Youth First | India
Background + Situation
- Bihar’s sex ratio is among the worst in India, with just 846 girls per 1,000 boys among youth ages 15-24 years
- Over 35% of all reported HIV infections in India occur among the age group 15-24 years
- The Indian suicide death rate is among the highest in the world
- 40% of India’s suicide deaths in men + 56% of suicide deaths in women occur in the age group 15-29 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, Youth First provides an integrated, school-based, resilience and adolescent health training program to improve mental 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.
Working in partnership with the Bihar Education Project Council and The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, scale-up trials in 2016-17 involving over 100 schools were held to elucidate the training, processes and supports required to deliver and sustain a viable teacher-led integrated resilience and health program in government schools at large scale in Bihar.
In 2018, CorStone will launch a major 3-year longitudinal evaluation study to understand how Youth First impacts resilience; short-term outcomes in social and emotional development (e.g. resilience, self-efficacy, communication skills); and longer-term improvements in education, gender equity, and sexual and reproductive health (SRH) including gender attitudes, education completion, delay of marriage, use of family planning, and delayed first pregnancy.
Simultaneously, in 2018 CorStone and the Bihar Education Project Council will collaborate on the development of a comprehensive multi-year plan for the roll-out of Youth First in government middle schools across Bihar.