In this age and time, technology is rapidly changing our lives! The lives of girls and women, too, are changing. With access to information and education, people today can do a lot. But, in India, there are girls — not only in remote villages, but even in the metros — who don’t have the power to make their own decisions and enjoy life the way they want to.
Introducing Chhaa Jaa (Go Forth and Shine), Girl Effect’s first youth programme in India aimed at empowering adolescent girls through digital media content. Chhaa Jaa’s focus is to inspire, inform and equip girls with the right skills and confidence to navigate their teenage years and reach their full potential.
Reflecting on the seismic shift in India’s digital media landscape, Chhaa Jaa comes to life online and on social platforms to meet girls where they are already looking for information, or will increasingly do so.
Chhaa Jaa launches with three digital media properties across social media platforms (Facebook, YouTube and Instagram), designed to reflect the choices girls face as adolescents using entertaining, informative and authentic storylines.
The content is marked by innovative behavioral change science, designed to empower girls to make informed decisions about their future — from accessing information about sexual and reproductive health to negotiating with parents on choices for their education, or preparing to find their first job.
Long-term change is crucial
Chhaa Jaa’s launch content is based on Girl Effect’s core belief that, to deliver long-term change, it is crucial to build a girl’s sense of self, her identity and her ability to ask questions.
Arre Sunn Na uses sketch comedy to tell the story of two friends, Sweety and Tannu, to deliver powerful messages on the need for girls to stand by their decisions, think of themselves as being more than their relationships and show how to navigate difficult everyday situations.
Khullam Khulla and Tumhari Meri Baatein follow the story of a girl-next-door, Rani, who busts common myths that teens face and hopes to take on the shame and stigma that shroud sexual and reproductive health (SRH) knowledge.
These storylines and characters are rooted in local culture and were co-created with girls, media, gender and culture experts after months of field research with girls, boys, parents and communities across India. A members-only online community, called Bak Bak Gang, will provide a moderated online space to take forward discussions raised by Chhaa Jaa’s content on such topics as social pressures, relationships and career readiness.
Elaborating on the vision for Chhaa Jaa ahead of International Day of the Girl Child, Girl Effect CEO Jessica Posner Odede says, “Technology puts power in the hands of girls. Through Chhaa Jaa, we see an incredible opportunity to use the power of mobile phones to engage girls with content they trust and empower them to make informed, positive decisions about their lives. Our ambition is to connect girls to services around them and create a lasting change.”
Target: Rajasthan, Hindi belt girls
Over the next two years, Chhaa Jaa aims at delivering tangible, measurable changes in the lives of teenage girls in Rajasthan, besides urban centres in the Hindi belt. To help gauge the impact of Chhaa Jaa’s programmes in India, Girl Effect deploys cutting-edge quantitative and qualitative research expertise. Girl Effect’s Technology-Enabled Girl Ambassadors (TEGAs) have uncovered authentic insights into the lives of adolescent girls and will enable Girl Effect to test and improve Chhaa Jaa’s content through feedback from girls and their communities.
On Girl Effect’s Product Director and India Lead, Kanishk Kabiraj says: “Despite better access to education, employment and health opportunities than ever before, girls still experience massive societal barriers and expectations that limit their potential. Chhaa Jaa is accessible on platforms that girls are using every day and speaks to them in a language they understand about the reality of their choices and constraints. Girls have few role models in mainstream media to look forward to for support and guidance and we want Chhaa Jaa to be the go-to for girls as they make decisions that’ll define their own futures.”
Chhaa Jaa is currently funded by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) and the Vodafone Foundation, supporting its aim of digitally connecting girls to information and services they need.
‘Fit-to-purpose digi channel combo’
‘We’re proud and excited to partner with Girl Effect. Their model — a combination of fit-to-purpose digital channels, brand and community building, as well as providing voice and knowledge to young girls — holds enormous promise in India. This will serve hundreds of thousands of young lives’
- Hisham Mundol, Executive Director, India, and Child Protection at CIFF
‘Harnessing power of mobile tech’
‘At Vodafone Foundation, we harness the power and potential of mobile technology to drive impactful social change. With women and girls being the primary drivers of the desired change, their empowerment is crucial. We’re delighted to introduce Vodafone Foundation’s global partnership with Girl Effect in India with Chhaa Jaa, combining our expertise to deliver real change for young girls and women in India. I’m confident that many young girls and women in India will benefit from Chhaa Jaa and make more informed decisions about their well-being’
- P Balaji, Chief Regulatory & Corporate Affairs Officer, Vodafone Idea Ltd and Director, Vodafone Foundation India
Girl Effect active in 9 locations
- Girl Effect is a creative, non-profit organization working to support girls through adolescence and empower them to make positive choices so they can reach their potential
- Founded by the Nike Foundation in 2004, Girl Effect is now an independent organization working from nine global locations and is active in over 50 countries
- Using a unique understanding of girls and innovative behavioral change science, Girl Effect creates media brands that girls love, with content that is entertaining, informative and relevant to their everyday lives
- Girl Effect uses technology to reach its audience at scale and works with partners to drive demand and link to information and services available to them