Vacha Charitable Trust

Our mission is to focus on issues of women and girls through educational programmes, resource creation, research, training, campaigns, networking and advocacy. Our vision is of a world without exploitation, oppression, discrimination and injustice against women or any other section of society
Jun 24, 2014

New Academic year is here with bonus day matching

celebrating entry into new academic year
celebrating entry into new academic year

Dear Friends,

 

                                    Hurray !! some of our girls have cleared their final school exams with flying colors, they are excited to entre high school and a few their college.They have scored well ranging between 55% to 93% in spite of all the hardships and obstackles they face in their day to day life.

Your support has helped these girls to stay in education last academic year.  A new academic year has already started mid June and we are looking to you again for helping these and more girls to continue their education for one more year.

It takes only $ 250/- to keep 10 girls in High school in India.  Many girls like Seema and Afrin are excited that they are going to continue their education thanks to your support.One more year in high school means postponement of marriage for most of these girls.  Additional social capital and new skills acquired means they can be more productive citizens in future.

GlobalGiving has created this wonderful opportunity where every dollar you donate goes further as they are matching every dollar given by you on June bonus day.

                                                           Bonus day is 25 June 2014

Matching begins from June 25 at 12:00:00 PM (EDT) (noon) and will end June 26, 2014 at 11:59:59 (EDT).

There are $200,000 available in matching funds from Microsoft.

Please Donate on this day to maximize your support

 

Click on the link below to visit our project page to donate and support.

http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/life-skills-training-of-300-girls-in-mumbai-slums/

 

 

 Thank you.

Jun 7, 2014

Summer time activities

Girls learn to make ornaments from paper
Girls learn to make ornaments from paper

Dear Friends,

It has been a fun-filled summer for girls here at Vacha. This is the time when schools have vacations for almost two months. Many girls participating in Vacha programmes are migrants, so during the summer vacations, they travel to their villages and spend time with their relatives. Those who remained with us had lot of fun in workshops and special events. One such activity we had was art and craft workshops in schools and communities right after the year-end exams. Girls were in the mood to relax after their hectic exam schedules and these workshops were an enjoyable experience. 110 girls took part in these workshops. Some of them learnt to create ornaments like earrings and hand bracelets using paper, others learnt the art of origami and some girls used their artistic skills to make posters about their rights.

A great opportunity came by our girls where they got to attend a live cricket match of the ‘Indian Premiere League’ cricket series. Cricket is much loved throughout the country and it is no different for our girls. They are not allowed to play out door games after they reach puberty, but they follow the matches on t.v. All the girls were hugely excited when they got to know of this opportunity to attend a live match. This opportunity came by as part of the CSR project of one of the cricket teams – Mumbai Indians. All the participating girls were given team t-shirts, caps, and a bag of cricket-themed goodies. Girls in the bastis are not usually allowed to wear t-shirts, so most of them wore them on their Indian clothes. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for them to be inside the stadium and cheer for their favourite cricketers.

Girls from this project have contributed to a collection of stories about their menstruation experiences, titled Puberty, Poverty and Gender – Girls speak about Menstruation. This was released on May 28th,  observed as International Day of Action for Women’s Health as well as Menstruation Hygiene Day by organizations around the world.

Girls show their artistic creativity
Girls show their artistic creativity
Girls enjoy at live cricket match!
Girls enjoy at live cricket match!
Mar 14, 2014

This project wins an award

Vacha receives Dasra Award, pic. courtesy Dasra
Vacha receives Dasra Award, pic. courtesy Dasra

Dear Friends,

You will be happy to learn that Vacha has won the Dasra Girl Power Award in the life skills category for 2014 and a prize of Rs. 10 lakh (INR 1 million, USD a bit over 16,000.00). There was an all India competition for the award. Vacha was first short listed and then selected as the finalist for it. The award is for the same work that you are supporting through Global Giving so each one of you, our esteemed donors,  have contributed towards  our refining and expanding the programme and finally winning an important award for it in India. Out team sincerely thanks you or it.

Republic Day 2014:

As you know Vacha youth bring out their own newsletters twice a year. They collect information, take pictures, conduct interviews and form committees to type and edit the newsletters. In some areas this year they brought out 11th edition of their own newsletter that they themselves produce and sell. The newsletter was released on January 26, the Republic Day. Different communities had different versions and these were released along with public performances by girls such as street play performances, power point presentations, speeches and rallies with messages about girls’ rights.  Local elected representatives, teachers, social workers, and their parents and peers attended these public events.

The Women’s Day

A major event that was helped organise by girls at all centres was a Women’s Day event on March 8th. Women across 15 bastis in Mumbai, Thane and Valsad (South Gujarat) were invited to spend a few hours away from their house work, and celebrate themselves through games, songs, and other fun activities. Girls had planned competitions and other activities for their mothers to enjoy on Women’s Day, and had a blast seeing their usually reticent mothers fight with each other to win the prize! Women shared with each other about their hobbies and dreams, and found the space to express themselves.

Exams and Vacation

Every year we used to note a declining number of participants in Vacha classes for 2 months from mid February. They said they had to study for the final exams in early April. This year, wherever possible, we turned Vacha centres in to study spaces. Girls like this as they get some quiet and comfortable space in which to study. Their homes are small and crowded. They also have to perform many domestic chores if they are around. In Vacha centres they have books, dictionaries and a facilitator who can help them with their studies.

The final exams will be followed by a long summer vacation. A number of workshops and other activities are planned for all those who will not be going off to their native villages.

Remember Rehana?

‘How does one say on seeing one’s own tongue after a long long time?’ exclaimed Rehana when asked how did she feel after her major dental surgery? We had mentioned her problem last time. Rehana’s cheek had puffed up and she could not open her mouth fully. She meshed food in to small balls and pushed it in through a gap between her teeth in one place. As a child she had tried to run and hide from a strict family elder and fallen down. She had hurt her mouth and the dentures did not align. The treatment was very painful so she gave up after a while. Her cheek kept puffing up. She could not speak clearly but she was fascinated by Vacha class and kept coming. The Vacha ‘teacher’, the social worker Deepa Pawar, herself from a deprived community, pursued the matter with her and her family and arranged for an important surgery at low rate. She stood by Rehana every moment. The family raised some finance and Vacha contributed too. Your contributions helped. Today Rehana can open her mouth and look at her tongue for the first time in many years. She can take proper nutrition too. She has more confidence now and better self esteem. ‘I am going to be a professional photographer’, she says. And she will certainly emerge as one. Why not?

As we near the end of this phase of our project we sincerely hope you will remain with us always and support us in helping girls acquire skills that will make them active and visible in community leadership and help them emerge as strong productive women citizens.

Rehana - before surgery
Rehana - before surgery
Rehana - after surgery
Rehana - after surgery
Deepa Pawar, who helped Rehana
Deepa Pawar, who helped Rehana
Girls shouting slogans at rally organised by them
Girls shouting slogans at rally organised by them
Performing street theatre on rights of girls
Performing street theatre on rights of girls

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