enabled 75 girls from a North Indian slum to attend a 15-week empowerment course
Jodine raised $1,192!
This paid for:
Resources and learning materials for 75 girls
Travel costs for community volunteers
As a high school English teacher, I have always been passionate about education and empowering young people to make positive changes in their lives. Knowing how difficult it can be for young girls to receive quality education motivates me to do what I can to give people like Jasmeet a chance to have the education that we can often take for granted.
Jasmeet is stepping out of her comfort zone to stand up for the girls in her community. She has inspired me to test myself too and take on a challenge that genuinely terrifies me! So, on November 12th I'm entering the ring and competing in a real boxing match to raise money for Jasmeet and fight for girls' rights.
In the slums in Dehradun, Northern India, girls’ education is seen as less important than boys’, and they are often pulled out of school at a very young age. Girls are forced to marry as young as 12 years old and their only perceived employment options are to become domestic workers in someone else’s home.
Jasmeet, an 18 year old girl from Dehradun, dropped out of school when she was 14 years old after her grandfather became nearly blind and her family needed someone in the house to stay home and care for him. Her mother was busy all day as a domestic worker in the homes of more wealthy people living nearby, and her father was working as an auto rickshaw driver. Her 3 brothers were all studying at the local government school.
Despite leaving school, Jasmeet didn’t have to give up her education. At the end of last year Jasmeet was fortunate enough to attend a youth resilience and empowerment course for girls who have been pulled out of school at a young age. The course was taught by a local teacher named Renu, who received the funds for running the course from Brie, a Just Peoples fundraiser. Renu empowered the girls in her community to deal with their emotions, speak out when they are being treated unfairly, and become resilient to the everyday stresses they face in their environment. Attendees reported much higher levels of self-esteem, and felt inspired to continue with their education as well as address problems in their home lives.
The course facilitators also work with parents of the participants to ensure the newly self-assured girls will be encouraged to thrive at home as well as in the classroom. Parents of participants embraced the changes in the household as they gained an understanding of the importance of their daughters’ education and liberation. One mother described how her daughter, whose self-respect had improved significantly, requested to have her early marriage postponed until she could complete a Bachelor of Education. The mother agreed.
While Jasmeet was attending the course, she and some others in her group decided to take action in working with members of their community to clean up litter, dirt and mess in the narrow alley of their slum. Jasmeet was amazed at the great response by all the households in the community. And the change has proven to be sustainable. Since Jasmeet organised the big village clean-up in November 2015 everyone has continued to throw rubbish in bins instead of in the street!
Jasmeet was so inspired by what she learned on the course that she wants to train as the next facilitator to help more girls from her community work together to bring lasting change. She wants to work with trained facilitators and learn how to lead a group, share her story with other young women who have been pulled out of school early to work or get married, and to work with them to find ways of bringing change in their homes and communities.