CorStone – eNews April 2013

CorStone receives major grant from David and Lucile Packard Foundation for expansion of ‘Girls First’ in Bihar, India!

CorStone Facilitator Training.
Laura Kudritzki Photography. All Rights Reserved.

We are excited to announce a major grant from the Packard Foundation in support of our Girls First program in India. The grant will provide personal resilience and adolescent health training to 3,600 girls ages 12-14 years in 80 schools in rural/tribal communities in Bihar. Most of the girls are the first generation in their family to attend school, and are at high-risk for trafficking, early school drop-out, and early marriage and pregnancy.

Girls First is a one-year personal resilience curriculum, run in a weekly facilitated peer support group format with 12-15 girls per group. The first half of the year focuses on developing “emotional resilience,” which includes self-esteem, persistence, emotional health, communication skills, problem solving skills, and strong social ties. The second half helps girls make healthier choices for their nutrition, safety, and reproductive health.

The Packard grant also provides for 60 community women to be trained as Program Facilitators and earn a living wage as they lead the program with the girls. Working in partnership with researchers from UCSF and Swarthmore University, we will also undertake a rigorous impact evaluation of the program. Anticipated outcomes include measurable improvements in mental and emotional health, physical well-being, and academic success.

Upcoming Training for Master Trainers
As the first step in implementing the new Girls First project in Bihar, India, the inaugural training for Girls First Master Trainers will take place May 6-11 in Mumbai. CorStone’s Master Trainers will be prepared to train local Program Facilitators, who in turn will directly facilitate the Girls First peer support group curriculum with high-poverty adolescent girls in their area.

CorStone’s Master Trainers will become some of the first women in the developing world trained to disseminate a personal resilience curriculum for marginalized adolescent girls. CorStone will lead the training in partnership with Sneha, a well-known health training organization serving women and children in urban slums in Mumbai. In all, over 25 Master Trainers will be trained and certified!

To learn more about Girls First – India, please click here.

Family Resilience Program Study Reveals Sustained Impact

CorStone’s Family Resilience Program (FRP) has gotten off to a strong start this spring with nearly 50 low-income Latino parents with children ages 0-5 enrolled in the program. Held at Venetia Valley Elementary, San Pedro Elementary, and Coleman Elementary, in San Rafael, CA, the program is conducted in Spanish, blending parenting skill-building and resilience training for parents of young children using the Attitudinal Healing facilitation style.

While the FRP has consistently shown impact on parents’ optimism, parenting knowledge, and parenting satisfaction, this marks the first time in the four years of the program’s history that funds have been available to conduct a follow-up evaluation.

Results showed that the FRP has sustained, significant impact on parenting knowledge and parenting satisfaction, even six months after the end of the program, compared with a control group of parents who had never received any parenting training.

In fact, parenting knowledge even improved during the six months after the program had ended, suggesting that the FRP had given parents not only factual knowledge, but also the motivation and the tools to keep learning after the groups ended.


CorStone has been invited by the International Positive Psychology Association to present these exciting findings at the World Congress in Los Angeles in June 2013. In the meantime, additional impact assessments continue as the current groups progress.

To learn more about the Family Resilience Program, please click here.

Next Stop: Kenya

CorStone is pleased to announce a planning grant from American filmmaker Abigail E. Disney to expand Girls First to the Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya.

Kibera is the largest slum in Africa, with over 1.5 million people. Life for a young woman in the slum is dangerous: 66% of women trade sex to survive by 16, and 33% trade sex for food as early as age six. Kibera has one of the world’s highest HIV rates, and women in Kibera contract HIV at a rate that is five times higher than their male counterparts. 43% of girls, compared to 29% of boys, do not attend school.

We hope to provide the first program to increase personal resilience among Kibera’s girls, which research shows could significantly impact physical health outcomes, school attendance and academic success. This strategy represents a significant paradigm shift in development efforts previously attempted in the slum, and follows our commitment to innovation in personal resilience among marginalized populations worldwide.

Congratulations to our Oscar-winning Board Member, Brenda Chapman!

At CorStone, we watched the Oscars with great anticipation because our newest board member, Brenda Chapman, was nominated as Co-Director of Disney-Pixar’s Brave. And – envelope please – she won, making her the first woman ever to win an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature! Congratulations, Brenda, on this well-deserved achievement!

Brenda has launched an online campaign to raise $20,000 for CorStone by May 31st! Please join the celebration, visit her fundraising page, and donate what you can to help her reach her goal. You can also read her personal blog about why she supports CorStone.

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One Response to CorStone – eNews April 2013

  1. M Daniel April 15, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    Dear Steve, there are many good news for 2013 in Corstone’s bag. Very much glad to hear the once……..carry on……..

    Swaman/Slum Women’s Federation Surat India

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