TF Logo
HOME TEAM COMMUNITY GAMES CONNECT
young people overcoming adversity, growing to their fullest potential… that’s what we enable

YOUTH RESOURCE CELLS

Youth Resource Cells [YRC] is our flagship programme that runs in eight diverse locations, from urban slums to remote villages in West Bengal, India. We have over 100 clusters serving 2000 children.

The YRC Programme is a long-term partnership with marginalised young people to build a sustainable, community-based approach to social transformation, with a focus on Gender Equity and Child Rights.

The programme continues to grow in response to emerging needs. An average participant spends 12-15 years within the YRC system, discovering oneself, challenging harmful social norms, and leading change.

Every young member moves back and forth through the stages as they grow within the YRC.

THEORY OF CHANGE

Stages of change in YRC

Belong

a young person begins to feel a connection and ownership in a safe, inclusive space where s/he can share joys and sorrows and experience a sense of community with peers.

Heal

in this safe space, the peer support group, mentor support and healing therapies enable reflection and begin to restore the sense of self.

Explore

improved self-worth creates space for discovery and the young person begins to expand her/his world.

Confront

new skills and perspectives enable the young person to examine own biases, and build courage to challenge injustice within and around.

Lead

small changes and successes give the young person the confidence to take control of their own life, and inspire and influence others.

CURRICULUM THEMES

The YRC curriculum has evolved over the years to help young people develop SHINE values:

Self worth and agency, Human rights awareness and resilience, Integrity, Non-Violence and Empathy.

SHINE values are developed through 12 themes that are explored weekly through a series of participatory methods in three age appropriate clusters; for 6-9, 10-13, 14-17+ year olds.

THE COMMUNITIES

Young People go through an intensive leadership journey to create community based youth groups or Youth Resource Cells (YRC) in their communities.

Each YRC has its own core team which manages programmes in their own locations. The Core team comprises founder leaders and mentors who are part of a regular training programme.
 Senior Leaders from each YRC come together centrally as the YRC Federation. They manage and support different programmes for all groups.

The first set of YRCs was set up in 2008.

  • alor sandhan [in search of light]: is a peri-urban group, migrant tribal and christian communities transitioning from a rural way of life.
  • drishtikon [perspective]: is a peri-urban group, includes long term resident migrants from neigbouring states
  • hashikhusi [joyful]: is a rural group, an underserved agrarian community.
  • KYP [Kuldia youth endeavour]: is a rural group, a muslim farming community.
  • nabadisha [new path]: is an urban group, a dense slum in the city, community of displaced families living without regular municipal facilities.
  • swapno [dream]: is a rural group, in the ecologically sensitive Sunderbans delta
  • ujaan [counter tide]: is an urban group, a city slum community.
  • youth voice : is an urban group, in an underserved community thriving in the eastern fringes of the city.
Tap on a dot to know more about that YRC ×

YRC PROGRAMMES

1

Collectives & Leadership

Mentor Training

Apprenticeship and regular training of trainers for children, junior and senior mentors.

Support Groups

Weekly sessions with children and adolescents tracking warning signs, exploring values, skills and rights.

Parents

Regular Mothers Support Groups, Parent Child Bonding workshops, Father Engagements and Home Visits.

2

Healing & Wellbeing

Crisis Response & Management

Regular tracking and following up on individual cases

Healing Skills and Journeys

Building healing skills for young people and parents. Intensive individual and group processes using a range of therapies including compassionate enquiry, trauma healing, mindfulness, music, movement and art.

Fitness

Formal Karate training for selected Mentors, and regular fitness sessions run by mentors in their respective communities.

Day Care

Need based intensive daily services for vulnerable children from 6-18 years.

3

Gender Sexuality Identities

Girls Safety Networks

Weekly sessions and special workshops on Gender, Sexuality and Relationship skills for adolescent girls 12+.

Who's the Man!

Boys Support Groups, and Camps on Power, Masculinity and Sexuality for adolescent boys 14-18 years.

Identity & Diversity

Workshops, Camps and action projects promoting inclusion.

4

Education & Livelihood

Let's Read

Remedial classes for 6-13-year olds ensuring that every child is able to read fluently.

Find your Passion!

Career Guidance, Skill Building, Livelihood Training and Placement.

