Aflateen is a progression of MelJol’s Flagship program- Aflatoun. Children are given space to express themselves, to act on their own, and to solve practical problems together. They act in these situations according to the Aflatoun motto: ’Explore, Think, Investigate and Act’. Methods of learning include storytelling, song, drama and dance, games, Aflateen club formation (Children club).
All activities and books covered in the current Aflatoun programme address these issues through “Five Core Elements” that are balanced throughout the curriculum.
1. Self-Understanding and Personal Exploration
Young people have positive and negative traits, and they are all in the process of learning more about them. The importance of knowing self and others is critical to reaching out one’s goals. Becoming independent and building a bridge for the future.
They are also influenced and affected by several people that they have met and events that they have experienced. Each time they change little with the effect of interaction and get some additional knowledge they already have from the person whom he/she is interacting. They start struggling between their roles of their parent’s children and becoming independent people. Aflateen help the children to understand that each family is unique and there are different family models possible. This is also the age at which young people transition from being children into becoming young adults – and the tensions that arise as they grapple with their independence, identity, values and even physical changes, sets the stage for more personal self-reflection, understanding and exploration. Aflateen module provides young people, philosophy of change and makes them learn coping with it. It also speaks about the goals and necessary steps required to achieve them.
2. Rights and Responsibilities
The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the child is a human rights treaty. Aflateen manual make the young children aware of the rights concept. The CRC (Child Rights Convention) treaty is divided into four pillars : – (Rights to survival, Right to development, Rights to Protection and Right to Participation). Aflateen Program guide children not only in claiming young people’s rights, but also in performing their responsibilities towards themselves, their family, their community and the environment. This sense of responsibility will later help guide the decisions they make when they come to set up their own Social or Financial Enterprises. That is why Aflateen encourages experiential learning where young persons are free to offer opinions and express themselves.
3. Saving and Spending
Aflateen’s holistic approach toward development, a broad definition of savings is promoted; one that entails both material and non-material resources. Saving water and using natural resources responsibly are deemed just as important as saving money. Young people, aged 15 years and older, make decisions about saving and spending their money and the use of resources. They have growing consumer power and need to start preparing for financial independence. The Program emphasizes the skills that will help young people demonstrate responsible use and management of resources.
4. Planning and Budgeting
The process of learning to be a change-maker in the Aflateen programme culminates in the participants’ planning and completion of a Social or Financial Enterprise. In Aflateen program, participants through the process of choosing a Social or Financial Enterprise, forming a group, planning and budgeting their Enterprise with their group, and finally conducting the Enterprise. It is important for participants to realize that they can make a difference; that they can set a goal and make it happen. Their goal might be a social goal for their community or a financial goal that will affect the social reality of the participants and those around them.
5. Social and Financial Enterprise
It is the rational extension of different learning objectives and activities in Aflateen programme. Social enterprise focuses on improving their own lives and the lives of the people around them through their collective activities and action, while in financial enterprise children make money through small business initiatives as a way to learn more about the market. The objectives of social and financial enterprise may seem very different however they are connected by the idea that children can play an active and solve a set of problem together. The money earned here is not important as much as their learning about the world and realizing that they are capable of accomplishing things together.
Based on these concepts, a well-structured and balanced curriculum has been drafted which referable by children aging between 15-18 yrs. The curriculum itself was refined over years of action research, followed by pilot projects around the world. Aflateen partners have translated the curriculum and have contextualized it in many countries. MelJol conducts training, facilitate interactions with the children and teachers and help them understand and implement the program during these sessions.