"On this International Day of the Girl, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential." — UN Secretary-General António Guterres
Question 1: Tell us a little bit about your organization
Quest Alliance is a not-for-profit trust that transforms learning ecosystems to develop 21st century skills through education technology, capacity building and collaboration. Quest’s Scale Up models, Anandshala and MyQuest, transform learning environments through systemic interventions, capacity building and blended learning technologies, empowering learners and facilitators in public schools and skill building institutions with 21st Century skills. Our vision is to create a world where young people thrive as self-learners driving social and economic progress.
Question 2: How is your organization is encouraging girls to work outside the home and creating a support system which enables girls to work?
We are working with girls within and outside schools to become 'role models' for their peers and the larger community to encourage them and create a supporting environment for the girls to get out of their homes to attend school and in turn build a career. We are also working with the community especially parents to give them exposure about the opportunities and encourage them to create an enabling environment. Quest has been working with women only ITIs with a focus on building a career mindset and providing real world exposure.
Question 3: What market-relevant skills are being taught under your programs to enable girls to join the workforce?
Quest Alliance imparts 21st century skills like critical thinking, communication, collaboration and digital literacy that would help girls in their future careers whichever trade they choose. We are also imparting financial literacy modules that will provide girls with an understanding of means for personal and financial growth within the community through collaboration and an entrepreneurial mindset. The career skills module will also develop market scan approach through which they will build research and information analysis skills.
Question 4: How has collaborative action/ DAC helped in running these programs?
The Dasra Adolescent Collaborative brings deep domain expertise as well as connects organisations to work cohesively in a focused geography. This collaboration takes our work beyond implementation towards a larger advocacy agenda for the adolescent girl child. Dasra's experience and achievements in the social sector also attract greater visibility to the issue amplifying the work of the collaborative. Dasra has also extended their functional expertise for our organisational development processes especially around program ToCs and impact assessment frameworks.
Question 5: What is the most positive memory you have while working on the ground as a program officer?
During our bootcamps in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand we met many young girls between 18-25 years of age along with community members to conduct workshops for the adolescent girl program incubation. Our aim was to encourage girls and on-board them as champions for their peers as well as adolescent girls in and out of school. While we were apprehensive about mobilising and motivating these girls in a location we were new to, we were taken by surprise. We received 400 applicants for 100 open positions. Though we had offered only a small amount of money to cover travel and overheads expenses that they would incur while conducting their visits and meet-ups, the girls were very enthused and definitely not looking for a compensation. They said 'they want to share their thought process to motivate other girls towards education and work and learn from Quest Alliance for enhancing their skills and knowledge.' This really instilled in us a drive to focus on girl champions as a holistic intervention.