Education for young girls in rural areas from poor families does not depend only on access to educational institutions, but also making a change in the mindset of their family in helping them pursue their goals. In a gender dominated society with wide disparity between girls and boys, the number of girls from poor families being educated till graduation is a struggle. Often the trend is once a girl attains puberty, the girl has to be married off, so that the burden of care is taken away from the mother. This is more severe in families have more than one girl child and if the mother is a widow or the girl is under the care of grandparents.
The project on Educational support for orphan girls through Global giving has helped more than 100 orphan girls to continue schooling, 45 orphan girls have entered colleges for graduation and more than 7 girls have secured jobs after completing their graduation.
Ms.Seetha, 22 years old is one success story, she has completed her B.Sc Nursing despite many oppositions from her relatives and the immediate community. Her strong support was her widowed mother, along with the support of Buds of Christ she did her course in Bangalore city for four years and now she is working as a nurse in a private hospital in Coimbatore.
"I am a nurse now because I had the dream to be one and my mother also stood by me, other wise I would have been married and life would have been just restricted to being only a wife and a mother. Now I am proud to be a nurse and also serve many people who are in need. I am also able to look after my ailing grandmother and my mother affected by chronic illness. Thanks to Buds of Christ and support extended through Global Giving"- expressed Seetha.
In the case of Divya, the eldest child under the care of grandparents, whose parents died of chronic illness, was married off to a business person when she was completing her 12th standard. She was the topper in her school for her 10th standard and wanted to become a teacher in a school. But all her dreams got shattered, when this marriage proposal came when she was to appear for her final exams in her 12th standard. Though she cried and stood against there were no support systems to help her come out of this and thus she was married and now is a mother of two children at a very young age.
Buds of Christ aims to prevent such instances by working with communities to ensure that young girls from rural families are educated and are able to secure into employment. So that these girls are able to have a productive life for future. The work is not an easy task, as it also involves establishing a trust with the family and also looking at the educational needs of the child. Buds of Christ works with such families right from Grade 1 to ensure that children continue schooling and then also take up higher studies.