Aiming high for maximum impact
CorStone launched the Children’s Resiliency Program in India to help empower at-risk children and youth with the strengths, tools and support needed to deal more effectively with life challenges and crisis.
The program seeks to prevent and mitigate the mental and social costs that so often result from trauma, poverty, conflict, abuse, or discrimination. The program focuses particularly on adolescent girls, using simple evidence-based practices shown to decrease depression, anxiety, and hopelessness, increase optimism, increase academic performance, and diminish the likelihood of involvement with interpersonal conflict and violence.
New tools to build better lives
Over a period of six months, six teachers at the Hope Project in Basti Hzt. Nizamuddin, New Delhi, conducted the Children’s Resiliency Program with 97 girl students from the age of 10 to 18.New #resilience #tools to build better lives for children in need | #GirlsFirst #CorStone Click To Tweet
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 the residents in this location are in poor health, illiterate, and living in poverty, with cultural norms that have traditionally frowned upon secular education—particularly for girls. Most of the girls in the program are the first in their family to attend school.
Each one-hour weekly session consisted of a specially-designed resiliency curriculum developed by CorStone. The sessions were followed by peer support and open sharing using tools and practices from the fields of Positive Psychology, Attitudinal Healing and Restorative Practices which focus on conflict resolution and problem-solving.
Rigorous assessment of the outcome
Sangath, an internationally recognized mental health firm based in India, conducted the evaluation. Their assessment included standardized mental and behavioral health scales as well as semi-structured interviews with the teachers and students.
Changes in optimism/pessimism (a good indicator of self-esteem), the locus of control (self-agency), and a broad range of emotional symptoms including conduct problems, hyperactivity, and peer problems were all assessed.“I liked the program because many of the strengths being explored were what we actually have within. We used to feel our weakness but now we realize that it was actually a strength and we should encourage it. This gives us a chance to explore other hidden strengths.”
Student | Children’s Resiliency Program
Positive Children’s Resiliency Program results
The results were strikingly positive with substantive evidence that the program had yielded a very positive outcome including:
- 81% of the girls attended all sessions
- School attendance was highest on days of the program
- Student ratings were consistently high on all factors including:
- Relevance to daily life
- Quality of the topics
- Positive impact on relationship and communicatios with peers and family
- Ability to handle problems
- Ability to concentrate and focus on studies
Student | Children’s Resiliency Program
In addition to an overall positive outcome of the program, specific data revealed more insights including:
- Students scoring Normal on the standardized psychological assessments increased from 52.6% in pre-test to 64.9% at post-test (after 23 weeks of the intervention)
- Students scoring Borderline decreased from 28.9% to 18.6% at midpoint (12 weeks) to 5.2% at post-test
- Students scoring Abnormal decreased from 18.6 to 10.3% at midpoint to 5.2% at post-test
Teacher | Children’s Resiliency Program
To learn more about our evidence-based research and results, just click here. Program results data from #Sangath’s evaluation reveals a convincing story of success. | #GirlsFirst Click To Tweet
What’s happens next?
Soon, we plan to launch the program with 1,000 students, primarily adolescent girls, in 10 non-profit schools in severe high-need communities.
We’ll be using a randomized control design to confirm effectiveness. The program will likely be run in Mumbai and Gujarat, though final locations are not yet confirmed.