Barli is focused on the empowerment of rural/tribal girls by training them to further develop themselves and gain skills to contribute towards the development of their own communities. The girls typically arrive at Barli having had no education, illiterate and too shy to even say their names. Within six months, they become literate in Hindi and virtually 100% pass the national literacy exam. They also learn good health/hygiene, agricultural practices and a trade so they can support themselves
Barli provides educational opportunities for at-risk girls of the poorest castes and secluded tribes of central India. Prior to attending Barli, these girls have had little or no access to education. Without education and training in life skills, these girls would not be able to navigate the often-dangerous environments in which they live, and are at risk for child marriage (a euphemism for child slavery) and are vulnerable to human trafficking.
Barli students feel empowered by their training to further develop themselves and also gain capacity and skills to contribute towards the development of their own communities in the areas of literacy, vocational skills, health and hygiene and gender mainstreaming. We have seen that 96% of Barli graduates use their income generation skills upon their return home; 46% establish small businesses; 41% grow and sell vegetables; 97% use safe drinking water practices; and so on.
So far, Barli has graduated 7,800 girls from more than 780 villages, improving the lives of thousands in their communities. For example, because of the work done by Barli graduates in collaboration with the government, guinea worm has been eliminated from 302 villages; literacy rates have increased in the villages by 12% overall and by 24% for women; and the number of children immunized against diphtheria, measles, and polio has increased from around 20% to over 60%.