Girl Icon 3rd residential training
Nearly 120 million adolescent girls in India are charting their way forward. For most of these girls, the opportunity to move freely in the community becomes limited at the onset of puberty. Lack of safe spaces impeded their growth, confines them within their homes and leads to lost opportunities for girls.
Having a space that feels safe is truly a privilege, making us reflect on how small things that we take for granted can be so empowering and valuable for girls from socially and economically backward communities.
Safe spaces are especially important for girls, each Girl Icon fellow creates safe spaces within their communities where girls come together to learn, engage in activities related to their diverse needs, participate in decision-making processes and freely express themselves.
Girl Icon (GI) Jyoti from Uttar Pradesh leads a peer group of more than 25 adolescent girls, 25 determined young girls striving together to fight social norms that restrict their potential. She has actively worked with her community members and has built one of the most active peer-groups.
GI Jyoti holds a peer meeting every fortnight for 2 hours in her community for the girls. The opportunity to interact in a safe space enables them to access education, pursue a career, recreation and even engage with friends and peers which plays a vital role in their overall development. This connection makes them feel less isolated and helps them develop more effective coping mechanisms.
With your continued support, GI Jyoti recently completed her week-long 3rd Residential leadership training as a part of the Girl Icon Program. At the training, she learned about relevant Government Schemes for the benefit of adolescent girls launched by the government. After returning back to her village, Jyoti briefed her peer group girls about the Govt schemes and was successful in opening 10 bank accounts under the schemes - Sumangla Yojana and the Sukanya Samriddhi Yojana.
Jyoti says “now people in my community look up to their daughters for inspiration and strength. Every daughter born in the village is now an occasion of celebration.” The fact that the people are equally happy to have either a girl or a boy goes on to show that Jyoti has emerged as an extraordinary grassroots leader. Last month, she was recognized and awarded by Amar Ujala in their ‘Betiyon ka Samman’ initiative.
Safe spaces are crucial for the development of girls from adolescence to adulthood. It provides them with the opportunity to gather and participate in diverse activities or to talk and engage in meaningful dialogues. As a consequence, safe spaces are powerful platforms for healing, empowerment, and resilience and are crucial to advancing Gender Equality.
Your donation goes a long way in creating lifetime change leaders like Jyoti! Continue supporting us to achieve generation equality by 2030 for millions of girls in India.