Over 100 slum girls have attended Malala workshops
Happy new year and thank you for all of your support in 2017. We had a busy year and you can view the highlights from across all of projects below. We hope to have just as successful 2018 and hope you do too.
The first part of our year will see the continuation of our Educate. Empower. Lead. program. Until July we are focusing on improving the prospects for girls in receiving equal access to education in our third partnership with Malala Fund. Our aim is to empower girls aged 13-17 to understand and advocate for their rights to education and prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children through education.
We may be taking a #StandWithMalala but we certainly aren't standing still when it comes to improving the educational prospects and aspirations of girls. Our campaign, has got off to a flying start with a full program of activities in our slum community centers. Over the past two months, over 100 girls from seven of our city slums have been enjoying workshops and activities aimed at improve their rights to education with the aim of preventing the commercial exploitation of children (CSEC).
Our program has included workshops on growing up and sex education, human, women’s and children’s rights and the law, gender equality, girls’ education and further information about how one girl, Malala Youszafi, has made a difference to girls’ education worldwide. The intention is to inspire and empower our girls to follow Malala’s lead to improve the state of their own education. As well as inviting prominent experts in their field to deliver the workshops, our own fieldworkers from Childline and our education projects have shared their insights and expertise helping our beneficiaries to better understand the dangers and risks that a full education can help prevent.
We want our children to play an active role in this program and are giving them the opportunity to feedback on each activity to see what is working well for them and where we can improve our program. We have been blown away by some of the intelligent and insightful responses we are receiving and are making sure that all of the participants comments are listened to, acted upon and fed back to them. One example is that when it was noted that boys should have been represented at our gender equality session, we immediately planned another day of activities where girls and boys were required to work together in teams. It was pitched as a day full of fun but also successfully demonstrated the differences in strengths and abilities between the genders.
Other highlights have included a talk from our founder, Girish Kulkarni, explaining how the foundations of Snehalaya are firmly rooted in education equality and hearing from a sex worker not only about how her own life choices were restricted by limited education but how Snehalaya has since given her the confidence and opportunities to develop into a leadership role as a social worker. Our girls’ education workshop asked what are the restrictions faced by those living in slums and some of the resulting issues and the girls’ own solutions to them were addressed to key influencers such as the State Education Minister. We intend to post these letters and also allow the girls to ask the same questions through other channels such as social media and our community radio station.
This is just the start of our program, we have committed to reach over 3,600 girls throughout our district and we will continue to empower girls through education in our red-light areas and other communities within our district and beyond, all of which complements our mission to continue to ensure there are no underage sex workers in our district and to protect those at risk of trafficking and exploitation.
Thank you for your support in ensuring we continue our work with slum dwellers that enables us to bring targeted campaigns like this to empower them further.
The girls come from seven of our city slums
The girls have also been managing the events
Asking girls for feedback improves the program
Girls record what they learn in Malala notebooks