TASAWWUR’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • Tasawwur will always maintain a focus on diversity and inclusion.
    • We will continue to locate our work at the intersections of different kinds of privileges and marginalisations: gender, caste, class, religion, disability etc.
    • Our program outreach will be targeted to cut across different demographic groups, ensuring the greatest possible diversity of teenagers within our program
    • As we grow as an organisation, we will make a conscious effort to include people from different classes, castes, genders, sexual orientations, religious communities, and people with disabilities in our team. 
    • We will strive to bring in resource people representing different marginalised identities to work on those specific issues, and also onto our advisory board for curriculum.

  • Tasawwur will always be a space that trusts, respects and believes in teenagers and includes them in important decision-making
    • Right from the information sessions during recruitment and throughout the program cycle, we will actively engage our teenaged participants in conversations about the issues that matter most to them, ensuring that our curriculum framework is flexible enough to adapt to their concerns and needs.
    • In our internal and external communication, we will strive always to speak to and about teenagers with love, trust, and respect.
    • The program will include a component of youth leadership, and we will move towards greater involvement of the youth leadership team in curricular and programmatic decisions.
    • We will not fall into the common trap of trying to “fix” or “save” teenagers, seeking instead to empower them to take care of themselves and each other.

  • Tasawwur will always focus on creating meaningful, supportive relationships across differences
    • We recognise that while our participants have us for a year or two, they potentially have each other for life. Therefore, our program will always strive towards creating meaningful relationships across diversity, from which our teenagers can draw support and learning for many years to come.
    • We recognise that, just as teenagers often experience an absence of meaningful relationships across boundaries of gender, caste, class, religion, disability, etc., they also seldom have access to meaningful relationships with adults outside the family. Our facilitators will strive to create loving and respectful relationships with the teenaged participants, being present as trustworthy friends, while also drawing clear boundaries where necessary.
    • Our focus on warm and respectful relationships must extend beyond our participants alone; internally, the Tasawwur team will always strive for mutual understanding, trust, friendship, and support.
  • Tasawwur will strive always to be a safe space for dialogue, where participants and team members alike feel able to communicate honestly and openly.
    • Within our program, we will work at ensuring we create safe spaces for dialogue, particularly in the first month of the program cycle when much of the culture of the space is established.
    • In order for spaces to continue to feel safe, it is critical that not only the participants but also the facilitators respect the first agreement around confidentiality. Facilitators will be careful not to share private information about participants with other team members, partners, parents, or teachers, except in rare cases where doing so is necessary for the well-being of the participants (such as when we fear a participant might try to harm themselves or someone else).
    • The Tasawwur team meetings should become models of safe spaces for dialogue, where everyone is able to share their opinions and experiences without fear of censure or judgment.
  • Tasawwur will always place a high priority on collaboration
    • Tasawwur acknowledges that we are not experts on the different needs and challenges of a diverse group of participants, and we will strive to maintain our original culture of collaboration and support with individuals and organisations that are subject area experts on caste, gender, disability, etc.
    • We also recognise that teenagers are not isolated from parents, teachers, and other stakeholders in their lives. Therefore, even as our focus is on working with teenagers themselves, we see ourselves as one among many collaborators who are supporting them in building healthy, meaningful, proactive lives. To this end, we will strive to stay in conversation with other stakeholders in their lives
  • Tasawwur will locate itself in conversation with social justice movements in South Asia.
    • Tasawwur would like to maintain a deep grounding in larger social justice movements across India and South Asia, such as the feminist movement, the Dalit movement, the queer movement, etc., focusing always on solidarity rather than splintering. While we may not actively be involved with each of these movements, we will seek to locate ourselves in this politics of social justice, and to incorporate learnings from these movements into our curriculum and facilitation work.
    • Tasawwur strives to build its structures and policies in accordance with principles of feminism, such as: non-hierarchy, listening to voices from marginalised communities, respect for intellectual constructs as well as lived experiences, safe spaces for sharing both ideas and emotions, and a focus on solidarity and the power of collectives. 
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