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Breakthrough’s Monitoring and Evaluation program has proven that the uniqueness of the Bell Bajao campaign is not just in its multimedia activities but also in deeply rooting them to the ground by the community activities carried on by community youth leaders under the Breakthrough Advocates Program.
In working with the community, the Bell Bajao campaign has capitalized on the influence and popularity of local and cultural art forms like street plays, puppet shows and theatrical dance performances like Yakshagana in South India. The scripts for each of these pieces have been gender sensitized and tailored to challenge prevalent norms of patriarchy, gender stereotypes of masculinity and the social issue of domestic violence. These local art forms are used in conjunction with the video vans that enter grassroots communities as well as commercial centers to disseminate information via Rights Advocates, youth community leaders trained by Breakthrough, who entertain and educate the crowd with audio-visual displays, performances and discussions.
Breakthrough has been relentlessly building leaders from various communities across the country including places as far as Leh in the North to Mangalore in the south. The team uses innovative tools and participatory trainings methods to reach out. Currently, the Breakthrough Advocates program is concentrated in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka, where Breakthrough conducts extensive advocacy work and training workshops with community members and influencers.
Over the last 4 years we have built capacities of around 15,691 individuals who then mobilized over 76,568 individuals in their own communities.
Breakthrough’s Rights Advocates formed an all girls’ theater troupe in Lucknow, India and used puppets to train women in the community on HIV/AIDS and women’s rights issues. Many of the girls, who were once discouraged to step out of homes, now feel empowered by all they have learned.
Breakthrough uses cultural art forms such as Yakshagana (traditionally performed by men) and adapts mythological stories to take up issues on gender, women´s rights and HIV to spread awareness and sensitize people in an entertaining and culturally relevant way. Yakshagana is a musical and theatrical form of folk dance popular in the state of Karnataka (India) that was traditionally performed by male dancers. The stories of Yakshagana performances were pre-dominantly patriarchal in nature and characterization. Breaking all gender and cultural stereotypes an all girls Yakshagana group was created in 2008 that has been actively performing across Karnataka.
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