The Child Brides: Send Them to School instead

 
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Thank you for your donations!
Thank you for your donations!

As the festival of Diwali spreads light and warmth around India, we at Educate Girls would like to thank all Global Giving donors for their generous donations!

Ensuring quality education for girls and helping them avoid child marriage is a daunting challenge, but thanks largely to your help; we already have achieved a lot in rural Rajasthan, viz:

-          During the last 6 years, Educate Girls has managed to bring back 52,000 girls back to school.

-          Girls’ enrollment has gone from 85% to 99% in the districts where Educate Girls runs its programs; which effectively means that most girls are now enrolled in the nearest government schools.

-          We have seen a drastic improvement in learning outcomes. 60% of the children who attend our schools are able to read a simple story in Hindi. This figure was only 15% before we started working in these schools.

-          Our program has rapidly grown from 500 schools to 5,500 schools in the last 6 years. Today there are more than 500,000 children who have benefit from improved teaching and better learning environments!

While these results are incredibly encouraging, we still have a long way to go before we manage even a semblance of parity in girls’ education and change the overall socio-economic situation for girls. Many of them are still kept away from school and denied basic education because of the age old custom of child marriage.

Last week we recounted the story of Meena, a young child bride whose parents have agreed to let her pursue her education. She is now studying and getting the opportunity to make a life for herself. Unfortunately, Meena is not the only child bride in her school.

Nisha, a 9 year-old student, too was destined to become a child bride until Varsha, one of Educate Girls’ volunteers, intervened and took action. Varsha met Nisha’s parents as soon as she heard the news. Varsha not only convinced them to cancel the wedding, but she also enumerated the several benefits of sending girls to school and convinced Nisha’s parents to send her to school.

Now, Nisha enjoys going to school and with the help of Educate Girls, she will be able to complete her education before she gets married.

This would not have been possible without the support of donors like you. We thank you for your generous donations. It does mean a lot to these girls and their future.

 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the child

Working together to avoid child marriage
Working together to avoid child marriage
Meena - despite being a child bride is educated
Meena - despite being a child bride is educated

A year later, Child-bride Meena is still going to school thanks to Educate Girls

Last year Educate Girls started a powerful campaign on child brides by recounting the striking story of Meena, a young Rajasthani girl married away when she was just three-month old. Meena does manual labor and helps with house chores to support her family. With the help of Educate Girls, she also attends the local government school. Her parents have agreed to let her pursue her education in the hope that she gets a better chance in life than they did.

Meena is not an isolated case. In Rajasthan, 68% of the girls are married before the age of 18. Most of them are not even as lucky as Meena and drop out of school by grade 5. Without education, their chances to get good employment and have access to financial independence later on are dramatically fewer. In the picture above, Meena is standing with her schoolmates – many of whom are child brides or on the verge of becoming so.

Young girls in rural areas are often trapped into early marriage since their parents do not understand the importance of educating them. And yet, it has been demonstrated that an educated woman will earn 10% more income and have a healthier family than an uneducated one in the long run.

This is the reason why Educate Girls fights for girls’ empowerment in Rajasthan. By interacting with the communities, training teachers and improving the school infrastructures, we aim to offer these young girls the opportunity to make a life for themselves and break the pattern of under-age marriage.

In the coming weeks, we will be featuring the stories of Meena’s friends and testimonials from women working on educating them.

Stay tuned to learn more about their situation and what you can do to help them!

 

*Name changed to protect the identity of the child

Young child bride Meena and her school mates
Young child bride Meena and her school mates

Links:

Teaching girls in Rajasthan
Teaching girls in Rajasthan

It’s been an exciting quarter for Educate Girls! We now operate in three districts of Rajasthan and impact more than 5,000 rural schools. Our program is expanding and we recently welcomed 400 new Team Balika members on board! These volunteers act as champions of girls’ education inside their community, where they make sure all girls are enrolled and retained into school.

We were particularly thrilled last July to host our first panel discussions in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. These events publicly introduced our Payment-by-Results (PbR) initiative, a solution to fund our programs depending on their effective results. This financing scheme requires different actors working together to ensure we deliver the best possible outcomes to our beneficiaries!

Our pilot program has already been launched in the district of Sirohi, where it will be run in approximately 200 schools until 2015. During these two years, our team will make sure that more girls benefit from quality education and have access to infrastructures that match their basic needs.

Now it’s your time to help! Your donation can make all the difference by sending Indian girls back to school and offering them the bright future they deserve! Thank you for your generous contribution!

Donate now to educate girls
Donate now to educate girls

 

Thank you again for your donations: with your support we have achieved a lot! These last three years, much has been done to enroll and retain girls into local government schools. In Pali, the number of out-of-school girls as per the government’s child tracking survey has been decreasing from 11,243 in 2010 to 9,438 in 2013. 88% of the out of school girls in this district  are now in school and learning through creative and interactive class room sessions.

Nonetheless there is still a lot to be done, as only 74% of the girls are enrolled in some of the blocks where Educate Girls operates in Jalore district. What is more, many girls from rural Rajasthan are also married off before they reach the legal age. They have to quit school to take care of their husbands  and family without a chance to improve their life conditions.

This is why we have to maintain our efforts to offer these girls the schooling they deserve. Education equips them with skills and knowledge that will prove to be useful for the rest of their life. But to succeed, we need your help! Every cent counts and word-of-mouth can go a long way.

It is quite easy to support our interventions. You can start by telling at least five of your friends about our work and encourage them to donate to our cause.

Remember that on June 11th, on GlobalGiving's Bonus Reward Day your donations may be matched up to 50%! If's never been so easy to create an impact and help girls get educated!  

Links:

Send girls to school!
Send girls to school!

Our latest "Send Child Brides to School" campaign raised awareness on the alarming situation of girls in Rajasthan, where 68% of them are married before the age of 18. To give them a better future and ensure their well-being, this tradition has to change in favor of education. Since 2007, Educate Girls tries to improve the quality of teaching and of school infrastructures by leveraging existing resources and empowering rural communities.

Thanks to your generosity, we have managed to enroll thousands of girls into schools in the last five years. We are proud of this incredible success but we keep in mind that there are still 4,000 young girls who remain out-of-school in the gender-gap districts of Pali and Jalore. This is why our staff works hand in hand with the government, the villagers and the teaching staff to create an impact in the field.

Unfortunately Pali and Jalore are not the only gender-gap districts in India. We have thus recently extended our program to Sirohi, where the literacy rate is alarmingly low (56.02%). We will now supervise another 542 villages, reaching out to 200,000 children - 90,000 of which are girls. We hope to make an impact and to give more options to these girls regarding their choices in life – but to do so we need your help!

We request you to support our interventions by telling at least five of your friends about our work and encourage them to donate.
Let’s change these girls’ lives and send them to school! Donate now to make gender inequality history!

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Organization

Educate Girls

Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
http://www.educategirls.in

Project Leader

Safeena Husain

Executive Director
Mumbai, MH India

Where is this project located?

Map of The Child Brides: Send Them to School instead