CORE PRINCIPLES

1 YRC Values

Youth Resource Cells are built on the foundational values of solidarity, equality and inclusion. The programme is dedicated to healing and developing the inner resources of young people through their formative years; building Self-esteem, Integrity, Empathy, Non-Violence and Critical Thinking skills.

Shifting deep-rooted harmful social norms require open, deep and meaningful conversations; dialogues in an environment of non-judgment and empathy. Listening, negotiation, imagining change, these are necessary ingredients of transformational dialogue.

2 Peer Education

The YRC programme is run by young people for young people. Peer leaders or Mentors go through intensive and continuous capacity building to become facilitators, mentors, peer counsellors, social investigators, voices of encouragement and support. Peer facilitation is supported by pictorial games that promote dialogue.

The older youth leaders set the agenda for change in their community and drive the transformation from within. Social transformation needs a generation of young people who evolve into empathetic, compassionate leaders.

3 Community Ownership

Social norm change requires a critical mass for new attitudes to become the norm, and Community Ownership is necessary for the critical mass to form. The YRC process strives to unlock the enormous potential and access the hidden reserves of Love and Compassion in the Collective Consciousness.

Children, Adolescents, Youth, Parents are organized as support groups that meet at fixed, regular intervals. They support each other, and work cohesively to claim their rights, strengthen communities and sustain change.

EVOLUTION

1994
ASK Columns, an open-letter format periodical published in a popular newspaper to engage young people on Sexuality and Life Skills, reaches out to one million young readers.
1997
A State-wide needs-assessment on young people’s queries around sex and sexuality sets the direction of work for the next decade.
1999
ASKline, the pioneering Peer Counselling helpline for young people, logs 10,000 calls over 5 years. A valuable knowledge base is created, and a Peer Education model is seeded.
2001
Ignited Minds, the first series of specialised Peer-led participatory workshops and action projects for young people.
2004 - 2006
Youth Awards for Social Initiatives, an intensive youth action and recognition programme engaging youth from urban and rural youth in campaigns around the themes of HIV/AIDS, Gender and Violence.
2006 - 2012
Partnership with the We Can Campaignto End Violence Against Women. 25000 Youth Changemakers are mobilised over 6 years, through an intensive grassroots movement across 3 districts of West Bengal.
2007
Youth Fellowship, a year-long leadership training for community-based youth, starts with a batch of 18 to 25-year-olds from diverse resource poor communities. The young leaders establish community-based groups, the first generation of Youth Resource Cells - YRCs.
2010
YRCs assert their identity as women-led, inclusive independent community-based organisations working on Gender and Child Rights. The patriarchal, politically aligned club spaces are now among its stakeholders, along with Schools, and the Police.
2013
The YRC model gets replicated in remote districts of West Bengal. Over the next 3 years, 100 Youth leaders are nurtured and empowered to work on Child Rights and Gender.
2015
YRCs expand and reach out to more and younger kids, noting that young people had already been through heart-breaking experiences by the time they reached puberty. Senior leaders are organised as the YRC Federation.
2018
YRCs open doors to 6 year olds. A new cadre of child mentors step up to share responsibilities. The YRC curriculum is revised to span 12 years in age appropriate levels. New programmes to reach Parents and deepen the work with boys.
2020
COVID and Disaster response added to regular YRC activities. First batch of trainees on Meaningful Livelihoods placed at hospitals.
2022
Lockdowns and closed schools resulted in academic regression and increased stress levels. A new Education Programme and Intensive Childhood Trauma Healing work begun.

ACHIEVER STORIES

We collect over one hundred stories of change each year. Here are three short examples

Children Take Charge

“Our families did not believe us when we told them that there was an uncle in the community who was sexually abusing us. At a community event, we decided to enact what was happening to us. Only when the community elders saw what we were going through did they take action against the abuser.

Junior Cluster, YRC Ujaan
I stopped my father

“During the lockdown, my father was physically violent with my mother. I could not bear to watch this. So I stopped him; told him he could not be violent with her like this. I believe that we must protest when we see any form of violence.”

Deep, YRC Drishtikon
My dream came true

“Our house and farms had been destroyed repeatedly by cyclones. The Nursing Training opportunity came at the peak of the COVD pandemic. I feel proud that I am training to be first woman emergency medical technician from my village”

Sushma, YRC Swapno