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Exciting results. Measurable impact. Latest on our Children’s Resiliency Program in India.

Copyright Laura Kudritzki Photography. All Rights Reserved. 2010.

As many of you may know, CorStone launched its Children’s Resiliency Program in India last October 2009, with a successful kick-off training for 55 teachers from a dozen schools in 5 cities. What you may not know, is that since that time we’ve been working in partnership with Sangath, an internationally renowned mental health research group based in Goa, India, to objectively evaluate the program on our behalf.

Specifically, Sangath conducted baseline and follow-up mental health assessments with approximately 75 adolescent girls going through our program at The Hope Project school in New Delhi.  The Hope Project is a well-respected local nonprofit that operates a school, medical clinic, job training program, and other services in a 400 year old Muslim village — many of its residents in poor health and living in poverty, with cultural norms that have traditionally frowned upon secular education, particularly for girls.

Beginning in November 2009, 7 of the teachers we trained at the Hope Project began facilitating weekly one-hour support groups (10-12 students per group) with the girls.  Each weekly session consisted of 20 minutes of a specially-designed resiliency curriculum developed by CorStone, followed by open sharing using Restorative Practices (conflict resolution/problem-solving) approaches. Needless to say we’ve been eagerly awaiting word from Sangath on how our program is working!

The primary mental health assessment tool Sangath used is the ‘SDQ’, which is well recognized in the international mental health arena, and has been used successfully in many studies in India and other developing countries. Midway into the weekly one hour program (12 weeks), here’s what they found:

SDQ Completed By Teachers
– Students scoring Normal on SDQ Total increased from 33.0% in pre-test to 60.8% in post-test (after 12 weeks of the intervention);
– Students scoring Borderline increased from 21.6% to 24.7%, and
– Students scoring Abnormal decreased considerably from 45.4% to 6.2% in post-test.

Self Reported SDQ Completed By Student
– Students scoring Normal on SDQ Total increased from 52.6% in pre-test to 66.0% in post-test;
– Students with Borderline and Abnormal scores also decreased after the intervention.    

These results are huge, far better than we anticipated. Typically even a few % points change would already have been considered beneficial.   We will have qualitative (teacher/student interviews) data by end June, as well as a final SDQ assessment in a few weeks at the completion of the program…but preliminary feedback from the teachers, students and school administrators already demonstrates clearly that we’re onto something impactful, sustainable and cost-effective. 

Stay tuned for more! And if you’re interested in working with us on this very pioneering program — as a partner, donor, trainer — please don’t hesitate to contact me at CorStone. Phase II of the program envisions a research effort involving 10 schools, a randomized control design and 1,000 children, with implementation in severe high-need communities of India. We need your support!

– Steve Leventhal, Executive Director

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5 Responses to Exciting results. Measurable impact. Latest on our Children’s Resiliency Program in India.

  1. Janet Buder May 19, 2010 at 5:26 pm #

    I am an MFT intern training at Dominican.
    I am also interested in working with children and in doing research.
    Would like to hear more and possibly become involved in phase II.
    Feel free to email me. Thanks. Visionary project and exciting results. I am currently working on resiliency (informally) in my internship in the MV elementary school systems

    • CorStone May 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

      Thanks Janet! Will do. Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in an internship with us as well. -Steve

  2. Katie St Clair May 19, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    Well done with this program. I’m an International Facilitator trained by yourselves living in oz. I have worked as youth mentor and now looking to start 7 week program with primary school kids on resilience with Guidance Officer. Have you heard of the “Aman ki Asha” project within the schools of India esp New Delhi. Nationwide Initiative by India Times, perhaps you can work it in …. I am using this project as the link for these children from Australia to help usher PEACE in and link into global community … keep up the good work :>)

    • CorStone May 20, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

      Katie – Thanks for your support and for the info on Aman ki Asha. No, I’m not aware of this project. If you have any connections or additional info there, please let me know. Interested to learn more and perhaps collaborate. Best to you,

      Steve Leventhal

  3. Susan Hirsch May 20, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    I am so happy to see the results of the Center’s continued visionary work. It is heart warming to see how it continues to touch children lives so deeply. Your progressive approach is clearly working. Congrats on the impressive study results and keep up the wonderful work you do on all our behalf.

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