Youth First | Bihar, India
Background + Situation
- Bihar is one of India’s poorest and most densely populated states with a population of 128 million people.
- In rural areas of Bihar, the Male and Female literacy rate is 57.1 and 29.6 respectively.
- Bihar’s sex ratio is among the worst in India, with just 846 girls per 1,000 boys among youth ages 15-24 years.
CorStone Response | Youth First
CorStone’s Youth First program works to foster development ‘from the inside out,’ providing an evidence-based approach to impact the health and education—and positive life trajectory—of India’s adolescent youth.
Based on the well-documented impacts of our Girls First | Bihar program, and in alignment with the 2020 New Education Policy, Youth First provides an integrated, school-based, resilience and adolescent health training program to improve mental wellbeing and physical health, school performance and engagement, self-advocacy, social skills and relationships among youth.
Youth attend facilitated peer support groups led by trained schoolteachers during the school day for one hour each week. A typical lesson combines 20-30 minutes of skill building followed by 30 minutes of group discussion and problem-solving.
In 2018, CorStone and the Bihar Education Project Council | BEPC entered into a comprehensive agreement to jointly implement a multi-year ‘Demonstration Model’ for scale-up of Youth First to 1,100 middle schools.
Despite periodic school shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this partnership continues to flourish. In 2022 CorStone will begin training thousands of government Master Trainers and schoolteachers across the state, with the goal of institutionalizing the program in over 30,000 schools by 2025, providing Youth First to over 3 million students annually.