Adolescent Empowerment Programme (AEP)
In 2017 CMES successfully completed six phase of ‘Adolescent Girls’ project launched in partnership with UNICEF one and half decades back in 2001 with a view to empowering adolescents by creating congenial environment for their healthy, social and mental development and ensuring joyful adolescence. Participating adolescents, youth and community members in intervention areas acted as agents of social change to enhance and facilitated collective action within communities for prevention of violence, abuse and exploitation against children and adolescents. Our adolescent boys and girls became role models in their community to show the positive result of taking part in decisions that affect their lives. The project successfully created a sustainable impact in the communities by creating a supportive environment for adolescent girls’ empowerment at household and community level.

Adolescent can take an active/special role for women development. So, she will have to take care for herself and to be saved from violence/discrimination.  She will have to take active role for her development and as well as women development in the society.  In this case, she will be aware on child rights/ child protection rights, women rights, human rights and also to enhance their capacity to establish their rights and entitlements. As the adolescents are not so aware on these rights, so they have to face different types of discrimination in their daily life. On the other hand, adolescents are not allowed to go out from their family.  Beside this, community people are not so aware on these rights. So, they cannot take active role to protect adolescents. Torture, abuse, rape, early marriage and any other discrimination are the common phenomenon against the adolescents in the society. So, to aware adolescent and community people on the mentioned issues and to be saved the adolescents from violence/discrimination Adolescent Empowerment Program (AEP) has been undertaken.

The programme has started from February 2018 with an aim to empower adolescents especially girls in addition to boys so that they could be able to participate in decision making process that will bring their lives positive change towards development and to become role model for the community that will replicate other adolescents by following the practice of our adolescents and also to create a positive sense of development and creates a supportive environment at their family and society level and participation in different social issues along with motivation and support for livelihood enhancement

The programme’s view to improve the overall situation of the adolescent boys and girls to establish their rights and entitlement where there is no discrimination/violence, no obstruction to continue education for their development to be empowered through implementation of social action to create positive change in the community. There will be the CBCPC at community level, a supportive mechanism for the well being of the adolescent girls to create an enabling environment in the society to do everything for the development of the adolescents so that a rich and well lesson learnt for the community people and stakeholders. In addition, the programme will change its direction with new ideas in programming by including programme components with Community based Child Protection Committee (CBCPC), Advance Adolescent groups and adolescents sports.

The programme areas are five unions of Kalapara Upazilla under Patuakhali district and seven unions of Pathorghata Upazilla under Barguna district and also the Pathorghata Pourashava. .

The target groups are disadvantaged school dropout/school going adolescent boys and girls having age between 9-19 years. The adolescents are deprived of all kinds of basic social services and have no fundamental rights.

The goal of the programme is: By 2020 adolescent boys and girls especially those are most disadvantaged become able to access and utilize the high quality social services. They will be in safe place and are within the protected environment and are resilient and are empowered as an active agent of the society.

After working, the overall situation of the adolescent girls and boys will be improved with fulfilling their rights and empowered themselves and CMES will be enhanced in developing the programme by introducing Community Based Child Protection Committee (CBCPC) formation, Advance Adolescent groups, and Stipend Programme in this phase.

The main objectives of the programme is to empower the adolescents through increasing their skill and knowledge by participating different training, drama, theater, games and sports in regional level, social activities and social functions. They will be aware on rights and entitlements through participating in different social issues at local and national level.

One of main aims of the programme is to take the message of the gender equity and equality for empowering girls and women to make a real impact there. CMES always prepare to do so through implementing social development programs that brings for the welfare of the adolescents as well as for the community by conveying these messages into their heart through their interesting folk performances of songs. Interactive Popular Theater is an innovative method for disseminating awareness.

The other specialty of the programme is to involve government concern department, local government especially Female Members of the Union Parishad, NGOs, social and political leaders, and adolescent guardian in relation to the programme activities. There are very regular joint sessions in collaboration with them to create bond of synergy. This programme is supposed to provide peer leaders training to enhance their technical knowhow for life skills, livelihood technologies etc. Moreover, the adolescents are now spreading themselves in distant areas to visit other groups and to perform an open air theater at Upazilla, district and the center level where they take up thematic workshops and learn about thematic campaign process.

To make the adolescents aware, knowledgeable and active in different social problems peer to peer sessions are being held in weekly basis. 117 clubs (having 30 members in each club) are formed in two units, Kalapara and Pathorghata, We have provided 5 days life skill training to 125 boys and girls who are facilitating Life Skill Based Education (LSBE) sessions with their peers (around 3750 adolescents’ girls and boys) LSBE sessions.

Social work is an action to create enabling environment for establishing adolescent girls/women rights in the whole society. It has been working to raise mass movement through campaigning and creating awareness through networking with all quarters including Local Support Group (LSG), Local Government representatives/officials, GO/ NGOs and other local organization.