Creative Learning

Creating and Strengthening Links for Community Development and Advocacy for Youth

Palestine, Egypt, Kenya, India | 2004–2007

This exchange programme was inspired by the cross-cultural links that exist in young people’s community development and advocacy efforts. The programme emphasised the importance of including issues of gender, sexuality, and rights into programmes that work with young people. CREA also aimed to enhance participants’ abilities to influence youth policy and change at different levels. Participants broadened their expertise and knowledge of issues that affect young people and developed their organisational and programmatic skills to create innovative approaches for working on issues of young people.

To strengthen the process of learning initiated through the exchange program, in 2006/07, CREA introduced an internship programme for past participants from Egypt and Palestine. The programme brought three interns to India for one month each to work with CREA and other organisations on issues of gender, sexuality, and young people’s rights.

In November 2007, CREA organised a three-day training workshop on gender, sexuality, and rights in Egypt for development workers from Egypt and Palestine, on the suggestion of past participants of the exchange programmes. This workshop’s objective was to build understanding on issues related to gender and sexuality, how these are linked to the human rights related to health, education, livelihood, housing, safety and security, how these may be basis for discrimination and violence, what implications these have for work on human rights, and how this understanding can be incorporated in community development work.

Participants: Young leaders from Palestine, Egypt, and Kenya in 2004/05 and from India, Palestine, and Egypt in 2006/07, working in community development and advocacy on issues that affect young people.


Pushing Forward Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights

Nigeria–India 2003 | India–Nigeria 2004

The main objective of this two-part exchange programme was to draw attention to the neglected field of young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights in India and Nigeria, through a cross-learning strategy. The exchanges created and fostered links between organisations and individuals; enhanced the capacities of individuals and organisations to address sexual and reproductive health issues of young people; identified culturally appropriate means of promoting positive sexual and reproductive health for young people. The programmes focussed on information exchange and experiential learning, revealing the intersections of class, caste, gender, policy, race and sexual orientation, and the impact on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young persons.

Check out:

Learning from Each Other: Pushing Forward the Field of Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights in India and Nigeria

Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in India—Working Paper December 2005

Participants: Individuals from development organisations working on issues of young people’s reproductive and sexual health, such as:


  • Nigeria—Action Health Incorporated, International Center for Sexual and Reproductive Rights, Girls’ Power Initiative, Adolescent Health and Information Project, and the Federal Ministry of Health and Safe Motherhood.

  • India—CHETNA, Point of View, Sangath Center for Child Development and Family Guidance, Swasthya Trust, MAMTA, The Concerned for Working Children, Indian Institute of Young Inspirers, CREA, and Naz Foundation.


Study Tour on Gender Based Violence

Nepal–India | 2004

CREA organised a study tour to India for a delegation from the Nepalese Ministry of Health. The objective was to give the visiting delegation opportunities to examine the links between gender, violence, and health, and to understand community responses in India to issues related to gender-based violence. In Nepal, non-governmental organisations engage with issues of violence against women, but with no involvement from the Ministry of Health. This study tour aimed to equip the participants to conceptualise, formulate, and implement programme interventions and policies on violence against women, and build partnerships with non-governmental organisations in their own country.

Participants: The Nepalese delegation included three senior officials from the Family Health Division of the Ministry and the public health administration, and a head nurse from a government hospital.


Enhancing Capacity and Building Leadership to Address Violence Against Women

Tajikistan–India | 2002–03

Through technical assistance and intensive training on counselling, gender-based violence, reproductive health, community organising, and women’s rights, this programme aimed at building the capacities of women leaders in not-for-profit organisations in Tajikistan to address violence against women. Members from CARE Tajikistan and three other non-governmental organisations came to India to meet organisations working on issues of violence against women. Following the visit to India, CREA organised for three Indian practitioners working on issues of violence against women to each spend a month in Tajikistan, during which they conducted trainings on counselling and violence against women for CARE Tajikistan and other non-governmental organisations.


Different Weaves Common Threads: Exploring Organisational Structures

US–India | 2002

CREA brought to India members of INCITE!, a US-based organisation of radical feminists of colour working to end violence against women of colour and their communities through direct action, critical dialogue, and grassroots organising. The aim of the visit was to examine organisational processes in social movements working on issues of violence against women. The eight INCITE! members, who were of Indian, Cherokee, Asia Pacific island, Mexican, and Iranian origins, met with various individuals, organisations, and networks working on issues of violence against women in India.


Building Youth Leadership

India–US 2002 | US–India 2002

This two-part exchange programme was held in April (India–US) and in November (US–India). It was designed by CREA, in collaboration with the US-based Innovation Center for Community and Youth Development, for young people in India working on young people’s programmes to meet, share experiences, and network with similar organisations and individuals in the US. Through the exchange, the participants learned how organisations in both the countries work with young people to develop leadership and to get them actively involved as members of civil society. They also gained an understanding of social movements and their impact on young people, and examined issues of gender, health, sexuality, and livelihoods that arise in community-based work.


Participants: People working with youth in India visited relevant groups in Washington DC, the Hopi Reservation, and Denver, Colorado. The Indian participants were from Pravah, New Delhi; Dreamcatcher's Foundation, Mumbai; Chizami Women's Collective, Nagaland; Akshara, Mumbai; and CREA, New Delhi.



Activists working with The Innovation Center visited Delhi and Mumbai, India, where they met with organisations working on a range of issues, including juvenile justice, volunteerism, sexuality, health, and livelihoods, as well as with members of youth-led organisations. Some of the groups the participants visited were Pravah, Action India, TARSHI, and Karm Marg in Delhi; and Childline, Akshara, and Dreamcatcher’s Foundation in Mumbai. In Delhi and Nagaland, members of the Innovation Center organised a training on community development. The participants who attended the training in Delhi included staff from Sangini, PRISM, TARSHI, We for Yamuna, Action India, and CREA. The training in Nagaland was organised for members of the Chizami Women’s Collective.



Economic and Social Justice Study Tour

US–India | 2002

CREA organised a visit by eight members of The Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative for Social and Economic Justice (SBRWI) to India. This Initiative covers the three states of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—three of the richest states in natural resources and with some of the country’s poorest women. The SBRWI is designed—collectively, individually, and as communities—to come together to address economic, civil, political, and human rights of southern rural black women. The visit was designed to introduce the members of the SRBWI to issues of economic and social justice in India.


Addressing Domestic and Sexual Violence

Bangladesh, India, and NepalUS | 2001 and 2002

In a collaborative effort with the US-based Family Violence Prevention Fund (FVPF), CREA implemented a 10-day study tour over two years. It aimed to enhance the leadership capacities of young South Asian women activists from India, Nepal, and Pakistan, working on issues related to domestic violence. This exchange programme enabled participants, for the first time, to visit organisations in the US to observe new models and strategies currently being utilised to prevent domestic violence. It was hoped that these intervention strategies would provide insights for incorporating new strategies into the ongoing programmes of their respective organisations and communities. Based on their experiences, the participants developed short-term action plans to implement new prevention strategies on the ground.


Health Sector Responses to Violence Against Women

Vietnam–India | 2001

CREA implemented a study mission for a group of health professionals, including policymakers and community-based service providers, from Vietnam to learn about the responses of the health sector to violence against women in India. The weeklong programme focussed on theoretical learning and site visits to government and non-government interventions in this sector. The aim was to develop a plan for implementing activities in Vietnam to address gender-based violence. The study mission focussed on studying the steps of establishing India’s first One Stop Crisis Center for Women in a public health hospital in Mumbai.