Educate Girls

Our Vision "We aim to achieve behavioral, social and economic transformation towards an India, where all children have equal opportunities to access quality education." Our Mission Educate Girls works to reform government schools for girls' education by leveraging existing community and government resources. Our goal is to improve access and quality of education for 4 million children living in underserved communities in India by 2016.
Oct 12, 2011

Spending a day with rural girl Timi

Timi, 13, never enrolled, possible child bride
Timi, 13, never enrolled, possible child bride

Here's a sneak-peak into life of one of the many farmers' girls from the tribal belt in Rajasthan. Timi is an only child, her father suffers from a handicapped foot and is unable to work. Her mother leaves the village every day for a small town nearby where she carries out general level work to procure the family’s miniscule daily wages.

2 Educate Girls interns recently spent a day with Timi at her home to learn more about the daily life of a non-school going girl in rural India. They watched her carry out her duties from the cleaning of the family home and preparation of rotis before sunrise to the feeding and milking of the family’s goats, collection of water and firewood, preparation of the family dinner and another cleanup of the home before taking rest.

Particularly unsettling was a moment when Timi, on the farm tending to the goats, witnessed a band of girls walking together in uniform to the local school.

When asked, Timi described her feeling toward her current situation as “confused and torn” – she feels a very strong sense of duty to her mother and father but would also love to be at school with the other children her age. Without and education she voiced that she sees a future of early marriage, children and the same repetitive daily duties that she undertakes today.

Educate Girls recognizes the enormity of work of, in particular, farming families and how valuable a resource the children are on the farms. Many individual cases have been negotiated between Educate Girls and the out-of-school-girl families, in which girls may attend a half-day at school so that house and farm work does not suffer. On this particular day, Timi’s father approached Educate Girls to discuss the prospect of re-enrolling Timi in school.

 

Looking after the family
Looking after the family's most valuable asset
Witnessing other girls on their way to school
Witnessing other girls on their way to school
Collecting firewood is one of Timi
Collecting firewood is one of Timi's daily duties
Timi eats her lunch in solitude, with the goats
Timi eats her lunch in solitude, with the goats
Milking the few goats in the herd that aren
Milking the few goats in the herd that aren't dry
Preparing the sabjee for the family
Preparing the sabjee for the family's dinner
Cleaning up after dinner before she can take rest
Cleaning up after dinner before she can take rest

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Oct 3, 2011

Becoming a School Girl instead of a Child Bride

Every 5th girl in rural Rajasthan is married at the age of 15. Ponri was not only lucky, she was determined not to end as a child bride, but to fight for an education. Her story is an impressive journey of how to become a role model for girls.

58 million young women in developing countries – 1 in 3 – have been married before the age of 18 in the last decade, many against their will and in violation of the law. This is the sad reality underlined by the latest figures from thePopulation Reference Bureau. In Rajasthan, 1 in 5 young women who are now ages 20 to 24 say they had been married by their 15th birthday. With limited education and economic opportunities, child brides are not only condemned to a life of poverty, but one of social isolation, and powerlessness, infringing on their human rights, health, and well-being.

Ponri is one of the many young women who would have normally envisaged a lonely life as a pre-adult bride. She is the youngest of 8 children. Her 4 brothers and 3 sisters have never seen a school from the inside, so the last thing her father had planned for her was a school career; economical resources were limited and he felt that his youngest daughter was required to help at home until she reached the age to serve at her prospective husband's house. But Ponri had other plans. She was determined to go to school. Realizing that there was no chance, her father would ever let her go to school, at 13, Ponri ran away from home twice, hoping to find a hideout at one of the Shiksha Mitra Kendra’s. “If I wouldn’t have run away, I would be married by now, tending goats out in the nowhere”, she says. This is when Ranaram, an Educate Girls Field Coordinator took up on Ponri. He visited her family over and over again.

Eventually, her father could no longer take the continuous visits and agreed to let her go to school. “Thanks to Ranaram’s persistence, I could make my ambition turn into reality” says Ponri, and with a shy smile on her face she admits: “Even if I went through tough times, I know now, that it is worth fighting. I want to be a teacher to encourage other girls to fight for their education”

Due to her strong will and after a myriad of visits from the Ranaram, Ponri's father finally agreed for the sake of his peace and quiet. Being the first father to send his girl to school, he had initially been afraid of what the community would say. But now, as his daughter is doing so well, he admits that he too feels proud of her.

Ponri's father admits: “I feel a little proud in the community, people look up to me now. I also appreciate the health and hygiene tips my daughter provides me.”

The ambitious girl has managed to catch up with the other 5th grade students in only 2 years. Today she leads the Bal Sabha group as “Bal Panch” and motivates other girls to fight for their own education. 

Help us to reach out for more girls like Ponri! 

Links:

Oct 3, 2011

How Ponri became a role model for girls' education

Ponri
Ponri

Every 5th girl in rural Rajasthan is married at the age of 15. Ponri was not only lucky, she was determined not to end up as a child bride, but to fight for an education. Her story is an impressive journey of how to become a role model for girls.

Ponri is one of the many young women who would have normally envisaged a lonely life as a pre-adult bride. She is the youngest of 8 children. Her 4 brothers and 3 sisters have never seen a school from the inside, so the last thing her father had planned for her was a school career; economical resources were limited and he felt that his youngest daughter was required to help at home until she reached the age to serve at her prospective husband's house. But Ponri had other plans. She was determined to go to school. Realizing that there was no chance, her father would ever let her go to school, at 13, Ponri ran away from home twice, hoping to find a hideout at one of the Shiksha Mitra Kendra’s. “If I wouldn’t have run away, I would be married by now, tending goats out in the nowhere”, she says. This is when Ranaram, an Educate Girls Field Coordinator took up on Ponri. He visited her family over and over again.

Eventually, her father could no longer take the continuous visits and agreed to let her go to school. “Thanks to Ranaram’s persistence, I could make my ambition turn into reality” says Ponri, and with a shy smile on her face she admits: “Even if I went through tough times, I know now, that it is worth fighting. I want to be a teacher to encourage other girls to fight for their education”

The ambitious girl has managed to catch up with the other 5th grade students in only 2 years. Today she leads the Bal Sabha group as “Bal Panch” and motivates other girls to fight for their own education.

Ponri
Ponri
Ranaram, Field Coordinator
Ranaram, Field Coordinator
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