For girls and young women in rural Rajasthan, who cannot dare to dream of a bright future, enLighten to emPower (e2e) has designed a holistic, multistage, bilingual literacy program to empower girls who are returning to school, they will be taught 1) how to read with comprehension and communicate effectively, 2) entrepreneurial skills so they could financially support their families, and 3) healthy habits so they can nurture their own physical and mental well-being.
53% of women and girls in Rajasthan's Lunkaransar area are illiterate, one of the highest female illiteracy rates in India. Safe access to schools for girls from poor families is rare, especially in rural Rajasthan. Girls are also often compelled to drop out of school because helping their families has greater priority. Convincing families that their daughters are worthy of being educated and that literacy will help the child, their families, and the community is our primary challenge.
While maintaining a dialogue with the families, e2e will offer a curriculum to empower young women. Our program- a 2 months on-site literacy camp in their village followed by 8 months of on-line real-time classes aims to minimize disruptions to the families. The program will include digital literacy in English and Hindi; workshops in running a business; an emphasis on health and nutrition; and, instruction in art, drama, yoga and self-defense to nurture the girls' physical and mental well-being.
Women and girls who are financially and personally empowered have a better chance of being assertive and less subject to oppression. Having been taught how to make healthier choices, be financially competent, and assert themselves when their rights are violated these young women will be less prone to abuse. When debilitating social traditions can be discarded and the cycle of illiteracy, poverty, and potential abuse dissipates, girls succeed and their communities flourish.