As reported in last dispatch this project has created new centres for girls in new localities. In Ambarnath, a satellite town/ semi urban area near Mumbai, 35 girls from a shelter cum orphanage undertook new activities for drawing people’s attention to issues of girls’ education, their security and adequate nutrition for them. They underwent training in photography, slogan and placard making and in street theatre. They took out a procession with placards and slogans. They also wrote a script and performed a skit in the streets near the local railway station. And finally they submitted a formal letter to the local member of their Municipal Corporation to demand facility of public toilets for women and of garbage disposal that barely exists there. This was the first time that girls ever took public action.
A health group and a local school have extended cooperation to the project to initiate life skills training for girls in Malvani, a former village now in city limits. 81 girls attended a gender and health fair in which they learnt about health, hygiene and nutrition through games and creative activities like cap making and also writing to express their views and demands. They are undergoing ‘ Know Yourself’ and ‘Know Your Community’ sessions to encourage them to acquire necessary skills for civic participation. Similar sessions were held in the Netivali village, a slum on a hill near the township of Kalyan. Here the group covered in this project is of dalit (formerly considered untouchable caste) girls. A dental check up for 30 was conducted and 4 cases are being followed up. A larger and more general health camp is being planned.
Photographs by girls were displayed at the prestigious Kala Ghoda art festival in February. The display was visited by thousands and received many positive remarks. Two girls from the Vacha’s photography workshops received second and third prizes respectively in an open competition for NGOs on the last day.
Vacha Team requests all our friends and supporters to continue donating generously to help us fulfill our target of reaching 300 girls. At the moment we also request those of you in USA to think of this project when you are preparing to file for tax returns. All donations given through global giving are 100% tax exempted in USA as The GlobalGiving Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization (EIN: 30-010-8263)
Girls from our project have always engaged themselves in community outreach events to create awareness about their issues or concerns. In this report period they have reached out to academicians, activists as well as their own community members.
Sofia College for girls in South Mumbai invited a presentation on this project for their national seminar titled ‘Women’s spaces, Women’s Voices in Mumbai’ as girls are women in making. This was also the only project invited to hold an exhibition of photographs taken by girls from deprived communities. About 500 visitors viewed the exhibition. Australian social scientist and photography expert Jim Masselos had this to say about the pictures. ‘Excellent photographs on display. They show sensitivity to the subjects and to their situations. A splendid achievement.’ Prestigious Kala Ghoda festival of Mumbai is currently exhibiting some more pictures from 4th February to 12th.
Hundreds of community members turned up to be with girls on the Indian Republic day on January 26 when girls released their newsletters and organized events such as street theater performances, speeches and songs with motivational , social messages in four centre areas together with flag hoisting ceremony.
Your support has made it possible to expand training to girls in two additional neighbourhoods, one in a satellite township that is one of the most polluted places in India and the other that is populated mainly by poor Muslims.
I hope all of you saw on global giving site that we have been one of the 12 groups that qualify for girl effect challenge. I cannot thank you enough for making this possible. I also take this opportunity to request all of you who live on America to think of this project when you are preparing to file for tax returns. All donations given through global giving are 100% tax exempted in USA as The GlobalGiving Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization (EIN: 30-010-8263).
Since I reported last time there has been some important events in the girl’s project. Apart from regular classes in English and computers, 27 girls trained on making video essays. They made three video essays of 3 to 7 minutes based on their daily experiences of gender discrimination. These can be accessed from YouTube on the following links. http://youtu.be/49MwG5LGjhM ; http://youtu.be/v5ph2bBX5FI ; http://youtu.be/zofrzI1WshI . These videos have been screened at two colleges with discussions on gender issues.
Girls celebrate Children’s Day
November 14 is the birthday of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and celebrated as Children’s Day in India. It was celebrated a day in advance on Sunday, November 13 when a group dance competition for youth groups was organized for ten communities.
In total approx. 275 attended the event .Four were exclusively girls’ groups from the project and 65 girls from this project participated in the group dance competition. They enjoyed a bus ride from their communities to the venue of competition and interacted with the others who had assembled for the competition. 55 more girls participated in the mixed group.
All the participants received participation certificate and one of them, a group from the largely Muslim Gilbert Hill neighbourhood won the second prize.
They danced to the music of folk songs or patriotic songs.
This is an ongoing project under expansion.
The month starting from October 15 was inclusive of 3 weeks Diwali ( a major Hindu festival in India) -Winter vacation. Once the actual Diwali celebrations were over, the routine changed in our girls’ centres from study classes to workshops and fun.
24 workshops on life skills across four communities and covering 102 girls were held. These were on craft and poster making as well as on nutrition , health and hygiene. Issue of availability and quality of food grains in fair price ration shops for the poor was taken up in the context of health and the right to food. 22 mothers and 3 male adults also attended the session on procedures in ration shops.
Many posters highlighting the issues of gender have emerged from the poster making workshops and girls have learned to make beads and ornaments out of old magzine papers
97 girls attended workshops on Gender and also on Peace issues through games and personal sharing and group bonding.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.