment within which they reside. The course has been designed for class 8 students and comprises 5 modules with each module having about 5 sessions that are 90 minutes each.

The course contains

  • Self and environment: Self-awareness (addressing the differences of self-awareness among girls and boys), importance and principles underlying effective communication and creating awareness of the local ecosystem: land, water, forests, air, and livestock
  • Forest ecosystem: Focusing on natural resources in the area such as land typologies, forest plant species, nature of biodiversity, nature of water bodies and changing realities
  • Governance of the forest ecosystem in Scheduled Areas: Knowing who are the people and whom to approach in government administration as well as the elected members and judicial officials
  • Cultural practices in the forest ecosystem: Knowing and understanding cultural history, critical appreciation of cultural traditions and practices, and learning cultural forms
  • Forest ecosystem and Sustainable Development Goals: Understanding sustainable development and the relevance of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The main purpose of this course is for students to show a change in the overall awareness levels and appreciation of environmental concerns and the need for sustainable development within their own location and context.

Climate Change Education

The objective of this course is to introduce the concepts and knowledge of climate change within the context of sustainable development and to encourage a sense of activism on climate change and sustainable development issues for class 9 students in the Adivasi area. The course has 8 sessions, with each session of 90 minutes duration.

The course contains

  • Introduction to Climate Change
  • The science of Climate Change
  • The impacts of Climate Change: local, national (ecosystem perspective), and global
  • The causes of Climate Change: historical and current perspective
  • The ethical framework of Climate Change
  • Climate Change and Sustainable Development
  • Positive practical actions at the local level
  • Local actions

The main purpose of this course is for students to show a change in the overall awareness levels and understand the climate crisis from a local context and take relevant actions.

Reaching out to Over 20000 Young Adivasi Men and Women Through Different Campaigns

The key vehicle for outreach is the Andhra Pradesh Adivasi Sanghala Samakya, an Adivasi Network in 4 districts. Members of this network are involved in following up on issues in and around their villages. They have been involved in making

  • Right to Information (RTI) applications interfacing with the community on various government schemes
  • Restoration of Forest Rights (RoFR)
  • Ensuring entitlements related to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)
  • Effective implementation of the Panchayat Extension of Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act and several other such community related issues.

LAYA plays a capacity development and resource role to assist the network in meeting its objectives.

Network Member of ASPBAE

LAYA is a network member of The Asia South Pacific Association for Basic and Adult Education, a regional network of more than 200 civil society organisations and individuals operating in around 30 countries of the Asia-Pacific. ASPBAE works towards promoting the right to quality education and transformative and liberating lifelong adult education and learning for all. Through its work, ASPBAE lobbies with governments to uphold education as an empowering tool to combat poverty and all forms of exclusion and discrimination, enable active and meaningful participation in governance, and builds a culture of peace and international understanding.

Consultative Status : UN Economic and Social Council
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